In trying to answer this question I found myself in a 'sharing' mode that I think is best blogged; especially as I, in reality, am still quite the newbie - not fully out of the NML estimated period! This is how I started to answer, all thoughts of course, just my own opinion and experience:
As the elders on this site say - staying quit is indeed a process, but first and foremost, to me, it's the start that is the foundation that will keep you on course. To become an ex smoker you absolutely have to want it from deep within. Without that certainty, we struggle and fight and relapse, all too often. Been there, done that - several times. There was one time I quit for 6 months (in 1979!) and I was so miserable that finally I told my then husband, I'm going back to smoking. He responded that he was ready to suggest that I did just that! My personality had totally changed for the negative! Why? Because I was quitting for my husband and my toddler daughter, not for myself - I did not want to quit.... doomed from the start. Ain't hindsight great!
So here I am now, absolutely convinced from the get-go (Feb.22) that I truly wanted to quit. Reasons added on from there were toppings on the pizza! It's fun to remind myself now that those reasons are rock solid even if they were toppings to start. Does it get easier with time - was the question..... hmmm, time is relative and I still feel like a newborn, especially when I read blogs, answers, discussions from all ex-ers from all lengths of time. Of course, comparing that first week despite the surprising ease, to how I feel now, it is surely "easier". When the thought arises: ooh, I'd like a cigarette right now, it literally passes like a puff of smoke! Couldn't resist the pun, and for me, right now it is a very apt description!.
So bear in mind just a week or so ago I was in that No Mans Land of despair, feeling really down and weepy and all those classic symptoms of NML, but it was also a testing time of my ultimate resolve - I had "decided" to be a happy non-smoker and that was in January. I gave myself the timeline "by my 70 birthday or sooner".
I knew that it was a real decision for me when doors opened..... So here's the timeline that happened so quickly: Early January, I made the decision, Feb 8 visit with new doctor and on her advice - Feb 15, start Wellbutrin for 7 days and stop smoking on 8th day (Feb 22); during that 7 days - on Feb 18 I found this website, learned about Allen Carr's book and found it in my local library, just 3 days before my quit date! I was so impacted with this book I literally delayed finishing it in order to stick with my quit date - I wanted to stick with my plan so much so, that I made myself smoke right up to my last planned ciggy at 10pm on Feb 21; now I chuckle about that! But it worked well because now, my foremost memory of smoking is that I really dislike the smell, the taste and the rough throat I was giving to myself - it ended up being a relief to put out that "last" cigarette - fancy that! Oh, and I stopped the Wellbutrin after 5 weeks - I do believe it helped keep me less jittery for those first weeks but coming off it felt even better!
I read about the ups and downs and know that I go there myself and will probably go again more than once, but it's OK because I do understand now, that it truly is a process; does it get easier? - I choose to think it does, so guess what I experience
A long blog to be sure, but it feels real good to share - thank you for reading, listening, and just being there!