So many new members joining again. It amazes me how many join the site and then just stop. I think they don't last because they don't take the time to read and learn. I researched all different types of programs for quitting smoking. There was the herbal method, the hypnosis, the e-cigarette, the drops. I can't even begin to tell you how much money I've spent over the years just to quit smoking. But you see, that's what I did wrong. I was quitting a habit. Something I was doing every single day sometimes without even thinking about it or even needing it. Years ago they would pound into your head it was the tar that was killing people. So they made these funky air filters and created these ultra light cigarettes. Basically smoking air, but with a few thousand chemicals and the drug thrown in there for good measure.
I mean, think about it, the patch wasn't available to the consumer until the early '80s. I remember trying that back then. It was marketed for “kicking the habit”. Did absolutely nothing for me, but then I didn't have any knowledge about addiction. How nicotine works in the brain. How we use smoking to replace things. Why it is so difficult to stop. No one gave me any reading materials or even directed me to any resources. Back then the internet was pretty sketchy and very slow. I called the 1-800 line that they gave in the little trial box they gave me at the doctor's office and it was a recorded message. I failed and I failed until finally in the '90s they decided to have more and more information about this thing called addiction. Pfft, that can't be me, I only smoked. That's for alcoholics and for drug addicts. That can't apply to me at all.
I researched and researched and found this site and read the materials they had on here while I was still smoking and failing on quitting and smoking and failing. Well, you know what, I never faithfully tracked my cigarettes AND completed the section about beating my triggers. My triggers would show up and boom, I was right back to smoking again. I can't tell you how many times I started and stopped in the month of December and most of January until I finally got the hang of it. They've got steps listed on here for a reason. You can't just magically decide one day, I'm joining this site and magically I'll quit smoking. There's work to be done here.
There's the first 30 days where you're crawling the walls, don't want to go anywhere, isolating yourself. The next 30 days you're angry, you're sad, you're sadgry (angry and sad all at once). You're tired and can't seem to sleep. You're pacing the floors. When is this ever going to end !!!!!! Then the lightbulb comes on and you start to reflect inside. You figure out some of your personal demons or issues. You start helping people. You still ponder in this time, and we've all done it and I have no clue why, if I try just one, it won't stick. I won't go back. Ah, yes, that happens before the first year. Well, that's just our addictive brains giving it that one last shot, one last time. We've all been there. The smart ones just smile and grumble nice try and go about their day. The unsure ones will obssess about it and remain having a stranglehold on that fleeting thought. The uncommitted ones will give in.
You see you have to commit to never ever smoke again because it will always be there. They stare at you in grocery stores, liquor stores, gas stations. They do that little can-can dance when you're checking out. I remember in those first 30 days just simply staring at those things. I would purposely go to another checkout lane so that I didn't have to look at them. I remember the first time they threw a carton in front of me thinking that was what I was in there for. It was like hot lava. Oh, no, I quit. Ah, the look in their eyes like yeah, right. 40 days later, hey, Lori, how's the no smoking going? Absolutely great, have almost a month and a half in. Instead of the tobacco section loving me, the bakery section became my best friend for a few months.
But to wrap up here, I remember when they would tell me it would get easier. I would roll my eyes and not believe them. I would grumble to myself, yeah, when. They would tell me to make it through NML (130 days or so), it will get easier. I'm a late bloomer. It took me until day 195 to finally feel normal, back to my old self. This you cannot rush. This you cannot take a pill and it will be gone in 10 days. This you have to take your time and learn from it, experience it, nuture it, beat the heck out of it. You have to learn that you are driving this bus. You are in control. You are your worst enemy. You are the one who will make or break this. If you really want this, you are willing to commit, you are going to stick by it no matter what it takes, you, my friend, will be an EX-smoker. It's just something you used to do.......