- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
The diary of a woman who quit smoking for good: the second day of quitting smoking
How I quit smoking
When I woke up the second day of quitting smoking at eight o’clock, I was relieved that I made it through the first day. The first week of quitting smoking is the week that most individuals fail while quitting smoking. I knew that half of smokers that try to quit smoking fail before the first week’s end. I realized that I made it through the first of the seven hardest days. I made it through the hardest day… Or, so I thought.
As for the cravings and urges, the nicotine patch helped control this. The cravings and urges were not as strong as the first day, but very much existed. I started to grind my teeth a little bit more, began the thoughts of how great a cigarette would be, but did not give in to the urge. I kept reminding myself that a cigarette was no longer an option. I had to find a way to get through this day without a cigarette.
It was eleven o’clock now, had a cup of coffee, watched a little television, and tried to distract myself from the thoughts of smoking a cigarette. I took a lot of deep breathes and it worked for a little. But it did not work for that long. So I had to find more ways to distract myself. I started cleaning my house, trying to distract my urges and cravings for a cigarette.
The three day challenge….
I knew it took three days for nicotine to drastically leave the body. I knew that I would have to get through the first three days of strong urges, cravings for a cigarette, and the constant thoughts of smoking. I knew this would be a challenge, but I knew that I would be able to get through it. No one ever said that quitting smoking would be simple, but I knew I had to for my health, my future, and my overall well-being.
I kept thinking of my Uncle who had died from fifty years of smoking…I thought about my friend who died of lung cancer…I realized that I needed to quit before I would become a statistic for a smoking death. Close to half million Americans die from smoking-related deaths per year and I did not want to be part of that number. I wanted to make sure that I was not part of that statistic. Smoking cigarettes was no longer an option and I really wanted to quit smoking for good! I wanted my life back and free from smoking cigarettes for so many years.
After seventy-two hours of quitting smoking, almost all of the nicotine will be released from your body. Unfortunately, it was only on the second day, the first forty-eight hours, and I had one more to go. From the research that I did before my quit date, I knew the cravings and urges would be more pronounced during the first three days, then slowly decrease.
My lungs are hurting!
Unfortunately, my lungs were still hurting from yesterday. My lungs hurt every time I took a breath, my back and chest hurt. I knew my lungs were trying to expand, but they were restricted by my smoking for so many years. The best way to explain how my lungs felt by using this example: when you sit in a room for thirty minutes with the lights off and then quickly turn on the lights. Your eyes have trouble seeing for a while, until your eyes are use to the light. Your lungs have been restricted for so long by smoking and they need a little help to get use to breathing freely.
So I decided to start doing some breathing exercises that would help. I inhaled slowly, held my breath for a few seconds, and then exhaled slowly. I did this repeatedly throughout the day to help with the pain and help with the expanding of my lungs. It helped a little and got a little easier to breathe. I started to feel my lung expanding more than they had for years.
The bloated effect…
Not only did my lungs hurt, but I also had one more problem that started on the second day of quitting smoking. My stomach started to hurt and felt like it doubled in size. The nicotine in my system is being released and trying to exit from every part of my body. I started getting the unbearable pain that made eating and drinking anything difficult. I could not take it!
I reached for a few antacids that helped a little. My stomach felt so bloated and sensitive, I tried to keep my diet simple until the nicotine left my system. I stuck to a high fiber, high protein diet for the time being until my system felt better. I stayed away from any fried foods and sweets until I felt better.
Day two of quitting smoking had its ups and downs, but what matters the most is that it was a successful day. I made it through the second day without smoking. Even though my lungs were hurting and my stomach was bloated, I did not have a cigarette. I knew my stomach and my lungs would eventually feel better once the nicotine and carbon monoxide were removed from my system.
With everything that I was feeling, I realized my body was healing and getting back to normal. I knew that I never wanted to repeat this process again so I continued to tell myself that cigarettes were no longer a choice. My choice is to have a healthy body that will never go through the abuse that put it through for eighteen years.
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