Okay guys; I must come clean. I went out tonight with some friends and had a great time. After numerous pitchers of beer and a couple of shots, I finally had my first cigarette since i quit a few weeks ago.

I can't explain the craving that came over me. It was unbelievable. I was wearing my nicotine patch but I still had the urge to smoke.

I had 1 cigarette. Usually, while out drinking, I will go through at least a half pack (10 cigarettes). I had my one cigarette and I was done. Even after consuming a large amount of alcohol, I only had one cigarette.

I am disappointed in myself on one hand. On the other hand, I am still proud of myself for only smoking just one. I could have purchased an entire pack but just having one was enough to curb the nagging desire to have a smoke.

Am I a failure? Please, let me know what you think. Did I totally screw up?

2/1/2009: Thanks everyone for the comments and words of encouragement. It's probably not a good idea to blog after you've had a few drinks. :-)

23 comments

  1. Miss Thrifty // January 31, 2009 at 7:47 AM  

    Oh no! Did you screw up? Yes and no. I'm not going to beat about the bush (said refusal a side-affect of coming from the same country as Simon Cowell): it's a setback. If you can't go for a drink with friends without smoking a ciggie, you haven't given up. So if you want to be really hardcore, you should set your give-up clock back to Day 1.

    On the bright side, you have been doing BRILLIANTLY to date. The great thing, even though you sneaked a cig, you aren't about to throw your hands up in the air and wave goodbye to your giving up plans. You are still dead set on reaching your goal.

    Going out with friends and drinking = hardest times, when you are giving up smoking. If it comes to it, stick to non-alcoholic drinks when you go out. The craving comes when you start boozing.

  2. Brooke S. Rochon // January 31, 2009 at 9:17 AM  

    In my opinion you did just fine. It is normal to desire it so much that you have to test yourself. I think that by having the one and then no more, you are showing yourself that while you gave in to temptation you are much stronger than you were a few weeks ago. Quitting doing something like smoking is such a personal journey that to judge someone for one little cigarette is unfair. You will beat yourself up enough for it that you don't need anyone else to do it for you. Just try to remember how guilty you feel the next time you feel the urge to do that and maybe that will be enough to stop you. :)

  3. brainy // January 31, 2009 at 9:37 AM  

    Booooooo!

    Sorry... You failed, man...

    It's that simple.

    But the good thing, based on your posting, is that you already know that -- so don't do it again! :0)

    Good luck!

  4. dreamfool // January 31, 2009 at 9:47 AM  

    I think you've done great so far...just keep it up, you have our support!!

  5. SoNn // January 31, 2009 at 10:13 AM  

    Aww that's too bad. I'm over a month removed from the habit now. If I can quit, I know you can, too.

  6. Becca // January 31, 2009 at 10:49 AM  

    I totally understand where you are right now. I quit 6 years ago and still get the temptation to smoke from time to time, especially when I've been drinking. One strategy I have adopted is to let my smoking friends know that I will be upset with myself the next morning if I smoke drunk so they should not allow me to buy or borrow cigarettes. Maybe this will work for you as well?
    Quitting smoking is a long process. It doesn't happen overnight. Its nothing to beat yourself up over but maybe you should take some precautions when you know you might be in a situation in which you will be tempted to smoke. The faster you recover from your small indiscretion the richer and healthier you will be! Best of luck.

  7. Jeff - Stretchydollar // January 31, 2009 at 11:09 AM  

    When I'm trying to overcome something or change something about myself and it doesn't go exactly the way I would have hoped, I always think of that quote that Bruce Wayne's dad keeps saying in Batman Begins: "Why do we fall down, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up." You can do it - we're rooting for you!

  8. Skaja // January 31, 2009 at 11:13 AM  

    On one hand, yes, you failed. On the other....well, when you're confronted with this choice again [should you go out drinking], you can remember how you felt before.

    A friend of mine quit smoking and felt *really* bad about lapsing. However, when she thought about it, she realized that the circumstances surrounding the relapse made sense, and the next time that she had a craving, she compared it to how she felt the previous time.

    As with breaking all bad habits, we're bound to have setbacks. Be disappointed in yourself, only to the point of reminding yourself of it the next time a craving shows up. Then ask yourself if the disappointment is worth it.

  9. Yana // January 31, 2009 at 11:16 AM  

    I thought smoking would make you immediately sick if you did so with a patch on.

    Whether you consider yourself a failure is up to you. It is possible for a non-smoker to have a cigarette, and being a non-smoker is what you want to be. You want to end your habituation. It's a real accomplishment, if that is what you want to do.

  10. lulugal11 // January 31, 2009 at 11:26 AM  

    You fell off the wagon...but you realized your mistake and you can make up for it.

    It is not like you went and smoked a WHOLE carton of cigarettes!!

    Smoking is very addictive and it is hard for some people to quit. Just get back on the wagon and leave the cigarettes behind. Every time you fall...shake off the dust and start again.

    Everyone makes mistakes...so just learn from yours.

    We still love ya!!!!

  11. Amanda // January 31, 2009 at 2:05 PM  

    Absolutely - any sort of booze sets off cravings like you can't imagine---well, er, now you can. Don't give up though. Do consider going boozeless for at least 3 months -- yea, I know long time, but when I've quit that's the strategy that worked for me. Or, try for over 1 month & bring nic. gum or something w/ you instead of the nic patch. Good luck -- don't give up!

  12. Shari Thomas // January 31, 2009 at 2:09 PM  

    I quit smoking in 1977 after smoking for nearly 15 years.

    One of the hardest things for me to do was to have a drink and not smoke, so I quit going to my local haunts.

    About three years later, at my cousin's house for "Happy Hour" the temptation to smoke overcame me. I lit the cigarette, a Tareynton, and the smoke burned my throat so bad, and I got so light-headed, I never again touched a cigarette.

    That doesn't mean I don't have cravings. I just remember the really bad feeling I got.

    Now, after 30+ years, I share a home with a smoker and often find it difficult to spend much time in her smoke-filled area, even though I still experience cravings from time to time.

    You didn't fail. It's part of your learning experience. You had one cig and no more.

    In the future, you have an experience to build on. I really like the idea that "friends don't let drunk friends smoke... especially when they're trying to quit."

    You've still got my support!

  13. Kacie // January 31, 2009 at 9:20 PM  

    Maybe you can hang out with your friends in non-smoking restaurants, if they have some in your area. That might make it a little harder to light up, if you have to go outside to do it.

  14. Anonymous // February 1, 2009 at 4:17 AM  

    Did you fail? No, you lapsed. There is a difference. I've heard the saying, "If you *lapse*, don't *collapse*. I think you've successfully avoided the collapse; thus, you have not failed.

    Congratulations on avoiding approximately 99.5% of your (former) ration of cigs for the past 17 days!

  15. Emily // February 1, 2009 at 7:31 AM  

    No, you had a slip as they call it. Not even a relapse! You didn't screw up, you had one and decided to go back to smoke free. Good for you. Any habit is difficult to change. I've had 2 since quitting on 12.24. I could have kept going both times, I'm sure but I chose not to. It's what you do with the slip/relapse that matters. So, that's my bias opinion.

  16. Elissa // February 1, 2009 at 9:56 AM  

    If someone is dieting and has a slice of cake at their daughter's birthday... should they give up and never try to loose weight?

    If someone is trying to get out of credit card debt and slips up and uses a credit card to pay for something... should they stop trying, have the thousands they may've paid off allready, the strides they've maken be discounted because of one slip?

    If a scientist discovers a cure for a symptom but hasn't yet cured the disease... should they give up? Should they trash the symptom relief?

    Personally I quit smoking daily long ago but still had the occasional 'social' cig with beers/freinds for a long time, sometimes going a long time between slips, its not good for you but its better than daily smoking or heavy smoking.

    Now that you know where a weakness lies (the common alch weakness) you can remember that an work on that. The only failure comes if you think you've failed and give up.

  17. Anonymous // February 1, 2009 at 12:07 PM  

    Hey I'm a 53 year old who has quit many times for a period of a few weeks to 14 months. I always started back up when drinking. Just a couple then gradually the pack and a half a day comes back. Never tell yourself you'll just smoke a couple when you're drinking. You'll just start drinking more. Good Luck though.

  18. Elizabeth // February 1, 2009 at 12:23 PM  

    You are human and definitely not the first person ever to slip. You messed up, but get over it and move on. As a non-smoker I don't understand the appeal, but I am very proud of your efforts so far. Keep up the good work!

  19. twc // February 1, 2009 at 11:28 PM  

    I agree, you just slipped. And though that one cig delayed your being nicotine-free, what you are striving to do is hard, therefore, admirable.

    Maybe this post from My Bad Habits will be useful in your quest: http://my-bad-habits.blogspot.com/2009/01/you-are-not-helpless-pick-your.html

  20. Mr. GoTo // February 2, 2009 at 12:04 AM  

    Stop patting yourself on the back. Smoking is an addiction. Drinking is a smoking trigger. Drinking with others who smoke is the worst thing you can do.

    Accept your failure and start again. You can do it as long as you don't rationalize "it was only one."

  21. Wes // February 2, 2009 at 10:32 AM  

    I think it's important to identify:
    1) You did mess up.
    2) You need to move on.

    If you're going to beat yourself over it, it's counter-productive. But it's good to realize that giving in to failure is easier than you thought. Just pick yourself up, know where the temptation is, and avoid crossing that line.

  22. J. Money // February 7, 2009 at 2:03 PM  

    I can't believe it - YOU'RE HUMAN!!! haha...i think that is totally fine. sure you gave in for a second, but only 1 after all that time?? incredible.

    I think the most important thing here is to keep being honest with yourself and doing your *best*. that's all we can do in life baby!

  23. On the Money // February 8, 2009 at 1:54 PM  

    One day at a time ... It's a surprisingly easy addiction to break - and I recommend Allan Carr's "The Easy Way to Stop Smoking" - but it is all to easy to lapse. Once an addict .... I'm afraid. Good luck with it.
    8-)