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Feb 15 12 2:45 PM
Feb 20 12 4:27 PM
Feb 20 12 5:29 PM
Feb 20 12 7:38 PM
From The relapse of a "social smoker"
You can learn from two very different groups of people what it takes to quit smoking and to stay free from cigarettes. The first group that you can obviously learn from is people who have quit before you and have successfully been able to stay free from cigarettes for a significantly long time periods. They may have quit with very little understanding of the problems involved with smoking or quitting, but something internal in them knew that they were and still are fighting a puff. For if they did not understand this premise they would not have been able to stay off smoking for as long as they have.
The other group you can learn from is from people who have tried to quit once or more likely numerous times and have yet been able to stay off of smoking. They too offer deep insights to the addiction. Not that they actually themselves understand what is happening or why-they are often in a total quandary as to why they cannot stay off of smoking. You don't learn from these people by listening to their advice or explanations, but more so by watching their failures and learning to listen between the lines. They can supply you with the real answers even though they themselves do not know the answers or even understand the questions.
This group of people can either inadvertently help you sustain your quit or, if you are not careful, they can undercut your quit. A person who relapses will often try to delude him or herself that he or she has not lost control over nicotine even after he or she has relapsed. The person will often also try to delude those around him or herself too. It is not that a relapsed smoker is inherently dishonest. He or she may truly believe that he or she can control addiction. That belief is what allowed him or her to take the first puff in the first place. Very few people take the first drag with the game plan of relapsing. They have deluded themselves that they are somehow going to control the quantity or duration of their smoking. They may sound mighty convincing to you as they are trying mighty hard to convince themselves of their control over nicotine.
Patience is the virtue that is going to allow you to learn from other people's mistakes as opposed to repeating them. You have already proven that you have the ability to be patient. The first few days you were quitting your body was likely trying to convince you that smoking was okay. But you listened to all of the others who were here before you and decided to give yourself a chance to see if what they were saying was actually true--that quitting would get easier. Now you are showing patience again. Instead of just listening to your boyfriend rationalizations and comments of his ability to control nicotine, you knew to sit back and watch events unfold.
It was only a matter of time before he lost his control to the degree that he could no longer hide nor deny his inability to control his usage. He is once again under the influence and control of nicotine. He has been under that control ever since he took the first drag off the first cigarette. While he may openly be admitting now that he lost control, there is still a pretty good chance that he does not yet fully appreciate when it happened. He may very likely think that it was his fourth or tenth or hundredth cigarette that did him in this time. He needs to understand that the cigarette that set up his downfall was the first one or he his going to be doomed to face this kind of wasted effort over and over again.
Sadly you can't force him to believe you that one puff was going to do in his quit any more than he was able to force you to believe him that he was going to control his smoking. People are only going to accept the word of others up to a point. The best you can do now is continue to watch and analyze each other's quits.
There was a time that he viewed you as weaker than him. He was a controlled smoker and you were an out of control smoker. At least that is how he saw things. But now you are a totally under control ex-smoker having a relatively easy time of things as far as nicotine is concerned. While be may still be trying to deny it, he is an out of control nicotine addict now, constantly suffering moderate to major nicotine withdrawal or else having to put his credibility, integrity and reputation on the line by smoking when he claims that he no longer needs to.
As I said before, there was a time that he viewed you as weaker than him. For people who view themselves as social smokers often think that it is a personality flaw in others that allows them to smoke in a way that seems to be such an out of control manner. You have proven though that you are either smarter or stronger than he is when it comes to smoking now. I am sure that is just one more humiliating aspect that his relapsing is costing him.
So sit back and watch him in his struggles. Hopefully he will sit back and watch you and your success. Maybe one day he will see the light. Maybe not, there is no way to know what the future holds for him. But for the present you can see the light every day you watch him still smoking. He is either smoking or edgy because he is not smoking. He is in a miserable state that you no longer go through now. Also you will never have to experience this kind of chronic withdrawal again as long as you continue to learn lessons from him and all of the other smokers you know and also from all of the long-term ex-smokers you know too. The more people you observe in your real world the more obvious it will become that the only way to stay smoke free is simply just knowing to never take another puff!
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