My Quest to Stop Smoking Once And For All

A calendar date is waiting for me to stop smoking.
A calendar date is waiting for me to stop smoking. | Source

Why I Still Smoke

Am I deemed to be a smoker forever? I tell myself, no, but I have not seriously got stubborn enough to kick the habit. I have smoked for well over thirty years. I have always told myself I enjoy smoking. It relaxes me and it makes me less nervous. It helps me not to eat like a hog and pack on extra pounds already on my overweight body. It is a habit I have grown use to. It is a habit that rules my very existence. My will power is weak and my mind keeps me grabbing that cigarette even when I’m not craving one. I can go hours and hours without smoking, but most of these hours are because I have no choice. I can’t smoke while I work like I could decades ago. I can’t smoke in public buildings like I could several years ago. The cracking down so to speak on smokers has been something we really needed right along because frankly many of us pack a day smokers would be puffing far more than that if we were allowed to.

Reasons I Need to Stop Smoking

I know the over exaggerated campaign to get people to stop smoking has been endorsed by cancer research and other disease studies. Tobacco use has always been linked to certain types of cancers and heart disease. I have lost many loved ones to both. Some were long time smokers, but many of them never smoked. With this in mind I refused to believe I would develop either just because I smoke. Chances are I could be struck down with these diseases even if I was not a smoker and especially if I exchange the cigarette for food. I have seen too many people pack on extreme weight after they gave up smoking. This kind of defeats the reason to quit smoking when obesity can lead to heart attack. Fighting to bring my weight down and develop a way to conquer eating binges has ruled me nearly as much as my nicotine addiction. My quest to stop smoking is going to be a challenge I hope I am capable of. With any luck my stubborn streak will help me fight off the urge to smoke.

As nasty as this looks I still do it.
As nasty as this looks I still do it. | Source

My Will Power is not Strong Enough to do it Alone

Slowly over the past two years I have found a way to lose weight. I have found something to keep both my mind and hands occupied. I have tried a new regiment of writing away the pounds. Slowly I have knocked off nearly forty pounds with a goal to diminish another forty. I have realized now this is not an unreal task for me. I can do this. I can choose a healthier diet and I can stop all the snacking I have done in the past. I have got to want something badly enough to conquer it.

As with improvements to my writing skills to stay focused on a future career in the field, I have been able to rethink my unhealthy eating habits as well, but there is one more controlling issue I deal with everyday. I am a smoker. I cannot seem to use the same control with this habit that I have finally got a hold of with the snacking issue. I smoke more while I write than I did before. I am not sure if it is because I go hours at a time during the days while I am busy doing other things or not. I still seldom smoke more than a pack a day, but I know I need to quit this nasty habit. It controls me and I don’t much like anything taking over my body and soul. As I reach my golden years in life I want to stop this dominating force once and for all. This writing instead of eating regiment has worked, but will it work for my smoking habit? Without help from another source I know it won’t. My will power is not strong enough to do it alone.

I Have Taken the First Step

Today, I have made a life changing decision to quit smoking. I talked to my doctor and she agreed I should try a program which worked well for my son five years ago. Despite my son telling me many times that I need to try what worked for him I was afraid of putting pounds back on like he did. It scared me. I’m thankful he is starting to take the pounds back off now. I am thankful I have finally been able to conquer losing weight as well. For the first time in my life I feel now is the time for me to do something about this dreadful smoking habit. I know it won’t be easy. I’ve tried to stop before only to return to it. But now that I can control my eating habits I think I can control my smoking habit with a little help. I know my body will thank me just as it has since I shed some weight. I feel much better now and I need to stop this smoking habit in hopes of feeling better yet. Wanting to quit is the first step in stopping any habit.

I Hope Chantix Will Help Free Me From Smoking

As of tomorrow I am starting the Chantix program. Chantix is not for everyone. I must pay close attention to side effects associated with this prescription. Some side effects include depression and some people have developed skin problems. It could cause drowsiness and caution should be taken when operating machinery or driving. I know this may not work for me. I plan to pay close attention to the potential side effects and hope I don’t have any issues with them.

With this program you can smoke for the first week and should plan to stop on the eighth day. If you ever give into an urge to smoke don’t be alarmed, it will not hurt you like some other drugs will. You simply need to get back on that wagon and keep trying. This program is designed to be used for twelve weeks, but can be used longer if needed. Most health insurance prescription plans will cover Chantix. It is somewhat costly so the co-pay may be slightly higher for this than most prescriptions. Chantix has a support group to join for help with potential trouble when it occurs. I may need to sign up for this added advantage.

In Honor Of My Mom My Date to Quit Smoking is September 18th

I lost my mom to liver Cancer six years ago on the eighteenth of September. In honor of my mom the eighteenth is to be my stop smoking day. I miss her very much and I must believe she will be my guardian angel in mastering this quest. My mom never smoked a cigarette in her life, but Cancer found her anyhow. With this being said you can see why the Cancer awareness associated with smoking hasn’t stopped me from this bad habit over the years. I am sure I will need support from my family and friends to get me through my quest to stop smoking, but I know most will be willing to oblige me. I will be sure to let everyone know how this is working for me. It could be a plan someone else may want to try.

The Fourth Week

This is my fourth week of taking Chantix. So far so good as I still crave a cigarette from time to time, but I’m not smoking. I have lit one three different times since I quit smoking on the 18th of September. The only one I’m fooling is me when I fall because I’m home alone. It’s my choice if I want to smoke or not. I know I need to fight harder if I really want to do this and I really want to this. I could never have done this well without Chantix because it controls your way of thinking. I never smoked those cigarettes I only thought I wanted them. I put them out. Then I felt quilt for lighting them to begin with.

My biggest issue, with Chantix is making sure I have enough in my stomach when I take it to ward against stomach upset. My regular breakfast is a bowl of cereal and a cup of coffee. I immediately notice the stomach upset mornings which was not an issue at supper time because I eat more then, so I added a slice of toast to my breakfast menu. It did the trick.

Another issue is I have not been able to write much since I started this drug because I have to be in the mood to write and I have not been much in the mood lately. This drug works by telling your brain you don’t want nicotine. Mood swings are a side effect. Perhaps this problem will pass soon. I am however watching more television and reading more. Television often will make me want a snack, so guess I best be careful. My biggest concern is to quit smoking without gaining weight. I have not been able to take off another pound and hope I don’t succeed in gaining back the weight which took me so long to lose.

This certainly is a challenge. I can do this. I know I can.

Update October 28th.

I quit smoking nearly six weeks ago. It has been a struggle and I still crave a cigarette now and then, but so far I have been strong enough to leave them alone. I am now doing it without the help of Chantix. I’m not sure I could have started this quest without some sort of crutch. So for that reason alone I’m glad I tried it.

Although it helped a great deal, I know Chantix is not for me and after taking it for five weeks I have stopped using it. I know it is recommended to be taken twelve weeks. I also know this drug is much more mind controlling than the nicotine. The side effects are more for some people than others. Mine are minor compared to what others have experienced with using Chantix. Minor or not I have had enough.

At the beginning, a night or two of insomnia was not a big deal, but in the fifth week I had lost three nights of sleep and had extra work hours to contend to that week as well. I was desperate for a good night sleep. I needed a night where I was not waking every hour from having weird dreams and I needed to feel like I had rested the next morning. I have been off Chantix almost a week. I’m starting to catch up on my sleep and I’m starting to get my mood to write back. Both I do not want to lose again. Do I want to be a smoker? No. If I fall down to its cravings now I know I can get back up on my own. It’s entirely up to me.

This week in September 2014 marks two years smoke free.

I've gained more weight, but I'm still not smoking. If only I could convince others to stop before they ruin their health. I've seen the demanding grip nicotine has on my sick husband and the sight of seeing him smoke one minute and need oxygen hooked up to him the next makes me sad. With every reason I can think of to argue my plea for him to quit this terrible habit nothing works. He can't do it. His lungs are shot. Yet he smokes. Today he decides to leave them alone. I can only hope tomorrow he does the same.

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Comments 9 comments

kj force profile image

kj force 4 years ago from Florida

Diana Lee..Congratulations !!!!! I know quitting is hard, but, remember YOU can do anything you put your mind to...you have got to WANT to quit..not only will you feel better, but there are so many other health/physical issues that happen later in life , which will determine your " Quality of Life"...Best of Luck..keep us posted..


Diana Lee profile image

Diana Lee 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa. Author

Thank you, kj force. I need all the encouragement I can get. I know this isn't going to be easy for me, but I know I need to do this now.


Diana Lee profile image

Diana Lee 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa. Author

This is week #4 on Chantix. I can do this. I'll update this again at week #8.


kj force profile image

kj force 4 years ago from Florida

Diana Lee..be sure to start drinking ice cold water with fresh squeezed lemon..it cleanses the body, kidneys and pores ( skin )..and remember to soak in a warm baking soda bath ( adding hot water) tub 2x a week..note the colour of the water when you exit..YUK..that draws the nicotine out through the pores...congrats on your determination and stamina..I'm soooo proud of you....you go girl !!!!!


Diana Lee profile image

Diana Lee 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa. Author

Thanks for the advice, kj force. I do drink a lot of ice water. It does help.


btrbell profile image

btrbell 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

Good for you! You can do this! It's hard but worth it. I know this may sound crazy but try to focus less on the weight gain (if it even happens) and more on how healthy you will be. Also, what helped me was to have ready snacks in the fridge and near by. Celery and carrot sticks, raisins, pretzel sticks. I tried to have things that would emulate the "busy ness and fuss" of a cigarette without a million calories! Good luck to you! I am 3 years and counting!


Diana Lee profile image

Diana Lee 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa. Author

Thanks for the inspiration, btrbell. I just past the four week mark yesterday. I've took Chantix for five weeks now. I've had some sleepless nights and I stopped taking the drug a couple days ago. I hope I can do without it. I think I can. It's the only thing I know of which would cause the insomnia and one side effect I cannot tolerate. I slept great last night, so far I am not craving nicotine at all.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

Keep up the non-smoking habit. My aunt had to stop taking Chantix because of the bad effects on her sleeping habits and mood, too.


Diana Lee profile image

Diana Lee 3 years ago from Potter County, Pa. Author

Everyone I know had to stop taking Chantix early because of sleeping problems, but most of them are still smoke free. My opinion is instead of pushing for a twelve week program, 5-6 weeks will be enough. I guess it depends on how bad we want to rid ourselves from it. Ten months and I'm still a non smoker. Thanks for stopping by, FlourtshAnyway.

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