I'm a smoker. I have smoked on and off for the last 18 years. I have stopped smoking in the past but have not managed to stay on that wagon. The longest period I have gone without smoking is one year. There have been times when it seemed easy to quit, then there are times when just thinking about it makes me want to light up.
There are so many studies out there on the health effects of smoking, some of them so long and tedious that I feel the need to take a smoke break while reading them.
My mother had quadruple by-pass surgery 5 weeks ago. She's been smoking for longer than I've been alive. Now, she's been smoke free for 5 weeks. Yet, she's still struggling to quit. Having quit a number of times, nicotine withdrawal usually only lasts a week or so. The habit takes a bit longer. Her question is this, why do I get cravings for a cigarette at the oddest times? She doesn't crave one with her coffee, or while on the phone or in the car. Those are the times she would light up regularly in the past. Talking about smoking doesn't make her want to take a puff. She finds it easy to say no during stressful moments. Yet, sometimes this dark horse sneaks up on her. When she's not expecting it. When there's no stress, or past "trigger" that would alert her to the impending urge. What happens to us, who smoke, to our bodies, so that years later we may still get that urge to "flic the bic"?
Have you quit or are you struggling to kick the habit? Have you been quit for years and still get the urge? Can you help us? The last time I jumped on the bandwagon it seemed simple enough. I always quit cold-turkey, no patch, no gum, no other crutch to get addicted to. In February of 2007, I said no and for one entire year I said no over and over again. Then in March of 2008 I fell off the wagon, for no particular reason. Just picked it up again. Easy-peasy.
So is it psychological? Physiological? Does our brain make connections when we light up that first one? I've heard that addicts of hard drugs, some quit for years, still have urges as well. What is it about plant based drugs that make them so difficult to quit? Or is it just ol' Screwtape helping us down the easy road to destroying the Temple of The Holy Spirit that we are? Keeping us weak in mind and Spirit.
I want to help my mom, I want to quit again myself, for good this time. Got any advice? Not the party line advice. Real, honest "I've been there where you are" or "I am where you are" advice. Maybe we can help each other.