I've Quit Smoking
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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