I was 46 years old when I quit, and smoked for 37 years before I quit. Both my parents smoked, while she was pregnant my mom was actually told by her freaking DOCTOR to have "a cig or 2 to relax you" (!) Anyway, I got pneumonia all the time as a baby and at 3 years old I was diagnosed with asthma. Before I had an inhaler, my parents used to sit me up in the big recliner downstairs and make me drink cups of strong black coffee whenever I had an attack. They smoked in the house, in the car, really everywhere. This was the 70's so you still could. I didn't have my first cigarette until I was 9, but when I was 7 or so I can remember trying to make one out of some drawing paper and some leaves I picked from the backyard. I lit it with the matches that were always easy to come by and tried to smoke it...as I recall it didn't work very well, the leaves being green. (Probably peppermint, now that I think about it, it grew everywhere around our house.) I started stealing cigs from my parents packs at 9, I would go up in the woods behind our house and just smoke one right after the other until they were gone. It went on like this until I was 15 and got a job at a drugstore. At the drug store, we sold cigarettes. I wasn't old enough to buy them, or even to sell them (I had to get a coworker to ring them up), but I made friends with an older smoking coworker of mine and she was more than happy to buy them for me. I smoked like a chimney at work, and in the woods at home, but never at school. At my high school, we had what we called "the smoker's shack" and it was seriously a covered place ON SCHOOL GROUNDS where students could smoke. I didn't go to it though, for 2 reasons: Smoking was becoming more socially unacceptable. Everybody called the people who hung out in the shack stoners and losers...but even then I might have done it except for the fact that my mom taught at my school and I didn't want her to catch me. This went on until I left for college. I went to college in L.A., where it was REALLY unacceptable to smoke...so I mostly just smoked at home at night or in my car in between stuff I was doing. This was actually the period in my life where I smoked the least, and was exposed to the least amount of smoke in my environment. Ah, if only I had given it up then... But I didn't. I smoked and I smoked. I smoked (just a cig or 2!) while I was pregnant, I smoked in places you weren't supposed to smoke (nobody will know if I blow my smoke into this towel here in my grandmother's bathroom), I would wake up in the middle of the night to smoke. It was ALWAYS the first thing I did when I woke up and the last thing I did before bed...even after brushing my teeth. (The taste of mint has always made me want to smoke.) But no more. NO MORE. I have had enough being a slave to this addiction. I have been SO lucky that I didn't have to quit because of health problems, although I still have asthma. I have spent nearly every waking minute for the last 25 days here at the Q, and wow...the difference from my last "quits" is remarkable. The support, the information (I am an information junkie), the distractions. I am on the patch this time. It really seems to help "take the edge off", so to speak. But what is really helping is retraining my brain to think like a nonsmoker. During times when I used to smoke, I really look around at the nonsmokers near me and try to picture what is going on in their heads. They don't have to "not think about smoking", they just don't think about it, because they don't smoke. It would be like me finishing dinner and thinking, ok, it's time to go murder a puppy! I'm not a puppy murderer, so I don't have to think about not murdering puppies. It's just not something I think about. So I wake up to the smoke free weather report, pledge every pledge that comes my way, toss my nasty nasties in to the bonfire every afternoon, and hop on the freedom train every night. I KMQ with NOPE and I just DFS! First day:2/28/16 - Hopefully the last in a string of quits, after smoking for 30+ years. I am surrounded by smokers, but none in my home so that is one good thing. I'm at home on the computer most of the time, so I will be here a lot. I am quitting for my health, my wallet, and my grandson. Restart 5/24/16 - I smoked, I felt bad, I felt mad, I started quitting again the very same day. Don't use a puff or even a whole sickerette as an excuse to start smoking again. If you fall, get right back up again. It gets hard again for awhile, but do it anyway. I've made it 2 weeks now (6/7/16) and I intend to go the distance this time. I know what my downfall was, and I've learned from my mistake. One day at a time will get me far. 36 days 6/29/16 - I found this http://themighty.com/2016/06/living-with-high-functioning-and-hidden-anxiety/ , and the person who wrote it could have been me. It's a little frightening when you find out you're not alone. If you want to know more about me, read the article and watch the little video. I am so grateful to this site for my quit. I learn something new here every day, and the support is truly unreal to me. Whenever I get down or angry or frustrated I come here and all I have to do is post and half a dozen or more strangers come to my rescue. My quit is going very well, thanks to this place. Update 107 days quit 9/8/16 - Over 100 days, seems so unreal to me but there it is every time I log in, getting bigger every day. Awesome. One thing I need to clarify, I mention patches here in my profile but then my quit method is cold turkey. When I first quit in February, I used some patches given to me by a friend. I realized, months later, that they had expired several years ago. So I had the placebo effect of thinking I was wearing a patch but in reality I quit cold turkey. So when I caved and reset in May I didn't wear the expired patches and changed my method to CT. I actually think this time has been easier than the practice quit, because I'm determined to NOPE. I still have the occasional thought of a smoke, even sometimes a full blown crave but coming here or exercising takes them right away. Fall is on its way with its own set of triggers, but I will use my new tools and make it through smoke free. 10/22/16 - A number of you are going to think differently about me after this post. I don't mind. It will make me sad if I lose your support, but I absolutely have to come clean and be completely honest with myself and all of you, if I'm going to make this work. First, and really not as important as I once thought, I did NOT smoke a cigarette. I haven't had a sickerette in 151 days and counting. What I have had, and what I am having a harder and harder time justifying every day, are cannabis "joints". I've told myself that cannabis is medicinal, and I am in fact a medical card holder in the state of Oregon, so for me it is "legal"...but.... Before quitting smoking cigarettes, I used cannabis on an as-needed basis, for PTSD. And usually, I used the edible form, rather than smoking it. But since I quit smoking cigarettes I have found I use edibles less and less, and smoke cannabis at times when I previously smoked tobacco. (After meals, as a reward, etc.) So today, (thank you @Hamilton G. ) I flushed the last bit that I had and as of 9PM 10/22/16 I am not only tobacco free but I am SMOKE FREE, and because I am biting the bullet and coming clean with all of you, I get the benefit of your amazing support as I go through the first few weeks of complete freedom. Thanks to all of you for getting me to this point, and I hope I can still count on your unbelievable support in the future. I apologize to any of you who feel I lied to you, or took advantage of your support. That was not at all my intention. My only intention was to quit smoking cigarettes, and help others do the same. It's only now I am realizing I have to quit smoke of any kind. Restart for the last time 2:30pm 11/26/16 - I was feeling left with the 2 year old I had just met and left out of conversations with my brother, so I went out on one of his smoke breaks and bummed 2 off him. And sure we talked as we smoked but I got nauseous and felt bad about blowing my quit and REALLY didn't want to go back to square one so I came here and made a promise to Menno D. that I wouldn't ever have another puff so I won't. I'm keeping my promise. 2/10/17 - Well I broke my promise and then I lied about it, how about that? All for a stupid sickerette that didn't taste good, didn't get rid of my cold, and didn't do a single thing for me. I have to force myself to ask for help when I need it, instead of just giving in. That's the only way I'm going to make this work. My new promise, to myself this time, is that I will post EVERY TIME before I go bum a smoke from my neighbor. He will always be there with his stupid sickerettes, but that is his choice. My new choice is that before I walk up there, I will post for help. So here we go, ODAAT. 12-13-17 On 12-11 I bought a bag of loose tobacco for $1.75, justifying it by saying, I bought him a 1.79 beer, I deserve something too. So I smoked on that pouch of poison for two days and then, just around dark on 12-13 I just shook myself and said THAT IS ENOUGH. So I took the pouch and on my way to the dumpster I just stuck my hand in and grabbed big handfuls and then scattered it on the road. No way I could come back later and "rescue" it from the trash. I threw away the empty pouch and declared myself finished with smoking. I am a non-smoker today, and I can say that because I didn't smoke today. As simple and as complicated as that. To be able to call myself a non-smoker today I have to do one thing: not smoke. Love you guys wow it took nearly 2 years for me to get the message sometimes I can be slow but I got it now and you're looking at day 14 of my forever quit. 12-27-17 Staci T 1-15-18 33 days into forever. I am not sure what changed in my addicted brain this time, after so many re-starts, but I know for sure I am done with smoking for good. It may be that I finally have truly "taken smoking off the table"; I know that smoking doesn't do a single positive thing for me and just won't do it no matter what. No reason to. Or it may be that I finally heard, "hang in there, it gets better", enough times to think to myself that maybe I should REALLY hang in there and give this quitting thing a shot. So that's where I sit now. Watching the days add up with a whole-hearted NOPE. 8/26/18 - 256 days quit (my SO and I find that awesome and a day worth celebrating) And I no longer feel like I am "hanging in there", I feel like an ex smoker. No stress, no situation, no smoker friend or family member will ever get me to pick up a sickerette because I just don't smoke anymore. Why would I? I am so much happier not smoking. I am looking forward to 1 year quit now (still a bit in the future but I have a big reward planned) and just boogie along with my gorgeous quit, ODAAT. 10/12/18- Having some mental health "issues" but absolutely nothing a sickerette would fix. Ick. Can't even imagine sucking on one of those nasty things now. I am 62 days from 1 year quit and I am giddy with excitement. NOPE! 4/8/19 - So much has happened; lost my 20 year almost-spouse, the support of most of my friends and family, and very nearly my home and my life. BUT I still don't smoke, and never will. Hang in there everybody. 7/7/19 - 571 days - Just a little update since I haven't added to this in a bit. Still in turmoil, still my family won't talk to me, still can't hold down a job. BUT, I am still an ex smoker and that is how I am going to stay. Closing in on a year and a half. Nothing could make me smoke now. 10/13/19 - 669 days - Living with my mom and stepdad, still looking for work, but have found much support in NAMI groups and classes. Going to get a SAD lamp for the winter, and am on a wait list for supported employment. I also am in a walking group, and try to get out every day. There is so much to do in the city! I miss the forest and the river, but they have forests and rivers here too, accessible by mass transit. My quit is just cruising along now, I hardly ever think of sickerettes except while waiting for buses, surrounded by smokers. I just step away and do jumping jacks or stretches. Looking forward to 2 years quit!
**Nearly every word of this is from someone else' post or profile. *****3 POST RULE***** Always post before you smoke. Always post before you smoke. I can smoke or not smoke. If I smoke I will get temporary relief but permanent misery. If I don't smoke I will endure temporary misery but get permanent relief. It's a simple choice. I don't smoke! I am a non-smoker! I don't want a smoke! Smokes smell bad and so do smokers. Nicotine does not make me calm and relaxed. I do that myself. A cigarette will not make me happy if I am sad. I do that myself. A cigarette will not remove my anger. Only I can forgive and forget. A cigarette would make my morning coffee taste like crap. There is not one single situation, event or problem that a cigarette won't make worse. This is what I believe. This is how I think. I don't have "craves" because I don't smoke. Any discomfort occurring in the first few days, weeks and months of my becoming a non-smoker are welcome and expected. We can use the FIVE D's to stay safe during cravings, and to change our thinking about smoking: DELAY: We tell ourselves, "Maybe in 15 minutes, but not right now." Most urges subside after a few minutes when we change our thinking, and delaying gives us time to try one of the other D's and/or to get to the phone or to QuitNet. DISTRACT: We get busy with anything, forcing our minds to focus on something else. Hobbies, safe snacks, exercise, whatever -- our peers at Quitnet can give us good pointers on distraction. DRINK cold water/juice: Believe it or not, many ex-smokers find that drinking cold water helps kill the urge. DEEP BREATHE: We used to deep breathe when we smoked, because our bodies instinctively know that deep breathing carries us through stress. Now we deep breathe without the poison. Note: Breathe in as slowly as you can through tightly pursed lips, and exhale the same way. Do this as until you feel calmer. DISCUSS: Discussion (posting in the cravings feed, or talking online or in 3D with a friend, quit buddy, online or telephone coach) kills two birds with one stone -- it distracts us from the urge to smoke, and helps resolve any underlying tensions or confrontations which may have triggered the craving. The Five D's are easy to apply; just by reading or responding to a post, for example, you might be working #1, #2, and #5. We can change the way we view tobacco and ourselves by changing the way we respond to cravings. The acronym H.A.L.T stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired. Ask yourself when craving if any of these apply to you. Hungry: cut up and eat an apple, peel and eat an orange or tangerine, handful of cheerios eaten one at a time, carrot sticks, celery and peanut butter, toast and tea, maybe a real meal? Angry: go for a walk or run, hot shower, playlist, vent on qnet, make a horrible sim, dance wildly, scream into a pillow Lonely: facebook, twitter, qnet, neighbors, friends, family Tired: nap; on the couch or in bed - or, take a walk!...maybe some coffee? Lots of sleep Avoid trigger situations/people Lots of water everyday Give yourself plenty of liesure time Pledge everyday and stay active on site Remain thankful for everyday you never know what lies ahead