At around five months into my quit I had a pretty significant breakthrough. I was able to see a predictable pattern emerge. For several days I would feel comfortable living my life as a non smoker, only to then encounter a handful of days full of cravings.
Of course, the cravings were nothing compared to those I had suffered in the early days. Still, relative to the more recent good days, they stood out like a sore thumb.
What had become obvious, was the fact most of my walls started on the days I had been working on “The Next Twenty,” blog. In writing “The Next Twenty,” I have had to recall periods of struggle and cravings throughout the quit process. This, combined with the fact that writing used be a major trigger, seemed to be what brought most of these walls on.
The upside, is that I have been more able to recognize the ebb and flow of my own healing process. As the weeks progressed, my days of writing became more productive and as each wall of cravings passed, my good days became better and in most cases, my bad days less severe.
Prior to quitting, I had read that many quits break around the six month mark and that I should be on guard as it is a high risk period. On approaching that mark, I felt great and couldn’t understand why people would fail at such a momentous point.
Then it dawned on me.
On hitting the six month mark I was beginning to get frustrated at the fact I was still getting these walls of craving. Despite the fact cravings would only last for one or two seconds, their mere presence annoyed me. The good days had become so good, even the slightest crave led to feelings of agitation. The on-again, off-again, nature to these walls had gotten real old. It had become easy to see why so many quits fail at around the six month mark.
Quitters simply get tired of their quit.
Thankfully, I had been in a position to recognize the risk and understood that so long as I pushed through, I would continue to heal and eventually be ok. A notion that continues to prove true.
As I write this, I am over nine months into my quit. Despite recalling the walls mentioned above, I haven’t craved. Nor do I feel any walls approaching. Now don’t get me wrong, I still get walls, just not as often.
In fact, I have recently overcome one of the most intense walls I have had in a long time, a wall influenced by perhaps one of my last great triggers.