My name is Polly (username NoLongeraSlave) and I've been smoking for 40 years (since I was 11). Prior to that, both of my parents smoked and I remember being so excited for them to light up around me, especially as soon as we got into the car together. I was three or four...so, I truly believe I have been addicted to nicotine, literally, forever. I'm sure my Mother smoked while I was in the womb...but even so, there's no judgment from me. I'm just brand new here and trying to get my bearings as smoke is wafting past my laptop screen, and stinking up my house and belongings.
I've tried quitting many times before. Sometimes, I didn't really "want" to but felt I had to in order to appease someone else. From those experiences, I learned a few things:
1. Many of the "aids" to help people quit are not right for me. I have dental work so the "gum" sticks to that and also burns my mouth. The "lozenges" burn terribly and severely irritate my esophagus and hiatal hernia as they slide down my throat, without warning, in a massive puddle of saliva. The "patches" have left rashes on my skin and smell terrible. The Chantix made me into a raging, angry lunatic while I was on it. Another drug...I think it was Wellbutrin...didn't do me any favors either. Cheap vape pens didn't satisfy but they sure had my heart racing.
2. I can get to day two (sometimes) but only if I "know" I am not totally "out" of tobacco "if" I want access to it, and if I sleep almost the entire time. The feeling of being "out" makes me feel like a lion starving in a cage. There's never a second of relaxation if I remove ALL of the tobacco and tubes from the house. By day two, and going cold turkey, I'm sweating like a drug addict, feeling anxiety beyond belief and can't take it anymore.
3. I wanted to go cold turkey because if I use a nicotine replacement then I'm still getting the nicotine "fix". People have told me the third day is the hardest and between days 7 and 14, if I have had NO nicotine, the built-up nicotine receptors in my body will have stopped craving it like before. I may never know if that's true.
4. The biggest challenge for me...even greater than the physical nicotine addiction and "habit" themselves, is ME! When my body is deprived of nicotine, my brain expertly plays this PowerPoint presentation in my head of all the reasons why I can't quit, don't really "want" to quit, and begins reasoning with my "self" about how smoking hasn't caused me any health problems and I could just cut back, or only smoke outside, or, or, or. It FEELS so real...like smoking is truly what I want to do and that it is MY decision to pick up another cigarette, because it is coming from my own brain (which also wants to be "free of" the addiction until those thoughts invade my head). I think that is the hardest part for me and I don't know how to make that stop. I don't know if I "really" want to quit, if that makes any sense.
Today is my first day here. I'm not very confident in my ability to become an ex-smoker. I do have prescription patches (haven't started them yet), candy to suck on and two vape pens with CBD-filled cartridges to satisfy the hand to mouth and inhalation thing...plus help calm me with the healthful CBD in them. This experience, I think, is going to come down to a battle of wills...Me against Me.