151/365 – Smoking relapse

The cigarette I always enjoyed most during my years as a smoker was the summer one in the sun with a drink in hand. It completed the state of relaxation and it’s the only time now that I still crave to have one. Until I have a packet of Marlboro Lights at my disposal I’m never fully relaxed and occasionally I cave in to the craving. This normally has to do with my state of mind – if I’ve been extremely busy, stressed or upset about something, I’m much more likely to give in. Or if I am with someone who smokes. While I have been relaxed and happy on this holiday with my group of friends, one of the dream team smokes. Alongside the perfect conditions of lots of sun and lots of cervezas, I caved many times. 

Smoking and myasthenia

When I first learned about having myasthenia, I was encouraged to stop smoking by my consultant as it aggravates auto immune conditions. After a period of self destruction, I more or less did only occasionally giving in when I have had a drink. 

My friends mum, who is a pathologist, told me on this holiday that smoking is also thought to cause auto immune conditions. This was the first time I has heard it. So actually I may have myasthenia in part because of my years as a smoker. 

Why continue?

Like any addiction, it takes incredible strength of mind to quit. After Christmas I cut down the amount of sugar I was eating and managed to maintain this for several months because I wasn’t working and had plenty of time to plan what meals to eat and to research what sugar does to the body. Before I finished up work, I was incredibly busy and when I get into that state I find it hard to say no to the easy pick me up of sugary snacks. Cigarettes are the same for me. I need to have a clear reason in my mind, and the mental strength to reinforce it, if I am to say no to my cravings. While I haven’t been stressed on this holiday, there has been a residual amount left over from the weeks before I finished work. This meant I gave in again and again without any kind of fight. 

No more smoking 

While it would be unrealistic to say I will never smoke again, I don’t want to feel like a failure if I do, from today onwards I am going to try to fight back if my nicotine cravings kick in. To help with this, for the next few months, I’ll try to avoid being out for a drink with anyone that smokes. Thankfully that is very few people in my life. Avoiding putting myself in this situation should help initially. I’m also going to do some research about better ways of coping with stress and get back into my fitness regime when I get home. The fitter I am I find the less I want to smoke normally. Hopefully, the combination of these three things should stop any further relapses. 

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