I started at 17 and smoked a pack or more a day for 40 years. So, 4 1/2 years ago, a friend said, "you should quit smoking, it isn't good for you."
I considered the concept and my sub-conscious mind started the process of working on it during the month before I quit. I did not decide to quit in one month. It was just the way it worked out.
I began testing the waters by saying "wait a little longer" to myself between smokes. That gave me the temporary experience of how it would feel to live without smoking a cigarette when I wanted one, made me realize I didn't need to freak out, and, automatically made me cut down.
There was no weaning regimen of 20 today, 19 tomorrow, etc. Too much stress and pressure.
I feel people can be their own enemies when it comes to kicking this habit
I knew I would get to the point of saying, this is my last pack.
I didn't push myself to that point. I just let it happen.
There was no conscious timetable.
The Friday before my quit I bought my last pack and I knew that was it.
(I quit first thing on the next Tuesday morning, the day after New Years. See keeping the stress of New Years Resolutions out of the mix)
I had my last cig at 7:15am.
I chose quitting in the morning because I felt sleeping and letting the mind worry about quitting all night would make me want a smoke moreso in the morning.
I feel when we wake up in the morning, the memories of the habit kick in so I figured if I had my last one in the morning, the start of my quitting would not be ruled by those feelings and ingrained memories. I would have my last smoke and say to my body, "I am now in control, get used to it!" and have the whole day and evening to get my quit solidified.
It worked for me.
I got the patch and used 10 during the first 14 days. If I forgot to put one on, I didn't freak out. I just left it off and rode out the cravings and learned to laugh each time I craved. This made me realize how much control smoking used to have over me but also, broke the ingrained thinking of reaching for a smoke, and affirmed to myself that I could win each battle one at a time and with it, the war of this addiction.
There is no luck or hope, or wishing my friends, only a decision to quit.
Then, honoring that decision, NO MATTER WHAT!