However, as smokers, most of us spend years fostering a growing hatred for the addiction we're chained to. In that way, we are preparing for cessation without knowing it. What feels spur of the moment was actually years in the making.
I'd like to introduce Buddy. A member of the About.com Smoking Cessation support forum, Buddy recently celebrated a year smoke-free. His quit clicked solidly into place, as you'll see when you read his story.
If you're still smoking, grab some motivation from Buddy's story and get started on your own path to freedom. Smoking cessation is worth every bit of work you put into it...and so much more.
A big thanks to Buddy for sharing, and congratulations on a year smoke-free!
Well, I have done it. I have made it through my first year of being free from the enslavement of nicotine. My quit began quite by accident and was not planned. For me, that may be one reason I have thus far succeeded.
I woke up last June 22nd and did the usual, fixed the coffee and went out to the lanai, turned on the TV and proceeded to smoke 10 cigarettes in about 4 hours. At this point "something clicked" inside me. I decided to try and wait one hour before lighting another cigarette. No, I wasn't going to quit smoking. I enjoyed it too much. Heck, they had been my constant companion at least thirty times a day for 42 years. No, this was just a test to see if I could go an hour without lighting up. Well, it worked. I smoked one and decided to see if I could repeat the process and wait another hour. Again, it worked. That half pack lasted me the rest of the day until bedtime. Wow....
Next day I got up, grabbed a fresh pack of smokes out of my drawer, fixed the coffee and went out to the lanai and turned on the TV. I set the unopened pack next to me and again, "something clicked". I decided I would try and wait 15 minutes before opening the pack and smoking one. After that I decided to try and go another 15 minutes before opening the pack and smoking one. This went on for about six hours with the pack still remaining unopened.
About that time, I got a phone call from a neighbor who was at work. It seems his wife, who was at home and couldn't leave the house because the kids were napping, had run out of cigarettes. He knew I smoked menthol and asked if I would go over and lend her a couple until she could go out and buy a pack. I grabbed the still unopened pack and bought it over to her. I said "I'm going to give you this pack because I haven't smoked since last night". I told her I don't know what was going on, but that I had six unopened packs back in my drawer. I told her that maybe I had quit smoking but I wasn't sure.
Well, I somehow got through the day smoke-free. It wasn't fun, but I had done it. The next day I started cruising the internet and stumbled upon whyquit.com where I found a book called Freedom from Nicotine - The Journey Home by John R Polito. I also stumbled upon this smoking cessation forum. I started reading the book and joined the forum. The rest is history.
I decided to try and "overeducate" myself to the dangers of nicotine. The early days were hard, even unbearable at times. It got easier though as the minutes, hours and days passed.
Ten days into my quit, my son, who lives 2000 miles away became ill. So now, I needed to take a road trip, solo and smoke-free. I wasn't sure I could do this. I hadn't taken a trip without cigarettes in 42 years. The first 50 miles of that trip were darn near unbearable, but somehow I won the battle and made the round trip smoke-free.
The night before I left, my neighbor, who I had given the pack to ten days earlier came over to the house. I went to my dresser, grabbed the six unopened packs and gave them to her. I told her that "I couldn't give these to you earlier because I hadn't quit smoking". Now, ten days into my quit I finally decided that I had become an ex-smoker.
Without the help of all that I have come to know and deeply care for on this forum and reading,reading and reading some more about this evil, addicting drug, I never could have done it!
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. It really is a whole new world out there when we can get beyond the smoke screen. Stay Strong!