Date With Destiny
2005-12-25 22:24:01 (UTC)

Why I Kept a Quit (repost fom SilverRain)

Why I Kept a Quit (repost fom SilverRain)
From Guenevere on 7/13/2005 12:14:39 PM

Why I Kept a Quit (repost)
From SilverRain on 9/9/2001 12:43:57 PM

quite a while ago now
a lot of long-time quitsters were posting
"i lost it" messages.

i had just become a doc
dropped me a qmail to say:
why do some keep a quit and some not?

here was my return post to her:
what an interesting question ... why some keep a long-term
quit and others don't. let's talk about it until we figure
out some answers --

yes, i think i did understand what you meant about knowing
this quit was THE quit ... "I knew I would keep this quit.
It wasn't like I had a feeling this was THE QUIT. I was
just determined to MAKE this quit THE QUIT. I refused to
fail ..."

zackly what i meant. when i quit? i DECIDED.
the end
i won't smoke any more
no matter what.

included in that no matter what was the self-statement, "i
am willing to suffer." i had decided, up front and going
into this quit, that it *really* didn't matter what
happened, how bad i felt, what kind of triggers blew off,
how many people hated me ... etc etc. i had decided
i won't smoke
no matter what

just like you have. cuz you cannot get to five months
without some sort of similar commitment.

i will keep my quit because i am not going to smoke again
no matter what. and yes some days have been very difficult
and i have wanted a smoke badly. but just as in the
beginning, i am willing to suffer.

so, willingness to endure has to be a factor. has to be.

and realistic expectations must be another factor.
some folks i've met here on the Q apparently believe that
within 24 hours of quitting all their symptoms should be
gone, or almost gone. and that if in a week, or six, or
sixteen they are still yearning for their drug that it
must be a *sign* that they (special they) just CANNOT
quit, cannot be expected to endure this pain (which is SO
much greater than other peeps ...)

i expected it to be hard (it was. in spades)
i expected withdrawal to last a long time (how long? i
don't really know. but i smoked for 38 years. was an
active drug addict for goodness sakes, for 38 years.
i was prepared, really, for withdrawal to take a year or
more. just within the last month it's become easy -- note:
that is not *gone* or no cravings ... but it is easy.
surprised me really. i expected it to last much longer. i
was very very hooked for a very very long time.

we ARE addicts. and we can never again use our drug of
choice. if we have even one, even one puff, we will be
readdicted at the same level where we quit. i believe
this. i've seen it in action. i know the junkie will lie
to me. know it deep within myself. i know i will want to
believe the lie ... the "just one" lie. the "you can
always quit again" lie. the "it's too hard" lie.

i know none of them are true. regardless of how much i
want to believe any of them, i have decided that no matter
what (including how good the lie sounds and how much my
addict self wants a hit), no matter what i will not smoke.
that i am willing to suffer. that i will not smoke.

difficulty of quit.
i suffered. it was dreadful. and i never never never want
to do it again. at present? i remember clearly what the
first week was like, esp. day two. a real true bitch of a
day. i never want to do it again. never. some people i've
met here have had "easy quits" in their own words.... many
many of them have lost a quit, fairly late in the game.

many of the recent falls were people i got clean with ...
or thereabouts. and they were of two (and sometimes both)
types. they were the Easy Quitsters (and their junkies
talk about "you can always do it again! it was so easy!!
so what if you slip/fall...")

or they were another kind, the Euphoric Quitter -- the i
hate smoking! i'm so glad glad glad! quitster. i flat
don't understand them. don't understand how someone would
smoke for 25 years and all the time hate smoking! and i
don't understand how they couldn't not miss smoking!

me? i loved smoking and would be smoking today if the
penalties weren't so big. COPD is a very bad way to die. i
don't mind dying (not a bit. in fact i'm a rather suicidal
kind of person ... ) but lord, i don't want to go that
way. it's awful. have you ever watched someone die of that

so i'm a respectful afraid quitster. afraid of how hard it
was to quit. and afraid of slowly strangling to death.

and i also think that this may be my only quit ... that i
may not get another chance. i don't know why i feel that
and maybe it's not true... but for me, i am treating this
quit as tho i may not have another recovery in me. so i am
unwilling to lose this quit for several solid (to me)

i read every single post about slipping. now there's a
word for ya! for me? one puff wouldn't be a slip. it would
be reset the meter. in my heart, i don't think a puff is a
slip. i think it's a class A fall. utter and complete. so
maybe that's another reason i don't listen to my junkie
side. i am unwilling to reset to zero. not for me the
subract-one-day subset. smoke-free is smoke-free. so the
stakes are high to me because the meter is meaningful. not
in any real sense, it's a cybercounter ... but in what
those numbers represent to me. the incredible effort i've
expended to get here. how hard it was. how i may not get
another chance.

anyway, i read every slip/fall post. and none of them has
been cheery or happy. every single slipper/faller has been
devastated and sad. many never make it back here. many
take months and sometimes years to get back. and they all
report, "it wasn't worth it."

those posts have the ring of truth. and i believe them.
and i don't want to feel like that.

it has nothing to do with self-esteem. i don't think much
of myself. i'm not anti-me, just have never had much self-
esteem. so count that out as a significant factor (at
least not in *all* quits!)

but way way way down here (god i'm sorry for just going on
and on and on and on. i can't help it! it's just
happening...) way down here, what do i think?

i think after two months quit? i think we give our quits
away ... and i think we know as we do it that we are
giving them away. why? cuz essentially we are addicts and
we didn't remember the first rules:
just don't smoke
no matter what.

you felt that. said that. have done that. and are doing
that. and you'll keep your quit as long as you keep doing
those first two things.

I've kept my quit for 1,200 days (3 yr, 3 m, 2 w)