I had the last cigarette of my life at 11pm that night.
I said to myself, and to my husband: "I'm going to see if I can go without smoking tomorrow - I'm going to give this stuff a chance to work." At work, I let everyone know that I was going to give it a shot. My boss, an ex-smoker going on 10 years now said, "Just take it one day at a time. Don't think about tomorrow." Smoke Away not only detoxes, it helps get the nicotine out faster, and it has some sort of calming effect. I got through hell week pretty well. Uncomfortable at times, but I took the "emergency pellets" and took it one minute at a time. At that point, days seemed like too much of a milestone.
Smoke Away is a one week program. I had to change my thinking to "OK, let's see if I can do this on my own now." I drank one cup of Easy Now tea after the other. I cognitively sought out alternatives to smoking. Instead of smoking on my way home, I sang at the top of my lungs. Instead of going out for a smoke with a coworker, I'd go grab a coffee and chitchat for a bit, or take a real 15 minute break in the cafeteria. Instead of smoking after dinner, I'd read my email.
Then, at day 9, I got what I call "The Glue That Made It Stick." I found this site. On the front page that day was Cheryl's Story
. I froze on the words:"You think quitting smoking is hard, try having cancer."
I added my own spin..."You think quitting smoking is hard, try telling your kids you have cancer because of something you did to yourself."
I went to the forum
and read. I went to cognitivequitting.com
. I posted the thread "I did it". I posted my reasons to quit. I printed those and Cheryl's Story and kept them handy. I visited the forum every free second, and even the seconds that weren't so free. I found people who understood and people who could have a grand old time in the process. People who honestly care. So many stories, but the one thing we all have in common, whether we're in our 20's or 60's, whether we smoked socially, or forever and like a fiend. We are all addicts, and don't want to be.
My oldest son thinks I haven't smoked since my 19 month quit. He once saw the commercial with the Marlboro Man dying of cancer, bald and swollen in the hospital. He was haunted by that image, and clung to me saying: "I'm so glad you don't smoke anymore, Mom."
What a knife to my heart. I hid my smoking from my kids for that reason, and because I didn't want for him to think it was OK to smoke.
When it comes down to it, yeah, I quit for my kids, but mainly, I quit for me. My kids would live on. They'd miss me, but they'd live on. I quit so I can see them live! I have no health problems. I can rollerblade right alongside my son. I probably have several more years before I had
to quit, but I want to rollerblade alongside my grandchildren someday!
By quitting young, I hope and pray I have saved myself from years of health problems, and am rewarding myself with years of fun, good health, and freedom.
What is different this time? I am quitting cognitively. I am aware of my "junkie thinking"
. I learned that the unconscious part of me that gets me to work safely when I'm not paying attention was controlling my automatic need to smoke. I remain aware that I was still susceptible at 19 months and like a warrior, am not letting my guard down for a minute for fear of a sneak attack from the NICO demon.(Oh my gosh, that word was in my spell checker. See?? He's everywhere!)
My name is Kerri. I'm 31 years old, and I am a nicotine addict who has been free from cigarettes for exactly 2 months.
More from Kerri:5 Months and a SockKerri's 6 Month MilestoneKerri's One Year MilestoneQuit Smoking While You're YoungKerri's 2 Year Smoke Free MilestoneLast Updated: 2-5-2006