Getting back on the Cessation Bandwagon after a Cigarette
You're doing well - you've got this smoking cessation thing down and have said goodbye to smoking cigarettes. Then, something sets you back. It might be the loss of someone close to you, stressful goings-on at home, or an event at work that causes you to light up a cigarette. It may seem like the end of your journey toward quitting, but fear not - I promise you this setback is a chance at a new beginning. Let's consider things from a positive frame of mind.
Realize You're Human
Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone has bad days. It's important to remember that you're only human, and while your current smoking cessation journey may have hit a bump in the road, that's no reason to give up. Statistically, smokers may attempt to quit smoking up to 30 times before the're successful. There's no harm in starting over. I failed in several attempts to quit cold turkey, and while I found myself going back to cigarettes this summer, I've made the decision to refocus on my smoking cessation journey.
It's just like working out - you may not go to the gym everyday, and you may have chocolate cake every once in awhile, but it doesn't mean you're a failure. Like other long-term goals, quitting smoking is an ongoing commitment that takes time, and setbacks are not only to be expected, but they can help you grow. What's most important, is how you handle the challenges.
Setback? Take A Step Back
When a stressful situation brings you back to cigarettes it can be hard to find the clear mind needed to take a step back and rethink things. While it may not work for everyone, what I've found beneficial is to take a deep breath and think about why I quit smoking in the first place. This isn't meant to be an introspective self-doubt session, but rather a gentle reminder of why you began the journey in the first place. For me, I remembered how much money I had spent on cigarettes, and how they ruled my life. From there, I was able to think about all of the things I enjoyed about my period of smoking cessation. I thought about the money I'd saved, the time I had to myself without the constant desire to smoke another cigarette, and the fact that I wasn't constantly searching for a lighter. While these may seem trivial reasons, they're the push I needed to get back on the bandwagon.
For some, the process of starting over is as simple as tossing your pack of cigarettes in the trash and walking away, for others it may be more difficult. For me, my quit met a temporary end with stress from family situations, and punishing myself over backsliding for a while wouldn't have helped. I'd have found myself going back and buying pack after pack and possibly even walking away from vaping all together.
Instead, I opted to mix vaping with smoking to get myself back into the groove of vaping. Again, this may not work for everyone, but for me it was the best option based on my situation. It's important to find the means of returning to your journey towards smoking cessation that works best for you. There are tons of tips that sites recommend to help quit smoking. These can vary from taking a walk, cleaning your home, deep breathing, and meditation. Spend some time looking up options, and thinking about what works best for you. Taking a little extra time to come up with a game plan is a great way to get back on the bandwagon, and may help you to deeper understand what brought you back to cigarettes after your successful cessation.
The biggest takeaway is that it's okay to slip up. It's not ideal, but instead of focusing on the fact that you're still smoking cigarettes, think about how far you've come since you first began your cessation journey. It's not about this one failure, it's about all of the little successes you've had along the way. That's what truly matters.
In the earliest days of vaping, an oft-repeated bit of encouragement was as follows: count the ones you don't smoke, not the ones you do. It's still good advice today.