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Quit Smoking – Do Not Relapse To Smoking

Quitting smoking saves money. A pack-a-day smoker, who pays $2 per pack can, expect to save more than $700 per year.

It may seem too soon to discuss the concept of relapse since you may not have even begun your attempt to quit smoking yet. But it’s significant to discuss relapse now because, chances are, you’ve experienced a return to smoking after an attempt to quit smoking in the past.

Frustrations and Failures

Before you go forward now, you need to deal with the feelings of frustration and failure you felt the last time you relapsed. If you’ve ever relapsed – and the vast majority of ultimately successful quitters have – you probably felt horrible. Relapsing feels bad because you think you have failed at something.

These feelings are so awful that many smokers would rather continue smoking than face them again. But don’t despair. The truth is that relapsing is a normal and expected part of quitting smoking. Actually, for most people who smoke, it is a required stage to experience before being able to quit smoking for good.

Why Smokers Are So Harsh On Themselves In Matters Relating To Relapse?

But why are people who smoke so harsh on themselves when it comes to understanding why a relapse has occurred? If a friend of yours tried to quit smoking and suffered a relapse, you would probably be very understanding and supportive.

You might tell that person to try again and explain that quitting smoking is hard stuff. However, when it comes to their own personal relapses many people have a tendency to become harsh critics, holding themselves up to higher standards than those around them.

For others, there is that assumption right from the start that they are going to fail. In fact, many people just seem to always assume that they will fail at a task, even if the odds are in their favor.

Well the reason is because people are harder on themselves because they are designed to be that way. There is a part of you that expects you to achieve absolute perfection in everything you do. The perfectionist side of you doesn’t tolerate anything but the best.

Usually, it’s a good thing to have this part of you because it triggers you to strive to make accomplishments and better yourself. But it’s not a good thing when that side of you is so overly critical that it makes you feel like a failure.

By not allowing this side of you to have too strong of a voice, you can have a better perspective on relapses and see them for what they really are: learning opportunities.

Turning To Family & Friends

Just as athletes rely on their team members and encourage each other, don’t forget that you have a team, too. Now that the going’s gotten rough with your decision to quit smoking, it’s time to call on your team – the family and friends who will cooperate and encourage you in your “big game.”

At this point, you probably have a better idea of who is actually helpful in guiding you around temptations, or just understanding what you’re going through. Follow these leads.

  • Maybe you’ll arrange a meeting for lunch or phone calls or just a calm walk together after dinner. Whatever style works for you, think about getting more of their company and encouragement!
  • If you have one key family member or friend whom you’ve looked to for help, review how that’s gone. Because you’ve slipped up in your nonsmoking plan, you may have hesitated to keep in touch with him.
  • Were you afraid of discouraging him? Or maybe you’ve been too embarrassed to call and admit your problems. If he cares about you, he’ll understand and want to be helpful. But chances are good that your key person will be a lot more understanding than you may fear.
  • Make that call! If your friends or family members are ex-smokers, they will know how good it feels and will be happy to give you all the encouragement they can. And if they had trouble quitting, too, they can make you feel understood. Maybe you can put your heads together and come up with a few new strategies that could help you.
  • Finally, think about your family condition. Under the best circumstances, your family members will be rooting for you all the way. But perhaps your spouse or your parents are smokers. They may resent your efforts, or feel guilty about not trying to quit smoking with you. If this has been a problem in your family, it could be the reason you’ve had trouble staying quit.
  • Try to think of your quitting as separate from their smoking. It’s their right to smoke and it’s your right to quit smoking. You can’t make your spouse or family members quit smoking. So focus on cooperation and support from other family and friends who don’t smoke. But of course you don’t want to avoid the people you love.

Did you really “Fail”?

Let’s take a closer look at this “failure.” Is the word failure actually an accurate description of what went on? Does a relapse mean that you have so totally failed to quit smoking that there is no hope?

Does this mean that you will always remain a smoker? No way! If that were the case, most former smokers never would have made it. Just ask any former smoker if he or she relapsed, and there is a good chance you will hear a big fat “yes.”

Again, having a relapse is a normal part of quitting smoking. Those who have been able to quit smoking without relapsing are few and far between. Most of you should count on relapsing and expect it to happen.

Asking yourself to quit smoking without going through a relapse is like asking yourself to learn how to ride a bicycle without ever falling – not a very reasonable expectation!

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