written as part of my preparation for the freedom from smoking program and originally posted on november 16, 2001; in it, i outline a couple of situations where i might relapse, and what i could do instead of smoking.

planning ahead

2008 December 29

part of the american lung association's freedom from smoking program was to list potential relapse situations and what you planned to do instead of smoking; here are a couple of mine:

i've been establishing the habit of looking in the mirror every morning as soon as i wake up and reminding myself that i am a nicotine addict, that i can't afford to feed that addiction even once, and that, today, i choose not to smoke.


situation one: it's been a while since i quit and the cravings have pretty much disappeared; i've accepted the fact that i'm a non-smoker, and, in fact, i don't even really think about it any more. i run into an old buddy in a bar or at a party and he offers me a cigarette.

an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and i'm determined to NEVER FORGET that i'm a nicotine addict who can't afford to take that first puff. i've been establishing the habit of looking in the mirror every morning as soon as i wake up and reminding myself that i am a nicotine addict, that i can't afford to feed that addiction even once, and that, today, i choose not to smoke. i think this is crucial: one of america's founding fathers (franklin? jefferson?) said, "the price of freedom is eternal vigilance", and i believe that's true. i remember my brother bob, who was an alcoholic, using this principle to remain sober for the rest of his life after getting dried out; i'm sure that there wasn't a week during the last 10 or 12 years of his life that he didn't attend at least one aa meeting - even when he was on vacation.


situation two: i've got three times as many things to do as i can possibly get done in a normal workday, but upper management still expects me to somehow get it all done anyway, and they make it clear that nothing less will do; i'm feeling very stressed out by the overload and there are plenty of people around me who smoke (plus there's a convenience store about a three-minute walk from my desk where they sell cigarettes).

i will: practice deep breathing, remind myself that smoking won't help the situation and that the urge will pass whether i smoke or not, read through my "quit" folder, go online to the ffs message boards and either read or post, count to 1000, take a walk (in the opposite direction of the store), delegate some of my responsibilities to a reliable subordinate, find someone who needs my help and help them (get my mind off of myself and my problems).

Be Sociable, Share!
2 responses leave one →
  1. 2007 August 13
    malina permalink

    You are my inspiration. I read your journal a couple of weeks ago ... visited a sites that shows how a damaged lungs look like becos of ciggeretes ... and today is my 4th day without a cig. I am 51 years old and have been smoking for 25 years. I do not have any health issues yet ... but I know it is just lurking around the corner by now ... Thanks to your journal. I have made it 4 days without smoking. I will continue reading you ... bless your heart!

    malina

  2. 2008 December 29

    note: the comment above was left on the original tale on the date indicated.

leave a reply

Note: you can use basic xhtml in your comments. your email address will never be published.

subscribe to this comment feed via rss