"I got through the 4th of July smoke free...Boy do I deserve a cigarette...

Joel
Joel

July 5th, 2005, 10:47 pm #1

"I got through the 4th of July Weekend 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 4th of July Holiday Weekend (for those of you who celebrate the 4th of July Weekend) 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!

Joel

P.S. In case this looks familiar, I used the same concept at Christmas and then the month before at Thanksgiving. 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.
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marty (gold)
marty (gold)

July 5th, 2005, 11:16 pm #2

I love that headline, which I remember from those other "special event" threads The sentiment is so accurate, it makes me smile wryly every time I see it.

Yes, we really did once think just like that ! I have to admit that my memories of smoking get hazier as the months go by, but if there's one aspect of my smoking that I could never understand it was the way that I used to reward myself by smoking a cigarette.

What is that ? I mean, I used to read Joel's articles about smoking under stress, smoking together with alcohol consumption, smoking to relieve withdrawal after a flight, smoking in trigger situations ... all of that. But I still don't understand how my mind ever got so twisted around that it used to think of a cigarette as a reward, even after I finally accepted how much harm each cigarette was doing to me.

But there's no doubt that it was true.

Thankfully, I no longer have to worry about why I used to do all that. All I need to know is that I'm a permanent ex-smoker, and I'll stay that way for as long as I continue to NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF.

I can do that because I've read all Joel's articles, and I know he's right.
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johnny L irish
johnny L irish

July 6th, 2005, 5:54 am #3


Thanks Joel -

That is our greatest reward, isn't it? On any occasion -- at any time of the day or night, there's no greater gift than staying nicotine-free.

johnny

507 days as the flies

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Kristen Goldx3
Kristen Goldx3

December 31st, 2005, 1:15 am #4

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Joel
Joel

December 31st, 2005, 2:40 am #5

Hello Kristen:

We actually have a string titled I got through New Year without smoking...Boy do I deserve a cigarette for that!.

I also made strings for a few other holidays, Thanksgiviving, this one for the 4th of July, and I think a few others.

"I got through Thanksgiving smoke free...Boy do I deserve a cigarette for that!

The same principles apply to them all. Feel free to create your own string for any holiday you want. Just change the title and the text in the last paragraph to fit the holiday.

For the record, you could make an article for every day of the year and they will all be equally worth celebrating for every day is a victory when you get through it with your commitment intact to never take another puff.

Joel

Joel
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johnnynonic
johnnynonic

January 16th, 2006, 8:18 pm #6

For Stephen

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.
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Joel
Joel

September 2nd, 2008, 7:17 pm #7

For those just passing through Labor Day holiday.
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