Rob’s journey: I won’t let a slip-up get me down

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Rob has a slip-up after three weeks without cigarettes. Find out what’s next for Rob’s quit plans.

Three weeks.

I didn’t have a smoke or buy a packet for three whole weeks. It might not sound like much, but it’s the first time in 30 years that I had done that.

And boy, did I feel a difference! I felt like I was coughing less.1 I was starting to taste food and drink better.1 I really felt at the top of my game. I was in control.

So, when I was catching up with my mates for a beer, I thought I’d be alright joining them out for just one smoke.

What harm could one do?

I know people who aren’t smokers, but on the rare occasion they’ll have one and they don’t get hooked. One is all they ever need.

I thought I could be one of those people.

But that was a big mistake.

I didn’t stop at just one smoke that night. And before I knew it, the next day I had smoked a whole packet.

I feel disappointed in myself. I feel like I’ve let myself and my family down.

Despite my slip-up, Bronti and the rest of the family have all been really good and supportive. They’ve been quite wary about what they say to me. They don’t put me down and they don’t make me feel bad.

Because of this, I find that I am smoking much less around my family. They’re doing the right thing by me. So, I’m motivated to do the right thing by them.

I’m not going to let this slip-up get me down. I’m determined to quit. So, I’ve started planning again.

Step 1. I’m cutting down to quit

I make the effort to not have a cigarette after dinner anymore. Once dinner is done, that’s it for the night. It’s only a little change but it’s massive for me.

Step 2. I’m changing the way I think about smokes

The time I spend smoking is time I lose from my family. If I go out the back for a smoke, that’s 5 minutes away from my family. It might not sound like a lot. But if I smoke 30 a day, that’s 2.5 hours away from my kids.

If you calculate that over a week or a year, it’s huge!

Life’s too short to waste it on smoking.

Step 3. I’m conscious of triggers

Now, when I catch up with my mates for a beer, I consciously don’t have a smoke in my hand. Whenever I feel like a smoke, I push it back a few minutes. I talk to myself and remind myself I don’t need one. I also distract myself until my cravings pass. Those small, quick wins give me the motivation I need to keep going.

Step 4. I’m going to see a doctor

I’ve made the decision to go see my doctor and get some extra support.

I’m a bit nervous about it. I don’t think that my doctor is going to jump down my throat, but I’m still worried about what the doctor might say.

I know I’ve got a better chance of quitting successfully with the support of my doctor.3 We can develop a quit plan that’s best for me.

I have nothing to lose, so watch this space!

Don’t beat yourself up over a slip-up

Trying to quit smoking isn’t easy and we all make the occasional mistake. Here’s how to help get back on track after a slip-up:

  • Be proud of your achievement. For most people, it takes more than one attempt to quit successfully.2 Acknowledge your slip-up, and restart quitting straight away.
  • Avoid triggers. Identify situations or behaviours that you associate with smoking – like having a beer with your mates. It's important to be aware of triggers and to avoid them for your next quit attempt!
  • Talk to your doctor. You're up to 4x more likely to succeed in quitting with the help of a healthcare professional compared to quitting unaided.3

Read more

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