If you have ever attempted to quit smoking, there is a good chance you’re familiar with the notion of quitter’s remorse. You may recognize it as the occasional feeling of regret we have over making the decision to quit smoking and cause ourselves to suffer the healing process.
It is a feeling that leads us to envy those care free smokers, happily feeding their addiction without a worry in the world.
The remorse will often come after recalling what it was like to NOT bear the struggle that comes with quitting smoking. It is a feeling that leads us to envy those care free smokers, happily feeding their addiction without a worry in the world and no commitment to live up to.
Quitter’s remorse, I would say, is one of the biggest influences for relapse outside of the chemical dependency to nicotine.
Because the junkie brain feeds off it. It uses our fear and our doubt against us. If unrecognized, quitter’s remorse can lead a quitter to forget just how utterly crap being an addict actually was.
So, how do we overcome it?
The first step is having a greater awareness. Being able to recognise your junkie brain and its remorse over quitting, enables you to actively fight against it, and in turn, overpower it. If you are mentally prepared when the junkie brain strikes, you can quickly rationalise your way to a different perspective.
Consider using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help achieve this.
Another angle of attack is to build your quit smoking campaign around a genuine desire to live a life free from nicotine addiction; rather than the avoidance of long term health consequences.
Learn as much as you can about your addiction! Once you understand it you can believe with confidence, all those feelings of remorse will quickly pass and eventually disappear. You will come to understand those feelings of loss or nagging regrets are completely influenced by the addiction and not your rational self.
In time you will become sympathetic toward smokers, rather than envious. You will see the addict before you see the smoker.
It also pays to remind yourself that smokers are almost always envious of ex smokers. Smokers often feel helplessly trapped by their addiction and hold little hope of quitting. I remember thinking that way as an addict.
At the end of the day, if you are in the middle of a quit campaign and find yourself feeling remorseful, ask yourself, which do you want to be;
hopeful or hopeless.