Well, I will be putting down cigarettes for good one week from tomorrow. I chose this date as my Quit Day for a couple of reasons; I will be flying to Florida so there will be a huge chunk of the day where I can't smoke, and I am changing my physical location and daily routine for 5 days. Also, since I was preparing to quit uninformed and ignorant I probably have a much better chance of success now. I have used this past week without the patch and steroids to re-experience smoking and re-affirm my desire to quit. It wasn't as easy to resist cravings this week, but I have also not returned to my pre-cold from you know where/COPD diagnosis levels of smoking (and drinking). I don't like the taste of cigarettes, the interference with my breathing, the cost and the increased mucus production in my sinuses. I also believe I will be able to eventually stop taking my high blood pressure medicine and not need to use Flonase on a daily basis once I quit. I am always happiest when I don't have to take meds. I do like the changes I have made in my life; riding my bike more, eating more healthy and Yoga. I like some of the physical changes I have noticed just by decreasing my smoking like being able to breath through my nose on a consistent basis, sleeping through the night without coughing myself awake and having a more alert and present mental state. Some of this is also due to me not counter-acting my anti-depressant with alcohol, but I believe everything is a factor.
Beginning tomorrow, I will start delaying giving into the nicotine cravings using the items in my quit kit. I will spend my last week of being a smoker fine tuning how I handle craves and try to identify specific coping mechanisms for specific situations. For example, if I get stressed, I will remove myself from the stressful situation without grabbing a smoke, take some deep breaths and maybe do some type of exercise to expend the energy that seems to build in me during those times. I am still toying with getting a punching bag and gloves, but not sure where I could hang it yet.
I'm sure I sound like a broken record, but I really feel I can't say thank you enough for all the support, advice and patience. Each time I read a post, a blog, a comment or an article someone has directed me or the community towards, I feel stronger and better equipped to walk away from smoking. I am losing the fear of life without nicotine and gaining confidence that I can live nicotine free. I can quit and I will quit!! I love life and would really like to keep living so it's time to stop trying to kill myself.
As always, your thoughts, advice and support is welcome and needed!
Have an awesome Saturday!