For people who still have smoking thoughts.
There are times when a member writes that after weeks or months, they still have thoughts for cigarettes. Often other members respond to these comments by telling the person to "whip it into shape" or by conveying other basic tough-love advice.
I agree with tough-love to a point, but wanted to share a different perspective on "missing" cigarettes.
I have been quit for 8 months 1 week 4 days (to be exact ) and I still have feelings sometimes of "missing" smoking. I know it's wrong, I know that people are now missing lungs and limbs and everything else. I have read my brains out at Freedom and for the first six months of my quit was a very active poster here. I am still here every day, I still read the library, I still read everyone's posts... I just don't post as much myself.
I do not think there is anything really wrong with a person "missing" smoking, at any time in their quits. As everyone here always says, everyone's quit is different. Some people have more thoughts of missing smoking than others even though they are off the exact same amount of time.
Like I said, I sometimes "miss" smoking too. I know I am not going to relapse. I have been somewhat bothered by my own thoughts of missing smoking. Therefore, I have tried to come up with various theories as to why this may be happening.
I think that for me, it has a lot to do with the NOSTALGIA factor. Do you ever go through phases in your life where you are sort of stuck in wanting to go "back" to a previous time in your life? And everything about that period in your life seems great, even though it wasn't necessarily all that great at the time? I think back to a time when I lived in a very rural area. A city person, I felt VERY out of touch with society, and I did not enjoy it very much. All of my "friends" were neighbors thatwere about 40 years my senior. I smoked out my window all the time. I finally moved to a more metropolitan area because I was not happy in the rural area. Would you believe, though, that I sometimes look back on my days in the country with a very high level of nostalgia? Sometimes I'd love to be able to re-experience the tranquility of living in that area again, just for a few days. Was I happy then? Seriously, not really. I wasn't happy to the point that I even moved. And haven't really looked back, save some of these moments of nostalgia.
I am 27 years old, a pretty young quitter. I can tell you that I started smoking in college, at age 17. Talk about nostalgia -- if anyone had a college experience similar to mine (and I think most people who went to college have), they'd go back and relive college in the blink of an eye. I have no regrets, I had a great time in college, I learned a great deal in my classes and I also partied like a typical college kid. And I smoked, the whole way through. On breaks between classes, at parties, sitting outside chatting with friends, after every meal, through finals.... Smoking is associated with college. And there kicks in the nostalgia. And it makes me miss everything about that era in my life,including smoking.
Does this mean that I am going to smoke because I miss these periods in my life? No. Doesn't everyone go through periods of missing things, even if the things weren't that great? Think of what is triggering thoughts of nostalgia. Just because I sometimes miss living in the country, am I going to go move there again? NO. Just because I miss college, am I going to start applying to schools to get a second degree? NO. Same with smoking. Just because there are times when I think back to smoking with a hint of nostalgia (YES I do, and I think it's because I'm human), am I going to go buy a pack and light up? NO.
People should not beat themselves up for having these thoughts. There will still be triggers faced by ex-smokers, weeks, months and years into their quits. I know that lots of people (including myself) post many months into their quit, talking about difficult times.
Just remember this well-known Freedom advice: You'd rather be a non-smoker who occasionally thinks about smoking than a smoker who constantly thinks about quitting. You quit for a reason, you came here for a reason. You will enjoy your life smoke-free. Trust that it's true, I'm can say this from 8+ months into a quit. And I don't even know as well as our gold members who all say that it gets better. Don't mix nostalgia feelings with feelings of wanting to smoke. They are different. Try to recognize the difference.
I bet some people have a former relationship that did not work out for one reason or another. Even if the relationship was not even a *GOOD* relationship, sometimes we still look back on those relationships, every so often, with a hint of nostalgia. I think it's the way of the world, and those thoughts are similar to thoughts of "missing" smoking. Missing smoking is not always different (or more detrimental) than missing a former flame, childhood days of playing on a swingset until dark, a city in which you used to live, or anything else.
Just wanted to share. You may recognize this from a different thread that was dropped. I copied it and revised it with the help of Joel (thanks) hoping to share with others.
8 months 1 week 4 days