I've accumulated some haunting reminders of this truth from the archives. Keep in mind that these people are exceptions. Many never get that next chance.
There is no such thing as just one.
Bob (8 months, 1 week, 5 days)
This is my second quit and my LAST quit. My first quit was cold turkey also and lasted for 2 years. I truly thought that I would never smoke again (I could not stand being aroung cigarette smoke and thought it was nasty by this point) until one day I took ONE DRAG off a friends cigarette because I was bored and I wanted to remember what was so great about it. I dont know what I was thinking. No, actually I do...I thought that after 2 years of being nicotine free I was in control and I could just do it once while everyone else was doing it then go home and forget all about it. I was 100% sure that I could do it just once no problem but now here I am 4 years later. I learned a valuable lesson from that one drag (that led to a LOT more) at a HUGE price.
I have had one quit that lasted almost a year, but failed because I simply didn't realize how strong the addiction was, hopefully I'm smarter now.
After a year or so I was so confident that the battle was over that I left my support system behind...it was only a matter of months before I figured I could get away with "just one". (What a horrible joke that thought is!) Of course my addiction was renewed at full strength, nearly immediately.
Around April or May of last year I started bumming smokes from friends. I was going through a stressful divorce and I thought I could just have a quick smoke now and then and be done with it. I thought I could control it. Soon I was up to around two and a half packs a day.
When will I learn that I can't ever EVER have just one again? I am just so tired of beating myself up.
I quit then because I needed the money. I was spending about $100 per month on smokes and I knew I needed that cash for the house. Unfortunately, I started smoking a pipe about six years later. My friends were all smoking cigars and I didn't much like the smell of those, so I thought a pipe would be a good idea. I was wrong - it was a bad idea. It didn't take long before I was hooked again. I smoked the pipe until mid 2000.
Sometime after that I remember thinking I had overcome my addiction and that I could have ' just a puff' and no harm would come of it. I kept smoking for 7 years after that. I was crushed that I failed but I know now that ' one smoke' is the road to defeat.
I have quit all drugs and alcohol, and I know that one drink will lead me to destruction. But, with smoking, I couldn't see it that way, and kept thinking one puff would be ok. Then one day, I could see it so clear in my mind---smoking was slowly, quietly, taking my life away from me.
I made a big mistake the last time i quit because Itold myself it will be all right to start again if I quit for a long period. I know now that this was wrong and that I can never have another puff again.
Five months later... my junky thinking crept back into my head. I didnt recognize it at first, I figured I had beat this thing down... One won't hurt, It'll make the stress go away. Unfortunately I believed my Junky mind and reached for that first ciggarette. (stupid, stupid stupid) I learned 3 things that day 1) It did not magically make the stress go away as I had believed, 2) it tasted terrible, it was nasty and 3) as Joel and the rest of the freedom crew stress so often YOU CAN'T HAVE JUST ONE.
I broke the law of addiction. Big mistake. I was trapped again for six more months in a **** of poisoning.
I managed to stop for two months during the start of 2001, and then got complacent and decided to have "just one" with a beer.
I picked up a cigarette for a few moments of short lived pleasure and certain suicide. Picking up a cigarette is a death wish as far as I am concerned and honestly I don't want to go back there. I get very scared for myself... I can assure you I was not thinking logically. But then who is when they pick up a cigarette - after the education we get here?? It's got to be insanity.
Why did I relapse last spring? The "why" isn't really important because there never, ever is a good reason to go back to smoking. Let's just say I'm an idiot ..... and I forgot the Big Rule of Addiction .... Never Take Another Puff! It is soooooo true. And some of us just have to learn the hard way! For some dumb reason I had ONE cigarette, then didn't have any more .... until a month later! Then one 2 weeks later, than one a week later ........ awful! Do you see a pattern here and what was bound to happen? No one is immune, no matter what you think. And no matter how far you are into a quit.
One night,(Sept 14th), I came home from a home Interior party at my sisters house. It was midnight and I was tired. My husbands cigarettes were laying on the table. NO BIG DEAL, I told myself and started to go to bed. Then a thought came into my mind..."Hey, I'm here alone, I'm not addicted anymore, I can have one because it would be nice to have one right now....Not because I need one. I can have one and that will be it, I'm going to bed anyway and no one will ever know....I'll just take a few days off from freedom and post 72 hours later with no nicotine in my blood and be on my way.
Well...obviously it didn't work out that way because here I am, 4 1/2 months later.
In July of this year I turned Gold. 12 months of Freedom. Everything I was told here came true. No longer thinking about smoking, total comfort and vastly improved health. I threw it away and relapsed. One other thing is also true. You're one puff away from 2 packs a day. I very quickly returned to my old nicotine consumption level. Just like that.
I was repulsed by the smell of smoke for years. The at in Tahoe, at a casino for days on business, I became immune to the repulsion. I was stuck in smokiness for days, and eventually it didn't bother me.
"Hey, can I get one of those off you?"
I was back. I hid it from my family for a while, which kept my smoking limitted for a while, but how long can that last? I eventually came 'out'. Smoked like a chimney for about two years.
My first quit was cold turkey also and lasted for 2 years. I truly thought that I would never smoke again (I could not stand being around cigarette smoke and thought it was nasty by this point) until one day I took ONE DRAG off a friends cigarette because I was bored and I wanted to remember what was so great about it. I don't know what I was thinking. No, actually I do...I thought that after 2 years of being nicotine free I was in control and I could just do it once while everyone else was doing it then go home and forget all about it. I was 100% sure that I could do it just once no problem but now here I am 4 years later. I learned a valuable lesson from that one drag (that led to a LOT more) at a HUGE price.
I never took a puff for 13 years.
I remember that day in 1999 like it was yesterday. I was in Toronto on business having a drink with a good friend at a hotel bar. My friend smokes and after a couple of adult beverages I did something very stupid. I grabbed one of my friends cigarettes and lit it up. Two days later I was back home in Chicago hooked again after 13 years.
Tried twice to quit, made it both times to 21/2 months then got the fatal idea that i could smoke just one, well that ist puff hooked for the next 10 years.
This is not my first time quitting, but it is definitely my hardest. If there is one thing I NEED TO REMEMBER about my personal experience with relapse it is this: that Nicodemon may let you sneak away the first time BUT, if you take him back, he will sink his claws into you twice as deep as before and hang on for dear life. It is as if that spirit considers you his property because now, you are not a child who was tricked, you are an adult who chose.
I had smoked for about 15 years and then quit for 7. Everyone was so proud of me, it felt great. Well, I was stupid and TOOK ANOTHER PUFF five years ago and began my addiction all over again, only this time I had to be in hiding, how could I tell my family and friends that I had started up again?
I have learned the hard way that the laws of addiction apply to me, too. I can not have "just one" because I am a nicotine addict. Just one quickly became a pack a day.