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My Diary of Quitting Smoking with the Nicotine Solutions Course.
A Smoker's Lung
I have lost count of the amount of times my Husband and I have tried to quit smoking and failed. After trying virtually every product and treatment on the market, (patches, Champix, Zyban, hypnosis, acupuncture etc) we finally came across Nicotine Solutions, a course that can boast a 90% success rate. Heck, what have we got to lose, as even if we only stopped for a matter of months it would cover the cost of the course, and the testimonials look very impressive. We also like the idea that the course does not involve going 'cold turkey' and that for several weeks into the course we will continue smoking.
We have further been comforted by the fact we will not need to ditch our smoking friends, or our social life, plus if we succeed it will greatly improve my chances of successfully getting pregnant (I have severe fertility problems). We could also do with the financial savings, plus of course, the health benefits.
Having convinced my Husband Richard that this is a great idea, and we should go for it, we are now simply waiting for our course materials to arrive, and this Sunday we will have our first 'class', live on the phone to San Francisco, (wow the world is such a small place now we have Internet and Skype bearing in mind we live in Guernsey in the Channel Islands).
I decided that this course could make a great topic for a hub, especially as I can update it regularly to let everyone know our progress, then, if it works for us others can try it too. Alternatively, there is actually a free introductory session available this Sunday 26th October, that anyone can 'attend' online with Skype, and if they like the sound of it they can sign up and take the course along with my Husband Richard and me. This could be kind of fun as we could all act as a support group for each other and compare notes as to how well we are coping and how easy we are finding the course.
I am going to keep an online diary of our success and experiences, and truly hope this is the one thing that will work for us after all else has so far failed. I have to confess to feeling far more confident in this course than many of the other methods we have tried (having looked into it a bit further and listened to the free introduction on the Nictoine Solutions website).
If any of you are interested in trying to do the course at the same time as us, the website allows you to sign up for the free trial this Sunday 26th October, (or other dates if they suit you better), with Richard and me. It depends on where in the world you are as to what time it will be, but here in Guernsey it will be about 6 pm, and in San Francisco I know it will 10 am. I am really looking forward to it, (I guess much like a prisoner looks forward to his release date). I am sure it won't be totally easy, but if we end up as true non-smokers, then the effort will have been well worth it.
I found out about this course through hubpages, as the lady who runs the courses has also recently joined our Hub community. She has already written several excellent hubs on the topic, and answered my many questions in great detail. Having now spoken with her I find myself trusting in her abilities to rid me of this horrible habit that I detest myself for having become addicted to. Her hubs are well worth taking the time to read, so in case you are interested, or keen to quit, the links are below:
Her name is Lela, and she is a lovely person having talked with her. As you may have gathered, I am truly impressed by her knowledge on this subject, and would love the support of any fellow Hubbers keen to give up smoking also.
Here is where my live diary will begin, commencing Sunday 26th October. Hope you will keep checking in to see how we are doing, or to post your own experiences if you too decide to sign up for the Nicotine Solutions Course along with Richard and I.
Sunday October 26th 2008.
We had our first session with Lela tonight and it was great. She has an easy relaxed style, and a great sense of humour, plus everything she says makes sense. Initially we are to continue smoking, but we need to make a note of each time we have a cigarette, I guess you could call it homework. Before the session both Richard (my Hubby) and I had filled in an online questionnaire for Lela to establish our smoking needs, why we started, what lengths we have gone to to smoke in the past etc. We print off a copy of our answers too, so that we can refer back to them during the course.
The whole session lasted about an hour and when we finished the call both Richard and I agreed that it had been very productive and that Lela was a lovely person and easy to talk to. Both of us now feel very positive about the experience so far and are looking forward to our next session.
I shall post a further update next week to let you all know how it is going, but so far we are very optimistic.
Sunday November 02nd 2008.
Tonight's session with Lela went really well, and we now have a new lady from Bulgaria who has signed up for the Nicotine Solutions course too, which means she will be doing it at the same time as Richard and I, and we can all support each other throughout.
Much of the content of the course is covered by copyright, so I am unfortunately restricted from giving too much detail away in my updates each week. What I can tell you is that we have now begun to be given assigments that help us to change the way we think about smoking cigarettes and the times we have those 'special' ones, such as after meals or when we get in the car. The teaching is amazing, and already I am starting to be able to reprogram the way I think about each cigarette I would normally smoke. My Husband Richard feels exactly the same as I do, and is very positive about the lessons so far.
I may well post again midweek with a progress report, but I will definitely post again on Sunday after our next session to bring you up to speed on how we doing.
Sunday November 09th 2008.
We listened to an audio lesson mid-week and followed various tasks set to us as part of the preparations for tonight's live session. Since the audio we have been starting to change the way we think about our fellow smokers as per the instructions Lela gave to us.
At time of writing this we have now had another great session with Lela, and we now have a new Member to our class called Elissa who comes from Seattle. I still find it amazing that we can all be in different timezones and having a lesson live online. The Internet is truly an incredible invention that has made the world a far smaller place.
Tonight we were given assignments for the week, including being told more details of the new way to observe other people smoking around us and view them in a different way. We have also been given practical tasks to perform daily to ensure we develop the right mental attitude to the care of our bodies and also avoid piling on excess weight by substituting smoking for snacks.
Our actual quit date has now been set for December the 15th, and up until then we will be reprogramming our whole outlook towards smoking and cigarettes with the strong support and help from our mentor Lela.
Another task that we each had to perform was to list 20 reasons we each want to quit smoking. As my 20 are not subject to Nicotine Solutions copyright I can list them here.
1) No more coughing at night.
2) Improve my fertility.
3) Smell better.
4) Sleep better.
5) Save money.
6) Stop the staining on my teeth.
7) Stop that 'fuzzy' feeling on my teeth after too many cigarettes.
8) Breathe easier.
9) Improve my skin.
10) Improve my hair.
11) Reduce worry for my family.
12) Avoid freezing to death outside pubs whilst having a cigarette, (it is now illegal to smoke in public places here in Guernsey).
13) Feel fitter.
14) Stop the cats having to passive smoke, (you think I am joking, but cats do get brought into vets with breathing problems due to passive smoking).
15) Stop the mess of ash and nicotine staining all over the house and my car.
16) To gain a feeling of control over my life as I hate to feel like a slave to a substance.
17) Make it easier to spend long visits in non-smoking homes such as my parents.
18) Make it easier for non-smokers to visit our home without choking on our smoke.
19) It has become an unsociable habit and people tend to look at you disapprovingly if you say you are a smoker.
20) Risk of fire.
Both Richard and I feel very positive about our experience so far, and after the session tonight Richard asked me if I felt I would be successful in quitting on the 15th December. My immediate response was a definite 'Yes', and Richard said he felt the same way too.
We have another audio lesson to listen to before next Sunday's live session, so I shall post an update here next week.
Sunday November 16th 2008
This week we had to listen to another preparation meeting before our actual session. It is a great way to mentally prepare yourself for the next lesson, and includes several practical exercises to complete in advance of the Sunday meeting.
Tonight's session went really well and there are now 5 of us in the class, (Elissa, Teresa, Deanna, Richard and myself) which is perfect for everyone getting enough one to one opportunities to ask and answer various questions that come up.
We now have a new set of assignments to complete before next week's session, some of which are not what you might expect to associate with the smoking habit. I am learning more and more about my addiction, and when and how I tend to have each cigarette. Suddenly everything seems so much clearer, and I am starting to see the habit for exactly what it is, and understand what I need to do to change my way of thinking about smoking.
Everyone in the group is really friendly, and they all seem as positive as I am that this will work for them too. It really does help doing this as a group, because we can all lean on each other when we need to and will soon all be interacting with each other via email for this purpose, (as well as the advantage of being able to become good friends).
I will let you know how next week's session goes, and it won't be all that long before the Quit Date itself arrives.
Sunday 23rd November 2008.
The session tonight had to be cancelled sadly due to computer problems, but we are picking up again where we left off next Sunday. Our new Quit date has therefore been postponed to the 22nd December 2008 instead of the 15th as originally planned. For this week we are carrying on the same assignments and exercises as last week.
Please check in again next Sunday / Monday to see the latest updates.
Thanks for the support everyone :)
Friday 05th November 2008.
Sorry to be so late checking in, but I have had a really bad cold and cough, so have been laid up in bed for a good chunk of the week. I had to miss last Sunday's session with Lela because I was too ill, but my Husband Richard did attend, and found it very beneficial. Since then I have had a 'catch up session' with Lela, and am now fully ready for this Sunday's session.
We are now changing our eating habits, our preparations before meals and the means and methods through which we light and smoke our cigarettes.
Additional assignments have been given for this week, and even my Husband has to admit that he is truly finding he needs to smoke less, and even forgets to smoke, since he started the 'Easeout with Nicotine Solutions' course. I am also finding I am smoking less than normal, (and not just because of my cough).
Tomorrow we shall do the online preparation lesson for week 4, and then session four will be on Sunday. I shall update again by Monday night.
Sunday 07th November 2008
Another productive session with Lela this Sunday and we are now contemplating when we most tend to need cigarettes or find it the hardest not to smoke them. comparing notes on this is very interesting, and I am sure most of us tend to follow the same patterns when it comes to our most important cigarettes of the day. Both Richard and I are still finding we are already smoking less than we used to, perhaps because all the assignments tend to make us more conscious of why and when we are smoking. Neither of us can wait for the point when we finally stop altogether though, not just for the health reasons, but also for the money saving aspect. Not too long to go now thankfully, and Lela is still doing an excellent job for all of us.
Wednesday 17th December 2008
Well now we have reached the countdown point in time and there are only another 5 days until the cut off date (22nd December). I am really keen for that day to arrive as now the day to day assignments of quitting are quite extensive, and really make smoking become little more than an irritating nuisance.
Last Sunday's session went well as always, and we have more tasks to complete including adjusting where we are smoking and the accessibility of our cigarettes. My Husband Richard is also keen for the final day to arrive, and Lela's lessons have taught us not to think of not smoking as giving something up, but instead to see it as a positive action for our own benefit. Richard is hardly smoking at all anyway right now, and I am smoking far less, so all looks very promising for our quit date and we are both determined that this will be the last time we need to quit.
Will keep updating this hub after the quit date arrives so you all can check in on how we are coping.
Good luck if you too are quitting, and if your are struggling to quit I highly recommend The Nicotine Solutions Course (link in main body of hub). This is the most confident I have ever felt about a method of quitting for good.
Sunday 21st December 2008
Well only another few hours to go and the quit date has finally arrived, scary!!! I think we are all prepared as much as anyone could be, but it is still a time for nerves and worrying as to whether we have finally 'cracked it' at last. I feel confident that we probably have with all the great preparation offered by Lela.
From tomorrow we will all keep a calendar for a number of weeks and place a sticker on it each day to represent another Nicotine free day. During this time Lela will send us daily emails of support and advice, plus the whole group staying in touch with each other and being supportive to one another's weaker moments (if we get any after all the preparations we have done).
I am kind of looking forward to this final cigarette, (only 3 to go before my last packet is finished, which will be before bed tonight). It is a milestone I have been waiting for along time, and it will be wonderful not to have to perform quite so many assignments as we have had to in recent weeks.
Still another two weeks of 'Sunday Sessions' to attend, but these are to help us maintain our freedom from nicotine and firmly establish ourselves as non-smokers at last.
Stay tuned for further updates.
Sunday 29th December 2008
Today is my 7th day without a cigarette, and to be honest it hasn't been nearly as hard as I thought it would be, especially considering it has been Christmas, which is not an easy time to quit smoking, (or so you would think). The rest of our group, "The Nicotine Liberation Front" as we call ourselves, are also doing great, and the only slip up has been that one night my Husband was tempted by a friend of his to smoke whilst out for a few drinks, and he lapsed and had a couple of cigarettes. This however, was several days ago now, and he hasn't had any lapses since, plus he is even more determined not to go back to smoking now.
The follow up support has been great too, and Lela has sent us all daily emails with inspirational words in them, or quotes from other smokers who successfully quit after attending Lela's courses. Each member of our group has also stayed in touch with the others via email, so that any struggles or useful tips could be shared.
Already I have noticed improvements in my skin, and my daily coughing has drastically reduced. I am sleeping a whole lot deeper, and for longer, but this is apparently a normal side effect of withdrawal from Nicotine as your body detoxifies itself. I certainly feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders and have been told I look better already, especially my complexion.
One thing I guess we have all noticed is that we seem to be more 'muddleheaded', and can easily walk into a room to get something, but cannot remember what it was we went there for until we return to the room we came from. This is another effect of quitting the Nicotine, but well worth the inconvenience if it means not smoking. This will wear off within a few weeks, but in the meantime we just have to live with it and laugh about it.
Another thing that really impressed me, was the fact that on Christmas Day, when we stayed at my parents house for the day and overnight, I completely forgot to even think about smoking. I didn't miss it, want it or notice it's absence. When I thought about this the next day I felt really empowered and supremely confident that this course really has done the trick in the easiest way possible, and that I will never need to smoke again.
Our meeting tonight went very well, and even those who have been snowed into their houses, or who still live with a smoker, have not lapsed and fallen back into smoking, in spite of the obvious pressure such a situation would add to a wannabe non-smoker. We are all very happy.
One more meeting to go now, and this week we have some assignments to complete in preparation. Fortunately these are not nearly as intensive as the ones we had to complete whilst we were still smoking.
Check in next week and I shall update you on how we are all doing and hopefully confirm that no-one has reverted to smoking again.
January 04th 2009
Well, we had the final official session with Lela tonight, although we are all 'meeting up' next Sunday by phone for a 15 minute catch up with each other to see how we are getting on. Considering we all quit on the 22nd December it is great that all of us are still not smoking, and seem really comortable with it. It has certainly been far far easier for me than I ever anticipated, plus the amount of money I have saved is huge.
Few side effects so far other than needing a lot of sleep and being thirsty more than normal. I am not bad tempered or ratty due to the way we gave up, and even spent New Years Eve with two heavy smoking friends without feeling tempted to have a cigarette with them.
I shall keep on updating this Hub so the readers know that we have managed to maintain the Quitting of this yukky habit without reverting back to it.
January 18th 2009
Just a quick update to let you all know we are still on track and apart from Richard slipping up briefly, the rest of us are still smoke free. It has now been 27 days since we stopped and I for one feel great.
Within the last week we had a burst pipe in our bathroom upstairs, and at about 01.00am we had water literally pouring through our lounge ceiling an on to all the furniture and electrical equipment. As we could not determine where to turn off the water we ended up having to call out the Fire Brigade to help us out. By 02.00am we had a house full of firemen and a good chunk of our neighbours helping to mop up the mess and rescue what they could to avoid it being damaged by water. If anything was likely to make me want a cigarette this would have been it, but I wasn't tempted at all, even though many of our neighbours were smoking outside our house. The following day when I woke up (having slept at my parents house due to the mess), I was really proud of myself for not weakening due to stress and "borrowing one" off a neighbour. I figure if I could get through this without a cigarette, I can get through anything and not be tempted.
House almost dry again now, but we do need a new sofa and DVD/Video recorder. Thank goodness we took out household insurance two weeks ago or we would be in big trouble now.
Lela is still kindly calling us each Sunday for a short 20 - 30 minute session to make sure we are all coping, and of course we can all still call her if we have any problems, plus email either Lela or each other for further support. Truly this program has been a Godsend to me.
February 02nd 2009
Well, it is now February the 2nd, and we still aren't smoking, plus it has been really easy. Lela is more than happy to keep on supporting us if we need her to, and now lets us decide if we still want her to call us each Sunday. Quite often she invites former students too, so they can tell us how long they have now been free of smoking for, and what obstacles if any they came up against.
I am getting compliments now on how much better I am looking facially, and how much more colour I have in my complexion. I certainly feel much better, and my Husband Richard says the same thing. We both had to skip this week's phonecall due to a friend's birthday, but hopefully we can make next week's, although I feel very confident now that I actually don't need the support any more, but am always happy to talk to our group as they are all friends now, plus Lela has been the best ever support anyone could have ever wished for.
March 25th 2009
My apologies for taking so long to re-post here, but I have been on holiday cruising around South America, Cape Horn etc for several weeks.
It is well worth updating this hub though, simply to say I am still not smoking, and have not smoked since the 22nd December. Clearly the course Nicotine Solutions has been a stonking great success for me, and I love Lela to bits for all she has done to help us. She still offers to do conference calls every week for anyone who feels they still need them, and these are at no extra charge!!!
I truly recommend her course to ANYONE who sincerely wishes to stop smoking. This is definitely the easiest way I have ever stopped, plus being extremely successful.
May 26th 2009
Just to update my readers, I am still not smoking over 5 months after my Quit date with the Nicotine Solutions course and Lela's help. So far no problems and the occasional slight thought of maybe wanting a cigarette has been easily squashed using methods taught by Lela. Feeling much better now, and really good about myself.
June 22nd 2009
I have now continued my story in a further hub that can be found if you go to this link.
I hope you will continue to follow my progress there and hopefully I can encourage all smokers reading this to give stopping smoking a try for themselves.