"I got through New Year's Eve smoke free...Boy do I deserve a cigarette for that!
This is a kind of strange logic that ex-smokers often feel when getting through a specific event that they had worried would be difficult without a cigarette. Often actually facing such events is no big deal, thoughts for cigarettes are marginal at best. But when the event is over, all of a sudden the ex-smoker drops his or her guard and thinks that vigilance is no longer an issue. Then when a thought is triggered the person can really get caught off guard and the thought and subsequent can become much more exaggerated than the person is expecting or ready for. Getting though a special holiday, gathering, meeting, test, wedding, funeral, flight, movie or a host of other non day to day events can be tricky for a person who has not kept himself or herself mentally prepared. That is the key to keep the risk of relapse minimized when facing new situations--being mentally prepared by keeping ones reasons for quitting strong and reasons for wanting to stay smoke free reinforced.
The mindset that should be used to get through holidays is kind of the same mindset that a person should use when getting through quit milestones. Getting through a week or a month, or a year or a decade is great. But getting though today, whether it is your first day or you thousandth day is the greatest accomplishment of all when it comes to addiction. For if you have a friend who had been totally smoke free for the previous few decades, but happened to have blown his or her quit last night--today is really a lousy day for him or her in regards to nicotine addiction. For all practical purposes, you are much further along and secure in your quit than this person is--even if today is only your second or third day being nicotine free.
So congratulations on getting through your first New Year's Eve smoke free. More important now though is staying resolute in your resolve to get through today. To be able to keep celebrating all holidays smoke free, as well as all weekdays and weekends for the rest of your life is as simple now as just remembering to never take another puff!
P.S. In case this looks familiar, I used the same concept last week at Christmas and then the month before at Thanksgiving. If you are here next month around Valentines day you will likely see a post, "I got through Valentine's Day smoke free...Boy do I deserve a cigarette for that!" Sure it seems redundant but the same principle applies to all holidays and events and I am just trying to make the titles seem more timely.
Thanks Joel, but I think I'll pass on that celebratory cigarette. After all, this was my first smoke-free New Year's Eve in about 30 years........I think I'll go for 31!!! YESSSSS!!!!!
Laura in KY
10m 1w 2d 21:00 smoke-free, 12,552 cigs not smoked, $941.40 saved, 1m 1w 6d 14:00 life saved