My life as a smoker
I started smoking when I was 13. Since quitting, I've analysed in depth why I started and I think it was a combination of wanting my dad's attention (he was a smoker) and also wanting to be closer to my Nan (also a smoker) who played a very important and stabilising role in my life. Until I was old enough to buy my own cigs, I used to steal them from my dad and get them off friends - sometimes even trading my lunch for two cigarettes!
Why and how I quit smoking
My six year old son told me that 'when I'm big like you Mom, I'm also going to smoke cigarettes'! His words made my blood run cold and I decided there and then that I didn't want to be responsible for creating another smoker. I tried five times to quit before I managed it, but each time I failed I knew that I was one step closer to quitting forever.
I joined this forum and took Zyban for the first three weeks. I had intended to stay on them for 6 months, but ran out and my pharmacy didn't have any more so I did without them. Once I knew I could manage drug free, I never bought any again.
I survived on chewing gum, cold water and deep breathing, but most importantly I didn't run from my cravings. When one struck I would go outside to where I used to smoke, take three or four really deep breaths and talk myself through my reasons for quitting. By the time I'd done all that, the craving had subsided.
I imagined nicotine addiction to be a monster (like Gollum from Lord of the Rings) living inside me. When I quit I put him in a cage and every time I craved a cigarette I imagined him rattling his cage and screaming out to me. Over time his rattling decreased and now he is still inside me, but in a deep deep sleep. I will not be complacent, though. He could wake up at any time so I'm always vigilant and aware of his presence.
- Take one day at a time.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Learn to breathe deeply.
- Make a 'why I'm quitting' list and keep it with you.
- Start to exercise regularly to measure your fitness improvement.
- Tell your friends and family and ask for support.
- Use this forum!
- Face your cravings, don't run from them.
- BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.