Why do people relapse after years or even decades of smoking?
Does it really happen all of a sudden? Will smoking come back to haunt you when you least expect it?
Scary, isn’t it? The thought of using A LOT of willpower and persevering through months of nicotine withdrawal only to go back to the chains of nicotine addiction – it really makes you, the future non-smoker, feel helpless.
But, fortunately, relapses don’t happen all of a sudden as many smokers think. There are many reasons and factors, small at first, which snowball together and lead back to smoking. What are these reasons? Let’s take a look:
Reason #1: Self-Pity
“My friend gets to smoke, BUT I can’t!”
If that’s how you talk to yourself whenever you see a friend smoke while you are fighting to get rid of the addiction, it makes you pity yourself. BUT wait. Your friend doesn’t get to smoke. He is smoking because he is psychologically and physically addicted to nicotine. He can’t fight it while you are on your way to a healthier, longer life!
Matter of fact, statistics revealed that 70 percent of smokers would quit if they can. Be proud that you have actively taken steps against smoking.
Reason #2: Self-Deprecation
Do you feel too weak to quit smoking? Are you always thinking about the past quit attempts you’ve made that failed?
STOP! Thinking that way sets you up for failure before you even get started. Always keep an eye on those self-defeating thoughts that you unconsciously repeat over and over again. Correct them as soon as you notice such thoughts cropping up. Switch from negative to positive thinking. When you get the hang of it, you will feel stronger and will soon tell yourself that you can rather than can’t.
Reason #3: Pointing Fingers
Do you think that it’s your friend’s fault why you can’t quit?
While that could be a factor for you smoking, you are effectively taking out your power to make positive changes in your life and placing it on somebody else’s hand.
It becomes a convenient excuse to go back to smoking. Instead, take charge! Be responsible for your own actions. By doing so, you are giving yourself the power to find solutions not just to smoking BUT to other problems as well. More importantly, you start the process of recovery.
Reason #4: Over-Confidence
If self-pity and negative self-talk put you at a disadvantage, the dangers brought by over-confidence can be just as ruinous for your quit program and, eventually, your health when smoking takes its toll.
“Quitting isn’t hard!”
“I can smoke a cigarette tonight, and go back to my quit program like no problem!”
Thoughts like these will get you and your quit program into hot water fast. The long time we have spent smoke-free can blur the reasons why we quit smoking. We forget the racing heart and breathlessness we experience after smoking a pack of cigarettes.