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The 7 stages in the emotional rollercoaster of quitting smoking

There’ll be ups and downs, but it’s all worth it in the end.

QUITTING SMOKING CAN be tough, make no mistake, but it’s all ultimately worth it.

Once you’ve decided you want to quit for good, you’ve taken the first and most important step. In fact, lots of people find quitting is not the demon they might have imagined. But for many, what comes next can be an emotional rollercoaster.

1. The firm resolve

You start out on Day 1 with the best intentions in the whole world. You’re DEFINITELY gonna do this. Think of all the money you’ll save! This is going to be a piece of cake!

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2. Wavering willpower

The first stumbling block is your other habits. Have a fag with a pint? With a morning coffee? Do you really want to give up at all? This is where you are first tested.

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3. Constant questioning

“Are you giving up?” FOR THE MILLIONTH TIME: YES!

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4. The unexplained grumpiness

Irritability, then feeling bad for being so grouchy, then feeling grumpy about having to feel bad. Repeat.

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5. Temptation

Someone will offer you a cigarette outside a pub and your resolve to do this will be put to the true test. If you stay strong, you’ll feel elated.

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However,  if you crack under the pressure, you’ll begin to feel…

6. Guilt

Ah, a familiar feeling for the hardened smoker. Guilt. If you slip up and have a cigarette, you might feel consumed with guilt and like you’ve failed. But you haven’t! You can stop again any time you like. To err is human, but to forgive (yourself) is divine. Tomorrow is another day.

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7. The satisfaction

Are you a few days, weeks or months off the cigarettes? Then you’ll know the pride and satisfaction in telling people you’ve quit. Smug? Us? No, never.

Well, just a bit maybe.

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Whatever the stages you go through, keep the goal of living a healthier life without cigarettes firmly in sight.  Every time you try to quit, you get closer to quitting for good. So, if at first you don’t succeed…

Getting help can double your changes of success. Visit www.quit.ie for an online QUITplan, call the QUITline on 1850 201 203 and talk to a counsellor, visit the HSE’s You can QUIT Facebook page for support from some QUIT buddies, or talk to your GP or pharmacist. 

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