Here's the thing. Probably normal people who have quit for 8 months already can run around willy nilly going to bars and wherever else it is that people are even allowed to smoke anymore (awesome that I am no longer sure). In truth, I've told all of y'all before that my dear friend J (the one who told me about Chantix) was able to visit the bars the very night he quit, just jumped in with both feet how he does, and he's *still* not even had an oops, even if I did back in October. He's got to be coming up on a year. He's bold like that. Again, I say, different people, different paths, even where quitting smoking is concerned, hell, especially where quitting smoking is concerned. It's such an individual and personal thing saying goodbye to an old poisonous friend.
Why am I all wound up about this (again)? Well, back in August the Chantix GetQuit folks said something about taking a risk and being in smoky situations, and I went a little batshit about it in this post (and got some backing, too!) because it made no sense to me to deliberately seek out smoky places just to prove some point to myself. Having a legitimate reason to be in a place where there also happens to be smoking is one thing; seeking it out *because* it is smoky and time to take that risk really isn't the best thing for someone like me. Then, in November, I posted about feeling fragile and sort of revisited this whole smoky situation thing with my thoughts still intact about not thinking it was quite the right thing for me. There are a few reasons we wound up not taking our annual trip to Reno this February, and one of them was both of us being concerned that after a few days I'd either be going nuts or smoking. I mean, a few hours is one thing, but days? Perhaps we still would have gone, and perhaps (likely even) I would not have smoked, but I'm almost relieved that other factors made it so that we didn't go.
All that, and then today when I was invited to log into my GetQuit program thingy (about once a week now, I think?), it was talking about "Testing Your Past Triggers" and saying it was "time to take a peek outside of your safety zone."
To which I thought, nope, no thank you. I mean, true, while in Chicago I did wind up for a few hours in a smoky place because that's just where we were all going, but on my own, a smoky place would be my last choice unless there was a really big endless free latte with my name on it inside, and even then, it still just doesn't seem appealing (wow, progress). If I'm going to smell like an ashtray and inhale poison from the air anyway, I'd just as soon be enjoying and smoking my own favorite brand of cigarette myself. This is just how I am, which is why I'm better off doing as I am still mostly staying away from smoky places as much as possible while others do just fine.
If you are curious and don't mind me ruining the surprise if you haven't gotten to this topic yet in the program, here's the whole thing from the GetQuit site:
This Week’s Topic: Testing Your Past Triggers.
Hopefully, you’ve been smoke-free for many months. Now it’s time to take a peek outside of your safety zone.
Did you avoid people you knew would offer you a smoke? Some of them could be people you want to spend time with. Suppose there’s an upcoming event where you’ll see them. Maybe you love to hear live music, but the only place to do that in your area is at a bar that allows smoking.
Whatever your triggers are, make sure you are comfortable going back into that environment. Don’t try more than one at a time, and proceed with caution. Not 3 or 4 of your major triggers. Just try 1.
The secret to surviving any trigger as a nonsmoker is to be prepared. Think about the situation and what it was that made you want to smoke a cigarette. Then remind yourself that you’ve quit and you plan to stay that way. You’ve made the commitment to break free from smoking for good, and there’s no room in your life for cigarettes.
The best thing to do when an unexpected trigger occurs is to go back to what worked before. Here are some things that could help:
* Remove yourself from the situation.
* Call a Support Buddy.
* Use your Coping Skills, Craving Stoppers and Quit Strategies.
* Call the GETQUIT™ Cravings Hotline at 1-877-CHANTIX (242-6849) from 8AM - midnight Eastern Time, 7 days a week.
* Think about Your Inspiration and reasons to quit.
For just about every former smoker, lighting up even one cigarette is not an option. In almost every case, it can lead to smoking more. Did this give you a lot to think about?