- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
How I finally quit smoking cigarettes
“Sooner or later, everyone stops smoking”
This is my account of how I quit smoking that actually worked after about 6-8 months. I am in no way saying that it will work for everyone, as everyone is different. That being said, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor as well to ask about quitting smoking so he or she can clear you of going into any program.
I didn’t use any patches or gum or anything like that and I didn’t go cold turkey. Actually I did go cold turkey many times but it never worked so ultimately, cold turkey did not work for me and I understand that it doesn’t work for very many people as well.
I started smoking probably when I was around 16, its hard for me to pin it down since I have slept “A LOT” since then but I know I was very young and should have never started at that age but my father was pretty much a chain smoker and not to blame him but I figured that if he smoked than why couldn’t I?
My father had been smoking since he was very young as well and he started with the “roll your own” type cigarettes with no filters so It really did a number on him, and you would think that it would be a deterrent on me but that works as much as the death penalty deters people from murdering others, so it didn’t deter me to say the least.
I was pretty much hooked on smoking as much as anyone could be. The only time that I lost my taste for cigarettes was when I was pregnant and I thank God for that, but like clockwork as soon as I had my children, I would start puffing away again.
Nothing seemed to deter me from smoking, I mean my dad died of heart disease, his doctor said that if he had just stopped smoking 10 years earlier he may have been able to beat the heart problem and might have been around for a while longer. I still kept on smoking. I had a heart tumor when I was 38 I was diagnosed with a myxoma, which is a benign tumor of the left atrial in the heart, that still didn’t deter me for awhile but it was the beginning of my desire to end my smoking which was in itself an ordeal.
This same year as my open heart surgery, I married my husband, who wasn’t a smoker but was very supporting of my decision to finally quit smoking. Believe me I was a real bitch when I didn’t have my cigarettes and I remember during one of my panic attacks from not having a cigarette, yelling at him so bad that he ran, not drove to the store to get me some cigarettes and he just threw them at me. And said, “Here’s your fix”. I know to some that may have been cruel but sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind, and I just started crying because I knew how addicted I was and that it needed to stop.
To those who read my hubs you know that I was a hairdresser for many years and during this time I was the manager of a Regis Salon and I would go outside to take my cigarette breaks. One day as I was out there with the rest of the smokers I got an overwhelming feeling that I just had to stop smoking. At this point I didn’t even enjoy it anymore and I felt that it was hurting my relationship and my health so I knew that it was time.
So my idea was to wean myself off of cigarettes and to start very slowly. Since I was already smoking almost a pack of cigarettes a day, my idea was to smoke one less cigarette everyday than the day before and my husband was very helpful in helping me to keep track. I could’ve been this junkie that would lie and sneak cigarettes but would have only been hurting myself, so I followed the plan very meticulously.
I knew it would take a while but I knew it had to be done. I finally got down to about 6 cigarettes a day for about a month, then when I was ready, I went down to 5, then when I was ready I went down to 4 and so on. When I got down to 1 cigarette a day, I did that 1 cigarette a day for about 3-4 months. Letting go of that 1 cigarette was very hard to do. I could go the whole day without smoking but knowing that I had that one cigarette kept me going and I looked forward to it more than food or sex and that’s pretty bad.
Finally one day at work, I went out for my one cigarette break and took my cigarette out of my Marlboro light pack and discovered that it was the last 1 in the pack. I made a mental note to stop at the store on the way home to buy some more. Then it came to me as I took that last puff, I said to myself, “forget this, this is my last cigarette, period”. I stomped the cigarette out .And it was my last cigarette, and ironically I didn’t crave another cigarette after that. No panic attacks over cigarettes, no cravings with my coffee, they were gone. I had won.
That was 6 years ago that I finally kicked the habit and I have not looked back. And I am not trying to preach to anyone because I know ex-smokers are probably the worst at trying to get people to stop, but I write this in hopes of giving those that really want to quit some hope, that even if it takes some baby steps and some time to do it, then they can. If I can, than anyone can; I just wish my dad was able to before he died. I didn’t want to be in my 70’s on my deathbed wanting a cigarette like I witnessed my dad doing. I wanted to be free of nicotine and now I am.