Having read William Shakespeare in college days, never felt this glorious talented writer expressed feelings in so powerful few words.
I remember the days when I was smoking. During those days, at least once in a day, it could be more than once, but at least once a day, thequestion used to come in mind, I am smoker, To be or not to be… ?Why do I smoke? Am I doing right thing? I must quit. Immediately the next moment the great (?) taste of that cigarette used to get spoiled.
Days would have passed, so the months, and may be years, the question use to trouble while smoking …to be or not to be.
So one fine day, back in November 2013, I decided to come out smoking habit. Initial couple of days gone in ambition, determination, anxiety blaming cigarette smoking. How good you feel, when you quit smoking etc.
Then came the hardest times of cravings, and once again this question came in mind “to be or not to be?” a Ex smoker? No, really not. Better to smoker again. Every moment is troubling me, I look in the mirror, my face used to look like zero, my energy was drained down the water, my feelings were absurd, tongue did not taste better, boredom across the life, so on and on…
Because cravings were killing me, from within and out, and what we call no man land (or no mind land? ) etc were absolutely pulling out of quit smoking decision. Ex Smoker.. To be or not to be? And many times the answers were stop this madness of quit smoking. Rather be happy with your smoking habit.
Either way to be or not to be..hmmm
Persistent no no no to nicotine continued post November 2013. As the days passed, weeks passed, months passed, I do started asking.. to be or not to be?
I used torelate smoking to an activity I.e. having cup of coffee, dinner, etc. I think all smoker relate this way. This is alright and does give trouble after quitting. For each of such activity, the cravings makes us nervous initially. However gradually get used to do such activity without cigarette.
Secondly, I use to relate smoking emotionally.I see nice sun set over rolling clouds, and I would have smoked earlier. So next time when I see beautiful sunset, I like to smoke then.Or, while in public place met the friend you like,unexpectedly, and you feel so nice. After brief talking, I used to go smoke, just remember that meeting.Another example is ..In a week there were two calls (Thursdays and Tuesdays) with stakeholders. I used to smoke definitelybefore such call, and if I did not do that, the call used go bad..some or the other way. This way I related smoking to phone calls.One more example is Anger…if I am angry, best was to go to smoking place, and light cigarette. Many such examples I can think of on emotional relations with smoking.
Second type of relations are really thin line between quit smoking and relapse. Emotional relations make quitting challenging.Just to clarify further.. I used to think, ok, I am not smoking before my weekly phone call, and really the call did not go well. So I must smoke first, then think of why the discussions did not go well? Or when I am angry, and did not smoke, but next time I am going to smoke, can not resist. etc. Such relations were more troubling during first two three months.
So started thinking positive, and got some trick. To avoid emotional craving , I used say Not Now… Even if cravings are disturbing to the great extent, I used to say Not Now….Not now..no smoking. No no no. At least not now, and during whole of day today, I am not going to smoke.
Believe, this “not now”,attitude paved way to come out of cravings …It helped me a lot.
I will be completing 2300 days of successful quit in next couple of days.
Getting together for coffee and cigarette, evening time gossip, get together, and smoke, important discussions, call a friend face to face, go to coffee shop, and smoke, travelling together with friends and smoking. I had many friends
When I quit smoking, obviously, next few days my smoking friends were annoyed. Some of them were happy, that at least I am trying sincerely, some were confident that I will start smoking in few days, and some were giving me hard times like calling to talk when they were smoking, party time etc.
I was anxious, if I would miss some of my best friends, who were smokers, and they continue to smoke, while I am trying to quit.
It was long battle for me, on one hand keep the friendship with best friends, and not join them for smoke.
I decided lose friend, if it comes to, but say NO to smoking !!
I succeeded, and reality would have lost a few friends due to quitting.
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” -Theodore Roosevelt
I joined EX after few days of my quit. Means, I was suffering initial days of quitting, cravings, fear, sleepless nights etc., and I joined this excellent EX.
Looking at EX site, people here, their pics etc, I used to feel, that whether I can quit smoking like these stalwarts? How can I do that? No I will not be able to do. I have quit already, but very soon, I will have to smoke, because life without cigarette smoking was punishment, so to say.
I use to read above quote from Theodore Roosevelt daily, which was written some where in the community.
I related that to this EX site. EX smokers believed in themselves. And therefore they are successful in quitting.
If, I do not believe in myself, how I will be successful? Roosevelt is right, believe in you....believe in you.
From that moment, the day changed, looking at fear of addiction changed, confidence gained, believed in me, I can do it, I will be able to quit. Great Ex people, and great quote by Theodore.
Today I am 2277 days smoke free. ..All the best to new joiners, and those who are still struggling to keep quit.
I think of the seven thousand chemicals that would rush into my mouth and burn their way into my once healthy lungs. I think about that nasty taste, that nasty ring of polluted air I would create in the space around my body. I think of the looks of disgust given by those close by. I think of those who politely stepped away from me, and those who not so politely stepped away.
When I think of a cigarette,
I no longer lust its poisonous pinion, my senses have returned (and improved). I smile at the recognition that I am a winner. My sanity has returned. I am strong. I have garnered the lessons this addiction offered. I have unveiled the truth – I am neither victim nor fool. In the wake of a once destructive force, I stand victorious - captain at the helm – punch my fists up in the air. Rejoice in my new found freedom.
I was asleep yesterday. Had very good sleep. However somewhere saw dream. It was quick...I was offered a cigarette by my then smoking friend. I took it, lighted it and wanted to inhale whole cigarette at once...!
Immediately my sleep was broken, and I realised I had tears in my eyes.
Today is my 2228 (hmmmm) days smoke free...still get such nasty dreams. (only dream..not reality !!)