900 days equates to around 2 years and 5 months. I've been with this site for that entire time. I was lurking in the background for about 2 years prior to quitting doing the sputter dance, starting and then stopping, putting it off and putting it off. And actually another 2 years prior to that. So we've been together actually for over 6 years.
Back in my early days before I quit, I'd read their articles in the beginning when you're first starting the program. I'd track my cigarettes for about a half a day and then forget about it. The thought of quitting terrified me. I couldn't remember myself without a cigarette in hand. I started smoking when I was 12. I wanted to be one of the cool kids and really got hooked when I turned 16. I'd forge notes back when I was 14 to get a pack at $0.25 or take one of my dad's packs. Back in the '70s you could buy cigarettes when you were 16. Well, that opened the flood gates and I was off and running.
I'd roll my eyes when I'd see the warnings on the cigarette packs. Change the channel on TV when “those” commercials came on. They can't take this away from me. It's a habit. I can quit anytime I want to. I remember getting the patch back in the '80s giving me an 800 number to call for support while using it. What for? It's only a habit. But what they didn't tell you is that something you've been doing for so many years was beginning to be associated with certain coping skills that we bypassed along the way. There is a psychological part to quitting, let it be smoking, alcohol, overeating, etc. With time, we taught ourselves that those things would make everything better again. If we don't relearn new coping skills, we will simply fall back into our old habits which will lead us back into our full-blown addictions.
I'm thankful that I took the time to track my cigarettes before I quit to see when and why I smoked. I took the time to find alternative ways, different ways to replace the when and understand the whys. There are happenings in our lives which we may never see come around again. We may only experience that once in a lifetime. Could be subtle things, could be catastrophic things. Could be a hurricane, flood, death of a parent, a child. Subtle things like returning to your job, starting a new job or having your spouse return to his old shift. These may spark smoking thoughts because that's how we coped with things or we're returning back to a time where we smoked our way through to get through.
Take the time you need to educate yourself about how nicotine works in the brain. Research on this site what nicotine receptors are. School yourself about the chemistry changes that are going on within your body. Search for terms that you are curious about, dizziness, crying, tiredness, whatever. Go through the steps of identifying your triggers, tracking when you smoke the most, take special note of filling out the section about how I plan to separate. Pick a different way for each trigger. Teach yourself to cope with life differently.
This plan works if you work with it. Go to a member that you connect with or visit ELDER'S LIST and poke around on some of their profiles. Read their content, look at their bookmarks, filter their content by date created: oldest first. See how they were early in their quit, what they wrote about, the responses they received. Send a private message if you need to if you need help. Post a blog stating you're on the edge or start a conversation (discussion) stating HELP !!! That's how I got to 900-plus days. I wrote my little heart out on a daily basis. It helps, it works. When you feel weak, you have something to refer back to. I still refer back to mine every now and again. After the first 30 days, never give yourself permission to smoke ever again. Smoking is a choice. Choose wisely. You can do this and you will succeed. A quitter is a winner in my book and should be in yours !!!!