I've finally reached my 1,000 days which is approximately 2 years and 9 months. I say to all of you starting or struggling, stick with it. Those swirling thoughts of smoking don't stick with you forever. Yes, they will pop up from time to time; but before long you'll find yourself saying, boy, I'm sure glad I don't do that anymore. And trust in me when I tell you that, because I'm living proof. I fought this quitting thing tooth and nail and was screaming all the way. I wasn't going to let this thing beat me, not again.
I'll give you a little tip on really learning a lot about this journey and the go-to places to hit when you find yourself just obsessing about smoking. When I first quit, I spent a lot of my time the first few months or so going back on people's profiles and reading their blogs from when they first joined. I learned most from those who have slipped up or relapsed and came back. They gave me insight to what may be those potholes to watch out for. To simply go back into someone's earliest posts, blogs, simply click on their name, content and sort (filter) by date created: oldest first. That will bring up their earliest posts/blogs. Read what they expressed in written words what was swirling around in their brain. Blogging is so important not only for yourself, but for others to learn from.
After about 6 months, you'll think this will finally be over and think that you can only have one just to test drive it a little. When you're feeling quite anxious, go to relapse prevention and read many blogs there. Read on what made people slip up or why they are thinking about smoking. This is a roller coaster ride and buckle yourself in. You will have good days and bad days. You'll be mad at everything and thankful for everyone. No one can definitively say that when you go back to smoking, it's easier to quit the second time around. Are you willing to test that theory? I know I'm not. I didn't enjoy the first 6 months and I sure as heck don't ever want to go through that again.
Don't give yourself the illusion that you'll never ever think of smoking again once you're quit for a year or two. We're impulsive individuals. Sometimes we were lighting up one after the other. At certain times you'll try the bargaining game or hide and seek. Oh, I can sneak one when they're all gone and nobody will know the difference, but we're unique beings. There are people that only smoke when they drink or when there's a social gathering a few times a year. They are able to indulge for that one night and never think about it again until the next time. OR maybe they do but they are able to fight the urge. I ACCEPT the fact that I'm not that kind of a person. I can't stop at one. One will lead to 20 to a full-blown smoker in less than a week's time. So I choose not to even test that theory or even give myself that permission.
You really aren't missing much when you quit smoking. You'll find you have more time on your hands and see that you're completing things quicker. The fogginess doesn't last forever, that lack of concentration. Remember your brain is trying to figure out where all those dopamine hits went to. You recharged that battery at least 20 to 40 or more times a day. If you find yourself watching smokers and saying you miss it, what are you truly missing, smoking or the gathering of people, the socialization? There are other ways of socializing. We just always did it with a cigarette in hand.
Just give your brain time to recharge and rejuvenate. That's the glorious thing about the body. It will heal itself in time. Make note of when smoking thoughts surface most often and develop a shield to feign those off. We're trainable creatures. Slowly introduce yourself into new habits and routines. Before too long, you'll be finding yourself no longer coughing, wheezing, fighting leg cramps and headaches. You will find food tastes great and the world smells wonderful. You'll also find how salty things tastes and the things you loved really taste awful now.
Stick with it. It's a whole new life you're embarking on. Don't be afraid to take the plunge. It won't be as bad as you think it will be and it will only be as bad as you make it to be. Trust in the process and be aware of what's happening inside of you, both mentally and physically. Remember, your better self is awaiting to yet be discovered. Take the plunge, you won't regret it.