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Mary Ella’s Weekly Message
March 4, 2013
Avoiding Slips and Relapse
I once heard a wise man say “If you don’t want to slip, don’t go to slippery places.” Although that statement is rather simplistic, it’s true. We do have some control over the slippery places in our lives and we can often avoid them. However, if we are in stressful situations it can be easy to end up in a slippery place before we know it and find ourselves falling down. The key is knowing what those slippery places are and making plans to avoid them or cope with them.
A slip is different from relapse. Slipping usually entails a momentary lack of judgment when you revert back to the old behavior, like smoking a cigarette. Feelings after a slip tend to include guilt, shame, sorrow or anger with yourself. Relapse means you’ve gone back to the old lifestyle, completely leaving the smokefree path you were on before. One slip doesn’t mean relapse but remember that all relapse begins with one slip.
If you find yourself slipping, review the handout: What to Do if You Get Off Track. Try not to beat yourself up and try to get right back on the smokefree path. In other words, don’t let your hard work go up in smoke! (I know; bad pun, but I had to do it…) Reach out for help on the Message Boards, blog about it, name your feelings and be sure to talk with your buddy about it. Make a plan by using the Preventing Relapse handout.
There is no judgment in FFS Online about slipping or relapsing. Although everyone who passes through FFS Online’s virtual doors has the same goal, each individual’s path to quitting smoking is different. For some it takes multiple attempts to become smokefree. The good news is you’re in the right place because this program works—and it has worked for more than 1,000,000 Americans who have quit thanks to the American Lung Association’s Freedom From Smoking® program.
This week, do these things to stay on your smokefree path:
- Pull out your reasons for quitting and read them. Add to them and look at them often.
- Post to the Message Boards when you need help. At the same time, lend a helping, supportive hand to those who ask for help.
- Make a plan for stressful situations so that when you’re faced with one, you’re prepared to take positive action.
- Get some physical activity. Whether it’s taking a brisk walk, playing with the kids, shooting hoops with friends or riding a bike, get your body moving.
- Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
- Reward yourself for the hard work you’re doing!
I’ll see you on the Message Boards! :-) Mary Ella
Don’t forget: If you're in the Premium program and want help fast on the Message Boards, put "HELP NOW" in the subject line of your post. If you're looking to offer help, watch for those, "HELP NOW" posts and alert your other FFS Online buddies to offer some assistance as well.