Over the past few days I have been reading the struggles from newbies while reflecting on my smoke free journey. I remember like it was yesterday when I decided to stop smoking. My anniversary blog is to encourage you not to give up. You can do this!
My Back Story - Every year in the fall I would get an awful cold along with chest congestion that would last for months. The congestion was so bad that I was having difficulty breathing. But I kept smoking while the idea of quitting kept popping up in my head. I had tried many times before but to no avail. My addictive brain kept telling me that I enjoyed smoking. That I needed an adult beverage to go along with my killer and that nothing was better than smoking a cigarette after a meal. So I kept smoking...kept coughing...kept wheezing..kept slowly killing myself. I knew I could not continue this madness so I set my quit date of 1/1/2015. My quit date came an went and I was still smoking. I blame this failed attempt on the fact that I had gone to a New Year's eve party, had too many adult beverages and continued to smoke past midnight.
I felt awful and by the time I finished the smokes I had, my quit date ended up being 1/7/15. I will not paint a pretty picture about the first 72 hours of my smoke free journey but it was rough. I didn't have any energy. I slept as much as I could and I was a B#@%H to be around when I was awake. But I had to continue. Eventually 72 hours turned into a week of being smoke free and I was so proud of myself. I took my journey one day at a time and I was working my plan. Even with the death of my brother I refused to reach for that 'crutch' because smoking would not bring my brother back. I was committed and I was not turning back. I was proud that I hadn't cheated and I had not bummed a cigarette from any of my co-workers since I felt that they were waiting for me to do so. But I was depressed....suffering from insomnia and of all things flatulence! I continued on my journey and spent hours on this site reading blog post and writing a few of my own. Every day that I was smoke free felt like a win for me. I was committed to live a smoke free life. I realized that my depression was the fact that I was grieving the loss of an 'old friend...the cigarette' . Once I came to terms that the cigarette was NOT an old friend but my enemy my depressed days were soon over. Today I celebrate 4 years smoke free!!
My tips to the newbies: It takes commitment...not will power. Avoid adult beverages early in your quit as it will be a quit killer for sure. You will find that you have a lot of time since your are not smoking so use that time to get busy doing something constructive. Brush your teeth through out the day. Use stir sticks for that hand/mouth habit. Do not be fixated on smoking. Acknowledge the fact that you are experiencing a crave and tell yourself that you don't do that anymore and get busy doing something else. My final tip is to stay close to this site and read/blog as often as you can. It truly helps. You can do this!!!!
Thanks to all the EX'ers that have encouraged me during this journey. I appreciate each and every one of you.
The journey continues!!!