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Clearly we don't correct years of lung damage (Fear of Bad Health vs. Hope of Good HealthBad or even failing health is often a powerful motivator in causing the actively feeding nicotine addict to contemplate engaging in nicotine dependency recovery but the amazing ability of the body to heal and mend itself, at least those bodily functions most visible to us (like smell, taste, improved breathing, and an obviously slower heart rate), can quickly leave the once wheezing quitter feeling that their primary concern was vastly overblown. When it comes to relapse it can almost feel like your crutch (fear of failing health) has been pulled out from beneath you as healing causes your primary motivation to seem to gradually evaporate before your very eyes.
Could Articles from Joel's Library Form a Crutch?As Joel points out above, not only can Freedom become a crutch that could be quickly removed by storm, server down time, a computer crash or finances, but written words printed upon paper can be formed into a crutch that if leaned upon too heavily and unavailable at a moment of challenge could threaten recovery.
A crutch is any activity, person, place or thing that you tie to success in quitting and lean upon so heavily that if suddenly removed or unavailable could increase the risk or likelihood of relapse.
If you should forget to carry your list of reasons with you one day, or your favorite Joel article isn't in your pocket or purse when that next challenge strikes, you'll do just fine so long as you maintain a bit of perspective (a subconscious crave episode will last less than three minutes but be sure and look at a clock as recovery time distortion can make the minutes feel like hours) and remember that it is impossible to lose so long as no nicotine finds its way into your bloodstream. No nicotine just one challenge, hour and day at a time ... Never Take Another Puff! John (Gold x5)
Yes, even exercise can be a crutchI received the below email on April 9, 2005 and Heather consented to my sharing it here at Freedom.
I started smoking at age 15, and quit finally at 27 to run a marathon. After the marathon, I had some injuries and had to stop working out. I also started smoking again--Amazing how strong the devil is! I can't believe it, but I was a smoker again for another 3 years. Smokers always feel like outcasts, but I felt even more ashamed by my smoking, because see firsthand how devastating smoking is.My mom has been smoking for 30 years, and has COPD. She's so out of breath that sometimes it takes her nearly the whole day to even just comb her hair. She also has stools placed a few feet apart throughout her house. This is so she can stop, rest, and catch her breath every few steps when trying to walk from one end of the house to the other (it's a small house!). She's not even 60 years old. : (
Fed up, I quit cold turkey again, and often look at WhyQuit for encouragement. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you are doing here; I often refer friends who still smoke here for information and support.
If you are going to develop a crutch, make sure it is one which you can maintain for the rest of your life without any interruption. One that carries no risks and can be done anywhere, anytime. About the only crutch which comes close to meeting these criteria is breathing. The day you have to stop breathing, smoking will be of little concern. But until that day, to stay free from cigarettes all you need to do is - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!