I've Quit Smoking

I don't look big, or clever.
I don't look big, or clever.

So I've decided to quit smoking after something like 20 years of partaking in this life killing drug. I've wanted to quit for years but never quite had the motivation or drive to do so.

When you discuss this with people prior to quitting smoking they always remind you of the usual statements; "Do you want to quit?", "make sure you're doing it for the right reasons, yourself and no one else". The answer to the first question I'd have thought was obvious. I do want to quit, that's why I'm discussing quitting. The second answer, maybe not so clear. After all, if I had wanted to quit for myself I'd have done so years ago. But as many a hardened smoker such as myself will be aware of, doing it for myself generally isn't enough motivation.

So I am doing it for myself, but mainly because I have a family now and wish to stay fit and healthy for their sake as well as my own. That's where my real motivation comes into it. I don't like their comments about my smoking, so much so that I'd rather not smoke. And maybe then they could be proud of me instead.

So this is my story of quitting smoking, it's not going to tell you how to quit. Only you will know how to quit if you want to, or find ways to quit if you want to. Trust me, this isn't my first attempt at quitting. I do believe I have enough experience at quitting though to make some fairly informed decisions as to what will be the best way for me to quit. And not kill anyone in the process.

Some of the best advice I can ever give to anyone is not to smoke in the first place! Don't do it!

I've Quit - Day One

So this is it. I've quit. Today. I awoke this morning, rolled myself a cigarette and wandered outside where I sat and smoked it. Part way through I realised that today was the day I was quitting. I wasn't supposed to be smoking, my felt the guilt rip through my insides. I couldn't believe I was 10 minutes into my waking day of Day One of quitting and I'd already failed.

But I hadn't, I was having a dream this morning before I woke up. Quitting is obviously already playing on my mind, it's going to probably just be the first dream of many to come. It was incredibly realistic mind you and almost had me fooled. So I really awoke this morning and grabbed my nicotine mouthspray and the lozenges and have been slowly working my way through those. I've been out, and back home. I've napped and also tried to keep busy but right now there's no way of stopping the thought of cigarettes popping into my mind at an alarming rate.

So this is Day One of a battle which will probably last for the rest of my life. I've spoken to many people, some who quit over 20 years ago and still crave cigarettes on occasion. It's going to be tough and that single thought alone is quite daunting. But I do believe I'm better prepared than ever before for this battle.

So far so good, it's not far from the end of the first day and I've managed not to kill anyone. I've made one or two sniping comments this afternoon but hopefully they will understand that my concentration is somewhat short and my temper slightly unwound. Fortunately I'm not normally an angry person at all so my anger tends to display itself in grumpiness and by generally being awkward. I'm not in the mood for massive discussions though so I figured I would write some thoughts down here. It may be easier that way.

This is my home for the evening, no outside tonight.
This is my home for the evening, no outside tonight.

Day Two

Another day done. Thank you to all who have already posted to push me on towards non-smoking.

I figured I would vent a little now before bed. I've managed to keep myself pretty much busy all day, however, my brain has other ideas. It constantly tries to fool me into thinking that having a cigarette is a good idea. I've not liked smoking for a long time, but wasn't able to give up, and I partly knew why. Because my brain liked it, even if I didn't. I keep getting what appear to be completely natural urges to head outside and smoke, and it feels unnatural not to do so. Of course, it has been natural to do so for a long time now, but I'm convinced that this is it.

So today has been okay, apart from the headache, occasional dizziness and slight nausea, the shakes, the hot and cold sweats. I could go on, but I won't, I'll leave it as 'I've been uncomfortable' today. My major issue at the moment is my concentration. It keeps wandering which makes work very difficult. Fortunately I think everyone I know is being very understanding, mainly because I think everyone I know wants me to quit.

We're coming up to party season as well, which I've been dreading somewhat, but at least I have in my favour now that there are generally smoking bans in all indoor places, so I just have to stay indoors. Which is also a bonus because it's cold this time of year!

Right, well I'm off to sleep, I just spent the last 30 minutes attempting to find a clip from the Father Ted episode of 'Cigarettes And Alcohol and Roller Blading'. If you've never seen it I think they have the full version here if you have a YouTube account you can watch it (please bear in mind I'm not sure if this is only available in the UK or not), it's very good. But in any case, I'm probably going to dream of cigarettes!

Day Three

I'm a little late posting Day Three. I wasn't up to it last night, in fact I wasn't up to much at all. I'm generally too confused to concentrate on much at the moment. Work is difficult. Yesterday I had a problem to solve and some information to read to attempt a solution, I could do neither. I've put them both off till this morning in the hope that I'll be fresh enough to pick it up and run with it.

I don't normally play my PS3 much, but it's been a bit of a saviour this last few days, in the evenings of course, not at work! But it's helped me take my mind off certain things and without having to think too much. Which suits me down to the ground at the moment.

My body is certainly going through some changes though. I'm ashamed a little to say so (but I'm trying to be honest on this hub) but yesterday I began to smell somewhat. My body does not appear to be happy with me at the moment. I was aware that I had an odour yesterday but so much more when my partner commented on it on her return from work. Oh dear. So I'm coating myself with deodorant and aftershave before work today. And I'm definitely going to take some Paracetamol to work with me, my headache is not shifting at all and I think I may require some assistance - in the form of tablets - to help me through this.

It really is the afternoon I'm not looking forward to though when my mind starts to get tired, my brain aches, my mind wanders and I can't concentrate. Plus I tend to eat more. My partner has very kindly made me more for my lunch box today as I don't particularly feel any hungrier, but eating seems to keep my busy. It's probably not the best thing to do, but it's something, and it will do for now.

Day Seven

The first week completed, without a cigarette, for the first time in a long time. I've generally been okay, of course I've been suffering somewhat and my body appears to hate me at the moment, but it's all been going well.

Last night was the biggest test so far, we had our company Xmas party and there was quite a lot of free drinks on offer. Of course, I usually always have smoked when drinking so this was quite difficult. It was made easier by the smoking ban mind you, so the thought of going outside in the cold wasn't particularly appealing in any case. But I made it through the night without incident. It also helps that one of my work colleagues has also quit, a few days before myself, so we sort of have a deal. If either of us wants a cigarette then the other will do everything possible to put them off! This support has been fantastic, but in general all the support I've received has been amazing.

So I'm one week in, many many more weeks to go, but so far so good. At some point I know I'm going to have to start cutting down on the nicotine replacement therapies but I'm not thinking about that too much at the moment, and will worry about it a little more closer to the time. For now, I'm just taking things a day at a time, and hopefully before I know it I'll be taking things a week at a time.

Day 17

I intended to write more on Day 14. Especially so I could exclaim my happiness at being two weeks into quitting. But I've not been well, although not like the first week when I was suffering withdrawals from smoking, but a cold. I've not had a cold for a year or so, I've been quite resilient in bad weather to keep away from the majority of illness while all around me have fallen sick. But not this time. Is it because I've quit smoking and my body is revolting against me that perhaps my immune system is not 100% and therefore I've succumbed? I don't know. Perhaps someone out there does? In any case, I've had an awful cold, made all the more awful because I've had a few days annual leave to take and have spent quite a lot of it feeling sorry for myself and generally quite rubbish. I have tried to make the most of it though, especially as it's coming up to Christmas and as usual I'm quite excited about it.

But anyway, back to the quitting of smoking. It's been okay, tough but okay. The two weeks I've been through have been quite different. The first week was full of withdrawal symptoms which were physically unpleasant, and as I've mentioned previously it wasn't just unpleasant for myself. The second week though has been just as tough, although not necessarily as physical as it has been mentally tiring. So tiring. I've had a little devil on my shoulder whispering to me about cigarettes, 'it will be okay, just one won't matter, go on, just the one, nobody will mind, will anyone even notice? I doubt it, just have one...'. So that is what it's been like, every time I feel a little weak or take my eye off the ball for a second that little devil is right there begging me to smoke.

So far so good though, I've been ignoring the voices in my head - for a change! And I'm continuing with my healthier lifestyle. I've even been to two Christmas parties where I've partaken in some drinking of alcohol without being tempted to smoke. I have to admit though, it's been so much easier with the support my loved ones have given me, and my friend who has also quit at the same time. It's all the important people around me who have not just made this move so much more important but they've given me the motivation to really stick at it as well.

Day 100

Quitting smoking really is a good thing. Tomorrow I shall reach my 100th day without a cigarette. That's an achievement in itself and I'm quite proud of myself, so much so I thought I'd provide an update as to how things are going.

My colleague who also quit had a slip last week, almost at his 100th day he fell ill, whilst ill he succumbed to a few cigarettes but is back on track. I wondered if he might when I heard he was ill at home. Sometimes being around the house is the hardest time for thinking about cigarettes, especially when you're not well and can't keep busy. I, however, have managed to keep constantly busy and am forever finding things to do, this does leave me rather tired at night and planted on the sofa but then I'm too tired to think about smoking much.

Am I feeling healthier? Well, the simple answer would be yes. I'm guessing you knew that already though. At night when planted on the sofa I'm no longer wheezing when laying on my back and am generally feeling good about myself. There is one slight issue with making myself so busy though and that is I haven't planned time to go to the gym so have started to expand my paunch. Being almost 35 I'm going to have to do something about this soon or it may start to bother me more than it already is!

I've really cut down on the nicotine supplements I've been using and am closing completion of my course of nicotine replacement therapies which is great news. I'm almost there!

I'm relishing my new-found sense of taste, which is also not helping my stomach bulge, but when my partner cooks such amazing food I just can't help myself. I am trying to cut down on the desserts though, that was getting a little crazy. I'm worse at work though where it appears to be everyone's birthday/maternity party/leaving do.

One issue I have found though is that I've regained my sense of smell. You may think that is a good thing, and I'm guessing in some ways it may well be, but you'd be foolish to think so. At least I think so, I'm really not enjoying some of the smells of life which before I'd been quite ignorant to. This is not reason enough to smoke though and is one small issue in an otherwise great and perfectly achievable goal!

If anyone else is thinking of quitting smoking I recommend you give it a try, after all think of the good you'll be doing yourself and others. I worry less of dying prematurely as well, of course we can never tell what will happen but hopefully now I'm doing my bit, not just for myself but for my family too.

Day 1271

I've now been quit for well over 3 years. I still, occasionally, but becoming more rare, dream of cigarettes. I still occasionally crave them too and just for a moment my brain will try to trick me into believing that a cigarette would be a really good idea. My willpower however has stayed the distance - and so have the benefits.

I've started running again, and cycling regularly as well as swimming. My first triathlon should not be too far away ideally although I haven't booked anything as of yet. I've been much too busy with my running, but then I'm now able to run 5K in just over 20 minutes, and 10K in under 45 minutes; and I know I can go faster! My aim over the next year would be to run a half-marathon, and sometime afterwards a marathon, although those ideas are really still in the pipeline rather than being realistic set targets.

And I wouldn't have been able to do any of this if I hadn't quit smoking. My breathing is clearer, my lung capacity increased, enabling more oxygen to travel round my body and help me to perform. And although my exercise may not sound like much fun to some, then I can report that the benefits apply to my everyday life too. With a clearer, more focused mind I can work and play to my best abilities.

So if you're a smoker, go on, quit, it's been worth it for me.

© 2011 itsmonkeyboy

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Comments 32 comments

Ana Teixeira profile image

Ana Teixeira 5 years ago from Oporto, Porto, Portugal

I have to tell you , I admire your decision to quit smoking. My father smoked for 25 years before quitting.. and he quit like.. from one moment to the next... simply because I was there. So yeah, the love of family is a great motivation to stop smoking. I wish you luck and power of will in your new phase!


Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 5 years ago from SE MA

Good for you. I quit in 1995 after 34 years of smoking and never went back, but I dreamed about it for years after :-)

It WILL get easier. But not for quite a while, unfortunately.


savannahsmith098 profile image

savannahsmith098 5 years ago

Good for you!Stick to it!II love to see people living a healthier lifestyle.I quit smoking a year ago.It still gets to me sometimes but It does get easier!


Dewette profile image

Dewette 5 years ago from NV

Awesome decision! You can do this. Be stubborn and don`t let it beat 'cha. If you need someone to talk to just email me. I smoked for 25 years and I know how hard it is to quit


itsmonkeyboy profile image

itsmonkeyboy 5 years ago from London, UK Author

Thank you all. It's nice to find people that have experiences of quitting themselves and succeeding or of those around them quitting. I'm still just about surviving, I shall get off to bed very shortly though. I figure the sooner I sleep the sooner I can forget about actually requiring cigarettes and just dreaming of them. It's nice to have the confirmation that it does get easier.

Thank you so much for the offer Dewette, it's very kind of you. If I get stuck you may well get a message from me!


Dewette profile image

Dewette 5 years ago from NV

It DOES get much easier. The cravings will be there a lot for awhile as you rid your body of chemicals and retrain your brain and adopt new habits, but they get easier to tell to go away. I think one of the hardest things for me were the mind games. The addiction would try to trick me saying I could have ONE, one wouldn`t hurt. But an addict can`t have just one.Like AA says, one is too many and 100 is not enough. Don`t fall for it monkey boy :)


Emma Harvey profile image

Emma Harvey 5 years ago from Berkshire, UK

Well done you. I smoked for a few years but gave up about 10 years ago.

I gave up because I was pregnant, but it was still hard. The habit of smoking at certain times of the day and seeing other people smoking played on my mind but it was my baby that kept me going. I never went back to it but I have had the odd one now and again. It makes me feel sick now even though the 'craving' never goes away.

They say the physical craving only last minutes then the rest is psychological, but when that happens think about the reasons why you're giving up. You've made a massive leap by getting this far. It may be rocky, but ride it through - and good luck :)


Adebayo Onanuga profile image

Adebayo Onanuga 5 years ago from Lagos, Nigeria

It is always hard quitting smoking, because the nicotine in cigarette is like coke or heroine, very addictive, making withdrawal very difficult for the cigarette smoker. So, the smoker is like a cocaine or drug addict.

I used to smoke too for more than 30 years. I quit 13 years ago, based on my own resolve to do so.

Withdrawal was difficult. Sometimes, I smelled and sniffed the cigarette smoke around me, when no one was smoking nearby. Sometimes, I dreamt about smoking, only to wake up to find that I was dreaming. I craved for it after every meal, but my resolve was made of granite. I resisted all the inner cravings for it.

Above all, I avoided night parties; I shunned alcohol, shunned clubbing; avoided friends who smoked. Smoking became history, in my life.


itsmonkeyboy profile image

itsmonkeyboy 5 years ago from London, UK Author

Thank you Emma and Adebayo. It's always good to know that loads of other people have been through this and can tell the tale, and also can completely understand what the brick wall I'm hitting my head against at the minute feels like! I may write another update tonight, it's been a tough day and I could do with a little release.


Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 5 years ago from SE MA

Hang tough. The next few days will be brutal but the rewards are great.


thastar 5 years ago

Just hang in there it's a tough fight.Try to stay away from people who smoke.


Ruchi Urvashi profile image

Ruchi Urvashi 5 years ago from Singapore

Yes, smoking is very addictive and it affects the whole family. To quit for the family is a very good motivation.


itsmonkeyboy profile image

itsmonkeyboy 5 years ago from London, UK Author

It is indeed Ruchi Urvashi, and fortunately I have them right behind me, supporting me all the way.


Emma Harvey profile image

Emma Harvey 5 years ago from Berkshire, UK

Good updates on this hub, although you sound as though you're suffering a little. Keep at it though - we're all behind you!


itsmonkeyboy profile image

itsmonkeyboy 4 years ago from London, UK Author

Thanks Emma, the support I've received throughout this has been incredible. I couldn't do this without the people I care about, from people at work, and so many people I don't even know who have made the effort to comment on here is helping all the while.


Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 4 years ago from SE MA

Oh, we aren't being nice. We just remember what we went through when we first quit and we want you to suffer as we did. You thought we were being supportive? No, it's just innate cruelty :-)


itsmonkeyboy profile image

itsmonkeyboy 4 years ago from London, UK Author

Ha, brilliant. I like you Pcunix. I'm going to assume you are using sarcasm and that really you are telling me how proud you are, and how you wish my good health and long lasting success at quitting. After all, hallucinations are part of quitting right?


Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 4 years ago from SE MA

Sure, believe whatever makes you feel good :-)


Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 4 years ago from SE MA

Sure, believe whatever makes you feel good :-)


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Wishing you good luck:)


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

Hopefully you are still doing well....you have made the correct decision to give up smoking...wishing you continued success...hope your holidays are awesome.


Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 4 years ago from SE MA

Yes, I also hope you are doing well.

Remember this: if you do screwup, don't KEEP failing. Slap yourself once and return to the program immediately. Don't say "Oh, well, that's that" and go back to it. Fight that demon every step of the way.

When I was quitting, I'd find myself going into a store in a trance state and buying cigarettes. I'd smoke one and immediately be angry at myself.

I took advantage of that anger and tore every single cigarette to bits and threw them away.. two hours later I'd e in that trance again and I'd repeat it again.

This got EXPENSIVE! So i'd tell myself "You can't keep tearing these up, it is costing too much!". Nice try, cigarette-brain! If you want to smoke, this is what it is going to cost - get used to it!

Quitting is not easy. Be tough!


cr00059n 4 years ago

Congrats for achieving an incredible feat. You've conquered the ailments of smoking, and can live and enjoy life like all other non-smokers. Inspiring and absorbing context about a brave person. Giving you the ups in up! Thanks.


itsmonkeyboy profile image

itsmonkeyboy 4 years ago from London, UK Author

I'm being as tough as possible Pcunix, fortunately I've made it through all the Christmas parties and New Year without succumbing to a cigarette. I'm still working my way through the nicotine replacement treatments but am looking to work my way down on these at the moment, hopefully to an end. I'm still dreaming about cigarettes mind you, with an incredible reality associated along with the horrible guilt. Hopefully this will begin to subside soon. Cheers for the comment though, and Happy New Year to you!


itsmonkeyboy profile image

itsmonkeyboy 4 years ago from London, UK Author

Thanks cr00059n, I haven't conquered it yet and I feel that I will be conquering it for as long as I live, but it's a battle I'm ongoing with and happy to take. Thanks for the kind comment.


Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 4 years ago from SE MA

So happy to hear you are winning. Keep it up!


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether

Keep trying...you can beat it. Cigarettes don't own you...just remember that. ;)


itsmonkeyboy profile image

itsmonkeyboy 4 years ago from London, UK Author

Thank you Kittythedreamer, I'm still plugging away at it. No cigarettes so far, I shall have to write an update soon although there's not too much more to update. Generally just not smoking. Although I am starting my attempt to cut down on the nicotine replacement therapies and that's causing me a bit of a headache. Literally!


ashish04joshi profile image

ashish04joshi 4 years ago from India

Really interesting....keep it up!

I too have tried and failed a number of times.

My longest hiatus was for about six months when I fell back never to try quitting again.

This article is a huge motivation.

Thanks.


itsmonkeyboy profile image

itsmonkeyboy 4 years ago from London, UK Author

Thanks ashish04joshi, I've been quit for over 6 months now. In fact it's almost 8 months now! My only regret would be that I did let my appetite slide somewhat, gained some weight rather quickly and am now battling as hard as I can to lose it again as I'm getting married in just over 2 weeks time!

If you ever need anyone to talk to when quitting I have an experienced ear...


Peanutritious profile image

Peanutritious 4 years ago from Cheshire, UK

I really enjoyed sharing your story. I liked the blog style of it and found it immensely readable and could relate to it. I'm still on the fags but now, at 40 really MUST stop! I'm scared i'll get one of those 'Cat's arse' mouths that old ladies get! Not a good look! Well done to you. It's certainly not easy. You've done really well!


itsmonkeyboy profile image

itsmonkeyboy 4 years ago from London, UK Author

Hi Peanutritious, apologies for the delay in writing back to you. I've been meaning to update this hub for ages and haven't got around to it. Last Friday was my 300th day without a cigarette and still going strong. I look forward to the 365th day when some of my insurances will drop by approx. 40%, and that's one day when i will really feel some benefits!

Ha, I was worried about how cigarettes were starting to change me too, if you're not sure either then there's one way to never find out and I'm sure you know what that is, but you can only do it when the time is right. Good luck!

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