Quit To Fit Week 9: Don't look back in anger
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Keep pushing on.
It's week nine of #QuitToFit and you can officially call yourself a non-smoker. How does it feel? Hopefully it feels great. However, we know that you might not always feel that way.
There may be be times that you will look back and miss certain things about your smoking life, whether it's spending all your time with your old smoking crew, or having that immediate rush of relief with a cigarette (even though the only reason you needed the relief was because of the addiction), or maybe it's those little breaks you took during work.
You could even find yourself wishing you could go back to how things were. You might think things were easy when you could just grab a smoke to feel better, or take a five minute cigarette "breather" when you felt overwhelmed.
Of course there were a few good aspects to the smoking life that you'll remember but always keep in mind that memory often filters out the badness. A lot of the time what you remember isn't the reality.
Nostalgia makes us filter out the negative memories so that what we are left with are wonderful memories and a delusion that we felt perfectly happy in the past. That's great for a lot of life - we can think back on our childhood with fondness without being bogged down by the remembrance of school stress or peer pressure or puberty awkwardness. However, it can be a problem when it comes to harmful things like smoking.
Addiction expert and life coach, Raul Aparici, talks about nostalgia for the smoking days and looks at ways to deal with it.
"Although there are indisputable benefits to having quit, there may be a little nagging feeling inside you that perhaps things weren't so bad back then. We tend to forget the bad stuff and remember fondly the good times we had.
"Now that you feel in charge, maybe it's OK to smoke socially again? To reconnect with some of the old crew we left behind? It may feel like a convincing argument but it's a trap! Everything looks better through the eyes of nostalgia but the truth is nobody wants you bringing back the yellow nails, the smelly hair and the psychological dependence you had.
"Bring some compassion and understanding for the old you; you can understand why you made certain choices but the truth is you are so much better off without the smokes. Self-compassion is a key part of the process and something that will serve you going forward. The past is always with us; own your past as a smoker and use that knowledge to help and understand those around you who are looking to quit. You've become a role model; own it!"
You managed to quit smoking, and now you can help others do it too. Give yourself that responsibility. Sometimes we need a bit of responsibility to keep us grounded. It reminds us that something important is hanging on our decision.
Just think - because of your achievement, soon someone else could be feeling just as great as you do.
Brought to you by NiQuitin.
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