I've been smoke free for 1 year 4 days 21 hours 7 minutes 33 seconds. I have NOT smoked 9247 cigarettes. 9/27/03 9:07:33 PM
I can't believe I quit a year ago. It doesn't seem like that long. And it doesn't seem like quitting was that difficult, until I go back and read through what I wrote about how I felt when I started! It does go to show you that the uglies don't last forever!
Here's how quitting tobacco went for me:
First day, first week, first month: I got sick, but that made it easier, because I had so much chest congestion that the mere thought of smoking was uncomfortable. Then I got hives, and the third week was very difficult. I used nicotine gum, cinnamon sticks, deep breathing, lots of hot tea, and my friends here to make it through. I found that those things worked well to help me cope with the chest tightening feeling of the urges to smoke. For the next several months, whenever I craved smoking, I turned to those things, because they comforted me. I also rewarded myself frequently with treats that smelled fabulous.
I made my list
of those things I hated about smoking to keep me in line, and it was maintenance after month four.
I slowly replaced my nicotine gum with regular gum. When I was completely out of nic gum during month four, it was hard for a couple of days, but eased up quickly. I was afraid of being nicotine free, but it turned out to be a relief! I had been keeping myself in a state of nicotine withdrawal by continually giving myself that little bit of nicotine, so it turned out this freedom felt wonderful.
Life got much brighter after the fourth month. I kept a cinnamon stick in the car to fiddle with, because that's when I get fidgety and nervous, and I used to smoke constantly in the car. One day, I dropped that cinnamon stick. I kept forgetting to replace it, and after awhile, didn't feel the need for that either, although there is still a small straw in my glove compartment just in case I get nervous in traffic.
Six months passed, and I felt proud. Smoking urges were practically a thing of the past. Now, at one year, thoughts about smoking come and go every now and again, but they're not a big deal. The cravings are gone. The urges are gone. Every day I wake up and choose not to smoke, and it feels right. I don't have to consciously remind myself anymore. It's strange, sometimes at work, I'll go out with a friend while he or she smokes, and I'll think to myself, "I used to DO that." Gawd. I don't even remember what it feels like, really, nor do I want to. I just want to keep my list handy, in case I ever try to talk myself into thinking I used to like doing it.
The list saved me countless times in the early days. It reminded me when I needed to be reminded, how much I wanted and needed to quit. It is a very personal list, and I think that's why it helped me so much - it wasn't generic, it wasn't vague. It hit home, and still does.
For those of you who have trudged with me, and laughed with me, and helped me, I thank you. You helped me get my life back. I can breathe. I can exercise. I can smell. I can laugh without pain.
For those of you who are fresh into a quit and don't know what to expect, or can't seem to remain quit, hang in there. I promise it gets better. It took me several heartless attempts and two good ones to get this far. You prioritize quitting, come here often for support, and make sure you pamper yourself silly and talk yourself into a positive mindset about remaining quit.Because getting to this point is worth everything.
Love, Zoe(ZOEMAJIK)Smoke-free Since 9/23/02Zoe's List of Pros and Cons