Well, it's hard to believe it's been 5 years already. Finally decided to quit after 43 years of smoking back on January 25, 2016. Did the usual start and stops prior to that date. Quit for maybe 3 days and then started back again. Quit again for a week and you guessed it, started back again. Went for almost 2 weeks and started back again. I was like a car that just couldn't stay running. I was a puttering starter.
This site has helped me a great deal over the years. I still come back to it every once in awhile to read my inspirational blogs that I've saved from other people or even reread what I had written over the years just to remind me of the why. I didn't quit for a medical reason, emotional reason, insurance reason or any other reason. I quit because I just wasn't enjoying it anymore. It lacked its luster with me. I certainly didn't need it for anything, of which I learned much, much later.
I started smoking back at the age of around 12 because it looked cool and I felt accepted. I really took up “the habit” at age 16 because it was what everybody else was doing. I never once quit from 16 to 53 years of age. I never wanted to. I enjoyed smoking or at least that's what my brain was telling me. They always said it was a bad habit. Like biting your nails, you can quit anytime you wanted to. Nicoderm was marketed that way back in the '90s, “kick the habit.” They'd give you this patch in the doctor's office with an 800 number to call with a recorded message.
Once I discovered this site after almost two years researching ways to painlessly quit, reading and purchasing I don't know how many different products to quit, this is where I learned what smoking is, how I react to it and how to effectively quit for good by using their various tools available. I know when I used the tobacco tracker and had to stop and record what time I lit up, why I lit up, and what I'm going to do the next time it happens, really catapulted me to the next step and the next one and finally reaching where I am.
Don't ever feel discouraged if you fall off the wagon. Make note of what made you slip, why you felt you needed to smoke and what you're going to do about it the next time it pops up. Always remember that you must be vigilant and not become complacent and think you have it beat and you can have one or two smokes a week. Trust me, one or two will grow to be ten and grow to be 20. Isn't that the way this went when you first started smoking?
My eldest quit for 10 years and now is back to smoking again. I've known people, that all it took was one night out, and they're back to smoking again. I remember romancing the cigarette and kept telling myself I love that smell. As time went on, I can tell a smoker from a mile away. It stinks. It literally takes my breath away at times.
Protect your quit, keep your quit, nurture your quit. Keep it warm within your grasp. Always on the lookout for the pitfalls. Recognize those pitfalls, your own personal “slips” that loom on the horizon. Come back to this site and read some blogs on the relapse prevention group. We are all here together to give each other that helping hand. Never be afraid to ask..... we're here for you.