My beginners story has to start on the day I was diagnosed with COPD - a beautiful Sunday morning on March 14. For me, nothing was beautiful. I had a severely high fever - my teeth were chattering and I was covered in blankets - one minute freezing and the next sweating with heat. Off to the E.R. and I heard a Nurse say, "inflated lungs." Little did I know that what she meant was Emphysema. Hours later, upon release I sat in my car and - yes, smoked a sickerette! The stress - you know!
I knew nothing about COPD. I knew that a beloved grandmother had passed away from Emphysema but she was old - I was 52 with a healthy past. I thought and thought and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I would have to quit! My addictive thoughts went bonkers! I so wanted to smoke because I had to quit! Now there's no other person on Earth, even Doctors and Nurses, even family and friends, even spouses and significant others, who can make a person quit! Only me! It came down to me!
I faithfully counted my last sickerettes - 10 and picked my quit day, March 20 - the first day of Spring! Then I solemnly promised myself that I would no longer beg, borrow, steal, or purchase any more coffin nails - I couldn't stand the idea of suffocating from Oxygen deprivation while I choked down another sickerette.
I began by delaying as much as I could - just 15 minutes more, and 15 minutes more than that. And when I smoked I puffed one or two times and put the precious sickerette out for next time. And yes, those 10 sickerettes lasted me 5 days. On the sixth day I quit!
Meanwhile I searched the internet for answers. I was a serial quitter, after all! I had quit every stretch from a few hours to over a Year and each time I relapsed. I knew how to withdraw - I'd done it dozens of time. But I needed more. Then I discovered BecomeanEX and remembered the funny commercials on TV. I read and then read some more...IT was still challenging and again and again I was tempted to give in and buy another pack - but I didn't. I came here and read and wrote instead. I went for walks, drank cranberry juice like a fish, allowed myself to break down, whatever it takes so I wouldn't lose this quit - this had to be my for reals quit! No more cheating and lying, sneaking and covering up, giving up and frustration at failure again!
No, it wasn't at all easy! But it was and is pretty simple. No matter what - don't smoke and eventually those days of misery become days of victory and then you forget to want to smoke. My forget day happened somewhere around 2 Months (we're all different on this.) After 20 Years on smoking I actually forgot to want a sickerette!
But I was still very much in No Man's Land when most relapses happen (2-4 Months quit.) Some days I would have a guerrilla attack - like the sunny Spring day I was driving my car and BAM! Full blown desire to smoke right now! I went home and exercised like crazy! Or the time I walked into a convenience store and said without thought, "Marlbor - no, never mind! Give me this pack of gum!" Close one! Another time I sat in front of a discount sickerette store and stared at all of the offers in the window. Then, I drove away and got some chocolate instead.
But I made it - because of Dale and Gulia, Rick and Mike @ Atlanta, Christine - Legend and Sheri, and so many more. But mostly I made it because of ME! I decided each day to pledge that I would not smoke and I honored that decision - just for today. I celebrated my milestones and took James' advice to become a Happy Quitter and Live4thedash's advice to Never Ever Forget! That's what BecomeanEX is all about! Find your superheros and most importantly, become your own Superhero! You can do this!
By the way that was 2010! LLAP!