At 7pm tonight, I will be one year cigarette and nicotine free. That’s easy to believe. I realize this sounds cocky, but when I crumpled up that last pack 365 days ago, I somehow just knew this was my forever quit. What’s hard to believe is how normal I feel now. I really struggled for months after my quit began. Despite the Elders advice to me, I kept fighting my addiction and just making it worse for myself. I never doubted that I wouldn’t stick to my quit. I just assumed I would be a non-smoker who was miserable for the rest of my life. And even after the nicotine craves mostly went away, the new craves for sweets did not. I gained 26 pounds and 3 inches. Then I finally committed to losing weight, but felt miserable that it was taking so long. I couldn’t go out to eat. I couldn’t drink alcohol because of calories and potential bad judgement ensuing. I became depressed and angry. It seemed like I would never feel normal again.
Then all of a sudden, the weight started falling fast and I am back to my pre-quit weight and waist size. I got into a regular, more regimented workout routine, and began feeling like I had way more energy. I can even have an occasional snack, dessert or cocktail. I now enjoy trying out new coffees and teas even more than I used to like discovering new wines and beers. I got my normal back. I suppose it is a new normal, but it is mine, and I like it. It took me a little longer to get here than some, but it is sooooo worth it! Thanks to all of you, newbies, elders and in-betweeners who had my back these past 365 days. I couldn’t have asked for a better support team.
I do have to admit to some sadness as well. There were so many others who quit around the same time as me, who I expected to be celebrating with. A few admitted to relapsing and announced their departure from EX. Others just disappeared without a word. I so hope they find their way back. As many of you have said before me, if I can do it, anyone can.