Allow me to introduce myself: My name is Angel, I´m 65 years old. I am writing to you from Chile, where I was born (1940). I have worked as fisherman from 1958 until 2003, year in which, and due to an injury in my spinal column, I had to withdraw from the sea that so much I love.
In 1958 I started smoking and I never quit, except for a couple of times; when going fishing in open sea, and because of the flu. I remember to have thrown the cigarettes for the gunwale to the sea... and then, to arrive at the port, to run desperately to buying cigarettes and to smoke one after other non-stop. Therefore I figure that I must have smoked at least 500,000 cigarettes. What an atrocity!
Thanks to God, up to the moment I have no damages in my lungs. To change suddenly of being always in the sea, to have to be now on ground, it is something very difficult of getting accustomed - even more from having some limitations that I had left after the surgery in my spinal column. So in addition to spend more time with my grandchildren (2,4,6 and 8 years old), I devoted myself to something that always wanted to do: learn english.
Certain day of November 2004, wrapped in my habitual cloud of smoke of my cigarettes, I was sailing ( now in Internet) in search of another course of english on-line and without knowing how, I came to About.com and I subscribed in an English Course
- Prof. Kenneth Beare
. Also I noticed that there were other courses, like computing, health and several ones and inside these, one that called my attention: Smoking Cessation
I lit another cigarette and started reading, especially what some ex-smokers were saying about how they conquered so terrible a habit. Several cigarettes later and after reading about the methods that are used to quit smoking, I was wondering myself: Will not it be too late?!
smoked during 46 of my 64 years, and I know that I must stop smoking. Also my doctor already warned me that the sinusitis, the bronchitis
and my frequent colds stem largely from the cigarette. On the other hand I must accept the fact that I am not considered to be capable of quit smoking. A weak voice inside me was saying to me: Did the cigarette bring to you any benefit? Some satisfaction? Something of what you could feel proud?
Regrettably I had to answer NOT to everything.
It seems that "a long relation" was breaking after so many years, since the moment I subscribe to the course Quit Smoking 101
e-course, Quit Time
and Prepare to Quit
. Someone or a part of me was not very satisfied with my decision. On the following day I received the first lesson and read it, then the second one and also I read it.( also I was receiving the English Course). But my willpower was not so powerful as I had thought, since I left the others lessons in my e-mail box without reading them.
Meanwhile, I kept on smoking (improving my average:40 per day) and other persons were writing to the About.com forum
: My first month without smoking, my 7th month quit, my 2nd year quit (!) and so on.
And what about me? Very well, thanks.
By the early February 2005 I had read the whole course and all the reports of the quitters
- I believe that it is what more helped me to quit - so I chose the method which you in English call cold turkey
. I put myself on a date and on February 27 at 24:00 hours I extinguished my last cigarette. I remember to have smoked that day at least the double of the usual. As farewell, I hope so.
On February 28 I got up and I said to myself very seriously "I do not smoke". Then as usual I went to the kitchen to prepare some coffee. Coffee... Oh my God! Will I be able to support my first coffee without a cigarette after 46 years? Although it still seems to me impossible, yes
, I could do it. Everything that I read about the strategies
to face cravings for smoking, as for drinking a lot of water, always having some fruit to the hand, to breathe deeply, etc., they turned out to be very useful for me, especially during the first month of quit.
Since it was like to fight against a horde of demons that were attacking incessantly; as result of these battles, my bad mood increased. I was sleeping little and badly, and I felt very nervous and extremely irritable.
Thanks to my family for their support. This support is other important factor in the struggle for quit smoking. About the 6th month, as "the enemy" started to withdraw, everything was returning to the normality, even 4 kilograms that I put on weight.
Today, the cravings almost have disappeared, every time are less frequent and weaker. I still keep on receiving newsletter of Smoking Cessation
, and reading all the reports of my dear "quitters".
Ten months later,still it looks like to me a dream having achieved this exploit. I want to be grateful to all those that sharing their experiences have helped others as me. In the same way to about.com
, to the Prof. K. Beare and especially to you Ms. Martin. My deepest gratitude.
Yours Sincerely, Angel Ibañez.