I often hear from people who are quitting and who try to hide away from anything related to smoking. From one day to the next they cannot stand the sight or smell of cigarettes, ashtrays, or of other people who smoke. They avoid places where smoking might happen. Cancel any outings where they might feel compelled to smoke. Decline party invitations. No more trips to the pub, coffee mornings with smoking friends are verboten, and even a walk down the street might cause an unexpected encounter with someone lighting up. Nowhere is safe. It’s better to stay locked up at home!
Suddenly the whole world has changed. Or has it? Not really. What has changed is that the person who is quitting has a changed their perception of the world. Cigarettes and ashtrays smell just like they did yesterday, people are still smoking, parties, pub outings and coffee mornings are still happening. The world will march on relentlessly, regardless of whether you smoke or not.
It is quite normal to feel anxious at first, and to avoid situations in which you might encounter smoking activity, particularly during the first few days of your quit. At some point, however, you need to come to the realization that the only thing different in the world is you. You have decided not to smoke, which is a great achievement and one that deserves recognition. Slowly but surely you need to accept that smoking is not going away anytime soon and that it is better to deal with the situation rather than trying to hide away from it. It will make quitting a whole lot easier.