Blog Post created by SuzyQ411 on Jan 9, 2020

I've had numerous short-term quits to satisfy my family, docs, and/or friends. Always went back to it. This time I'm doing it for myself so expect the outcome to be positive. From the additional deposits of tar and other nasty cigarette impurities to the fatty layer already clogging up my carotid arteries (which carry oxygen to my brain), the passage way has become dangerously reduced. I go in for surgical cleaning of my left carotid artery on 8/30/19. I don't want to know what a post-stroke life is like so at the very last moment I am taking positive action.

I have been a chronic smoker for 61 years, starting as a teen, many of them at 2 packs per day. Before my quit on 8/26/19 I had reduced my daily intake to about 15 cigs per day and then to about 9 per day, using nicotine mints. I now am using the patch. (Embarrassing to say but I'm a retired RN and knew better than to continue smoking, but got caught up in the lies of addiction, I would say).

9/16/2019: Today, it is 3 weeks since I had a cigarette after 61 years of smoking. The word that best describes this feat is AMAZEMENT that I have pulled this off! I am on the patch and prayer. And am blessed to have the support of my genetic and Q families.

I have gone through times of triggers and cravings with my biggest test being just this past weekend at a 3-day family event. The deep-breathing method helped me a lot as did remembering what finally caused me to choose to no longer smoke: the still-healing 4 and 1/2 inch incision on the left side of my neck where they opened me up 2 weeks ago to clear my artery going to my brain of fatty deposits AND cigarette tar and other impurities.; otherwise I was a definite candidate for a stroke.

I am taking this new way of life one day at a time as I will be honest in admitting I am grieving the thought that I may never smoke again. But, taking it just one day at a time is a much more manageable tactic for me. I wish all my fellow quitters a successful day today with their pledges to not smoke, ODAAT~

09/25/2019 : Day 30...Hooray!! On Level 3 of the patches. Not having any physical signs of withdrawal. But still struggle with emotional-related cues such as frustration or impatience; need to work on combating these issues! Don't want to lose the 30 smoke-free days I've earned!! This morning, when I opened my closet to get out clothes for today, I was actually stunned by how nice my closet smelled! Fresh and clean, with a hint of laundry detergent fragrance. l know our smell (and taste) improves the longer we are not smoking, but I think it's more than this!! I believe my closet actually smells better because my clothes no longer carry that residual odor of cigarettes.

WOW! 09/26/2019: It's official.. I am one month without cigarettes, effective today. Love the confetti!! Congrats to all who remain smoke-free on this fall day of 2019!

10/04/201:9 Today, on my 39th day not smoking, I thought about starting to wean off my patches but decided to wait another week to do this as just thinking about it made me somewhat anxious. Actually, since I started Step 3 at 7 mg per patch, I've felt less secure in my quit. Since I don't want to jeopardize my quit I will take the cautious route. (I have already extended this stage by purchasing an additional two-week supply.) This is the longest I've gone without a cigarette during my 61 year addiction and I don't want to lose this quit!!

10/7/2019: My 42nd day without smoking and it was a tough one. I was out for an appointment and errands and was seriously contemplating the purchase of cigarettes. For some reason I felt "rattled", and was craving that first cigarette. As I roamed the store aisles, picking up the few groceries I needed, I purposely avoided the cigarette counter and took the opportunity to explore what was going on with me. It was then that I realized in my rush to be on time to the appointment I had neglected to apply my daily patch. At that point, I chose not to smoke, picked up a candy bar treat for the way home and was able to stay smoke-free, putting the patch on as soon as I got through my door. But let me tell you- it was a close one!

10/24/2019: I chose to stop my patch about 5 days ago as I move toward living life w/o nicotine. I still have/use the back-up of nicotine gum, mints and lozenges, and am learning to rely on God as I work toward being a non-smoker. Today, I choose 11/01/2019 to be my first day without any nicotine-replacement substances.

11-11-2019: I did what I had said I wasn't going to do: I smoked a cigarette. It was accidentally left in my enclosed sun-room when the painter (a smoker) had left earlier in the day. I did not tear it up and throw it away as I should have and within 15 minutes I was looking for matches to light it up (I no longer had lighters; had thrown them all away.) Afterwards, I felt like I'd let myself and my fellow Q'sters down and vowed to get back to my quit.I have not smoked since.

11-22-2019: Today, I "fessed up" with a public post. One member really reamed me out, but guess I deserved that. Anyway, I am still with the plan to quit and just hope I haven't caused anyone else to stumble/slip/relapse due to my actions. 

12/28/2019 I have now fully relapsed and need to start out again at the beginning. I am so disappointed in myself. But I now accept that I can NEVER smoke--even one-- once I quit again in January. Not even one puff EVER has to be the only way for me to do this.

01/06/2020: I have again stopped smoking. Am using patches, prayer and Alan Carr's book on the easy way to quit. I have also chosen a precious item to put up as "collateral". In other words, if I should have even one puff again, I will need to get rid of the olive-wood cross from the Holy Land that was given to me for comfort after my late husband passed a few years ago. It would sadden me to do so~

My Advice to Others:

Of course, never start smoking. But beyond that, I would urge others to quit before poor health becomes an issue. Additionally, I would say once you commit to the quit, that you get all the help you can from your Doctor, family and friends and from support groups such as this. If you need more info, simple googling will supply oodles of information to assist. As they say, take it day by day; commit yourself to quitting; and-if a believer- try handing it all over to God.  DON'T GIVE UP!