Greetings all! I'm five days into my quit, and facing three stressful events that I desperately want to navigate WITHOUT relapse. First, I have a graduate school application due Friday. Then, I take the GRE on Tuesday morning ... And, finally, a pair of highly difficult nicotine-addicted relatives just arrived in town for the holidays and started giving me a hard time about devoting too much time to my applications, and not enough time for them ...
Since then, I've noticed a crescendo of rationalizations whirling around in my mind. They go something like: You'll think better, finish things more easily, handle these people better, etc, if you have a cigarette. A cigarette will make you smarter, calmer, abler ... Or, the worst of all: Who do YOU think you are anyway, thinking you can do something THIS DIFFICULT without a crutch???
I "know" they're not true, but the thoughts keep returning, and, rather than lose strength they seem to gather more with each passing hour ... I realize that, although I've quit at different times in my 20+ years as a smoker, I have never dealt with a looming deadline without smokes on hand. It's like my brain can't compute the idea of completing tasks like this without cigarettes ... Meanwhile, the nicotine addicts, a former cigarette smoker and tobacco chewer, who have switched to closet smoking, a ten-a-day Lozenge habit, or cigars, are trying to get me started on NRT (one insists on leaving Lozenges in my apartment!), while also bragging about their "freedom" from cigarette/tobacco habits that once ruled their lives. In my mind, it seems no different, and, well, I think that NRT would simply put me right back on cigarettes again, but I'm not sure how to work with these people ... Just throw the stuff away?
So, any advice, particularly about handling stress-related triggers would be oh-so-welcome and helpful!