As I was watering plants on my porch and taking down the flag tonight, I relaxed in the sweet sound of the neighborhood's chirping birds. They were resting in the trees and on the phone wires, and wrapping up their day as well. I imagined the females had finished their supper clean- up. I envisioned the grandmothers of the extended families gathered about, chittering a bit of gossip here and there while the young Mums tweeted bedtime stories to their chicks.
In the midst of these comforting sounds of nature, I took time to reflect on the next phase of my quit.
I am now over 6 months totally smoke-free, and quit using any patches about a month ago. Plus, I no longer use nicotine mints to thwart my cravings (which are more emotion-based at this stage of my quit). However, I am still using nicotine gum when the thoughts of smoking do not go away with distraction, deep breathing or regular gum-chewing.
I now want to establish a plan to ease away from the nicotine gum, which I have reduced from 4mg per piece to 2 mg each. For quite sometime, I had been chewing clove gum to delay or eliminate my use of the nicotine gum. And, it had been helpful. However, my store stopped carrying that flavor and I found myself using more nicotine gum than I had been when I had the clove gum readily available.
Over the past few days, I realized I have increased my use of the nicotine gum. In fact, I have been chewing up to three pieces a day. I calculated the milligrams of nicotine I am ingesting in that manner and soon realized I was chewing up to 6mg per day, which is only 1mg less that the 7mg patch I had recently discontinued!
Time to make a concerted effort in easing off the nicotine-laced gum, I have decided. The first step in doing this was to order a 20 pack bundle of clove gum from Amazon. (You may be asking why I have chosen clove gum as a part of my quit plan. Well, I read somewhere that sucking on a clove helped some people when they were quitting smoking. As whole cloves were too harsh a flavor for me, I was thrilled when I stumbled on packs of clove gum at my grocery store.)
My Amazon order arrived today and this has set me to thinking about how I will go about weaning off the nicotine gum. For starters. of course, I will go back to using the clove gum as a postponement measure. And I will continue with the tactics of distraction and deep breathing.
In addition, I will set out two pieces of nicotine gum starting tomorrow morning, and vow to not use any more than two pieces for the day. (I will include this is my daily pledge as well). Once I have this solidly under wraps for a two week span, I will then put out only one piece for the day. After another sustained two week period, I will discard any nicotine gum I have left and just tell my self that not only do I not smoke anymore, I don't chew nicotine gum either.
Then, I can declare myself as being totally free of nicotine. Finally!!
From then on, I will stay on guard - - knowing that I will always be a nicotine addict and that some days will still be tougher than others.
And I will maintain my vow that this is my final quit.