...was my day ONE … which became the first day WON of my 730 successful, smoke free days.
And one day after that 1st anniversary milestone last year, I became a gran! A sweet-smelling, clean-fingered, non-coughing, first time Nan. The day I quit, Zara had not even been conceived; who knew my anniversary gift one year later would be my brand new grandgirl. It was like the universe saying – you worked for it, you earned it, here’s a gift … enjoy her.
Forget modesty, forget humility … I am SO proud of myself for persevering, for reaching this 2 year milestone with NOT ONE PUFF EVER. I am proud as punch that every morning I still want to (and do) make the choice to stay smoke free.
Looking back, it astonishes me that the newbie I was then turned into a bona fide Elder a year later. But then, it didn’t happen in a vacuum. I’ve been working this quit really hard from the start to this day.
Full disclosure though – I really only wanted to stop because of surgery planned for April. I gave myself permission to quit my quit as soon as the knee was healed. But I still followed the guidance and advice of everyone here. I enjoyed being a part of this community – reading the daily pledges, visiting the coffee shop (I miss that!), riding the freedom train (I miss that too).
Just to complete that story, the surgery was successful, the healing took half the time the first knee took to heal and there was no way in H3LL I was going to quit my quit just because I survived the knee replacement. I had worked too hard for nearly two months to just throw away my achievement. What an achievement…
Smoked for 45 years, quit cold turkey. Well no. It took so much work. So much soul searching. SO MUCH READING! 4 weeks of planning, thinking, writing, researching, building a quit kit, tracking every smoke, setting short term goals, more reading, getting around on this site, meeting new friends, reading, getting advice, whining, moaning, and then ... a bit of reading.
My planned quit date (20 Feb) loomed and I lost my nerve. I couldn’t imagine not having my ‘friend’ with me any time I wanted. I was attached to my Dunhill’s in the worst way. I had to come here and fess up, admit I was a coward and planned shifting my quit date a week ahead. And of course during that extra week I gave myself, I honestly thought I’d jinxed it and that I would just silently skulk away never to be seen here again. The support I got, even though I was postponing my quit, was overwhelming. EVERYBODY encouraged me. Nobody judged me or reprimanded me – People seemed to believe in my ability to DO THIS.
So on 27 February 2017 I really, actually quit. I survived. I survived H3ll week, heck week, hope week, No Man’s Land. I survived every crave that came along at the most inconvenient moments. I pushed through, slept too much, nibbled too often, but after about 3 weeks I lifted my head and found (surprisingly) that I hadn’t killed anyone, I hadn’t kicked in any windows, my animals still loved me, all family members were still where they were supposed to be, unharmed … and I had come out of that blinding fog … A QUITTER!
But I want all newbies to hear this and believe it – this site is your secret weapon. It’s the ace up your sleeve. You HAVE to stay close, every day. Twice if you can (or more). My first year was all about heeding the words, wisdom and advice of Thomas3.20.2010 Giulia Youngatheart.7.4.12 Mandolinrain BonnieBee.quit.2.8.15 jonescarp.aka.dale.Jan_2007 elvan and Marilyn.H.July.14.14. who, for some reason, I can't @mention (!!!!) and others who all believed in me and helped me realise my preparation was good and that quitting was doable.
I learnt to give the floating thoughts of smoking no time. No time to settle and heckle me. I WAS really lucky; craves were manageable. I realise not everyone will experience craves the same way I did. But I do want to encourage you to really look at your cravings. They last for mere minutes, if that. If you give them no weight, pay them no mind, you can swat them away and move on with your day. They are not going to kill you. Giving in to the craves, will.
I DON’T DO THAT ANYMORE and N.O.P.E. are still the mantras I repeat. I have to stay alert. I DO occasionally have the thought: “Man, a smoke would be welcome now”. It still scares me. But I’ve also learnt my few cravings are sneaky, manipulative and ALWAYS come when I feel I need a reward for something well done. I am an addict. I can never forget. I can never think “one won’t hurt”. I’ve worked too hard and living through another day one will kill me.
Blessings and hugs to everyone on this quit journey.
Believe in yourself! You can do it!