By Elizabeth Hanson Hoffman
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Extra resources for Recovery From Smoking: Quitting With the 12 Step Process - Revised Second Edition
______ help others in their recovery? ______ feel content in my abstinence? When I stopped and experienced withdrawal, I was surprised. It was not worth all the dread I suffered thinking about it. Rather, the odds indicate that this is not a simple job and that preparation is needed. The next chapter talks about how to handle those feelings so that withdrawal can pass quickly and our recovery can progress uninterrupted by relapse. Stopping and staying stopped keeps us from moving in and out of withdrawal.
Selfimage is enhanced as abstinence becomes a reality. Twenty minutes after the last cigarette, the acute effects of increased blood pressure, pulse rate, and body temperature are eliminated. Naturally there are several longterm benefits as well. Within ten to fifteen years, as exsmokers, our risk is comparable to someone who never smoked. Our risk of heart attack starts to decline after only one year of abstinence! Page 38 Our risk of lung cancer gradually declines, until ten to fifteen years after stopping we are no more likely than the neversmoker to get lung cancer.
But you can change what you do in response to that craving. It provides pleasant distraction and a chance to "stop and smell the roses" as a stressreduction technique. When strong feelings surfaced, I learned to cope with them (using the methods I describe in this book) instead of smoking. Relapse starts before a cigarette goes into our mouth. It's a good reminder to avoid relapse. Learning to live and let live is a challenge. It's hard to accept that things will not always go as we wish.