I smoked for 30 years, every day. Slowly building up to approximately 15 a day. Sometimes more. I spent the last 9 years smoking the most. My lungs were starting to hurt, I had a smoker’s cough and I stunk like cigarettes. All of which sunk in one morning. Staring at my pack of cigarettes, I counted 3 left in the pack. After I finished those last 3, I told myself I was done. At 1pm, May 30th, 2018 I finished my last cigarette.
The first 3 days were intense, with the intensity building on the third day. I was an emotional wreck. I was crying, feeling helpless, down on myself and simply put, I was a basket case. The best way I can explain the withdrawals is – it felt like I kept walking into cement walls, head first in slow motion. Getting through those first 72 hours is not easy. Everyone’s quit is personal and I personally, never want to do it again.
Day 4, felt like I was walking on the ground again. Still a little wobbly, but I was through the worst part.
I spent the first week feeling like a junkie fighting my habits. Smoking played a central role in my life and it took a lot of time up. I’m not going to lie, I liked smoking and the rituals I built around it. Socializing, relaxing, de-stressing, driving, etc. Breaking the habits is awkward. But it’s not impossible.
Every morning I would wake up to a cup of coffee and cigarette outside. I still have my coffee outside in the morning, and I don’t miss the cigarette. I take deep breaths in between my sips of coffee to breathe fresh air. In fact, if I feel like a strong craving is coming, I step outside as I would have when I was a smoker. It calms me down; I know it may sound weird, but it works for me.
Today was day 10. I met a friend for brunch and had two Bloody Mary’s. Normally, I would have wanted to step outside of the restaurant for a cigarette. I had no craving to do that today. I’m doing better than I expected. I’m not letting my guard down though. My lungs still remind me that I wasn’t kind to myself and this time I’m listening.