So today begins the final week of my life as a smoker - next Wednesday, March 22, I WILL be an EX. I made the decision at the end of February that as of my 58th birthday, I will learn to live life without a nasty, disgusting crutch. I've been using this time to go over my plan, track my cigarettes, know my triggers and read all I can about how best to achieve my goal. This is probably my 10th attempt (give or take) over the last 40 years of smoking. I've also begun reacquainting myself with this community - I joined back in 2010, my last attempt but after resuming smoking, I didn't return.
As I found back then, this site can be a great resource. Not only for support, but also for information. There are probably as many plans for quitting as there are ex-smokers. It's a matter of finding what's right for you. Having quit numerous times before, I look back at what I learned from those attempts. One thing in common with whichever plan you choose, you really have to want to do it. If you're hesitant in any way, then...
Just last week, it was suggested that I read Alan Carr's book on the Easy Way to Quit Smoking. It was very insightful. What I gathered most from it was that smoking really isn't something you enjoy, what makes you think you enjoy it is merely the fact that you are feeding the monster (the nicotine addiction). In a completely unrelated book, I read how on a conscious level, you can make one decision, but on an sub-conscious level you make a different decision. That really clicked - I have to make sure that every part of my being wants me to succeed.
I made myself try & calculate what I've spent over my life on cigarettes - I wasn't sure I wanted to know, but thought I ought to know. Going back to the 1970s, when I first started and a pack was 35 cents, I tallied what I recollect smoking and the approximate price at that time. I've spent some $48,000 dollars on this disgusting habit and that's probably on the conservative side. What's worse, given today's prices (currently about $6.00+ where I live), if I smoke until I'm 70, I'll have spent another $26,000. WOW!! That should be reason enough, but there are even more compelling reasons.
Here's a list to remind me that THIS IS IT!
- THINGS TO REMEMBER
- To Quit is what you TRULY WANT !
- There is NOTHING to give up — Only positive gains to achieve
- Never see the odd cigarette — there is only a lifetime of filth & disease
- There is nothing different about me — any smoker can stop
- All you ever enjoy in a cigarette is the ending of the craving for it, whether it be the almost imperceptible physical craving for nicotine or the mental torture caused by not being allowed to scratch the itch.
- Cigarettes themselves are filth and poison.
- Every non-smoker is happy to be a non-smoker, whereas, every smoker wishes he’d never gotten hooked in the first place
- It is the smoker who is being deprived of:
- Peace of Mind
- WHAT AM I GIVING UP? — NOTHING!!!
- they rob me of health
- they rob me of energy
- they make me out-of-breath
- they cost a lot of money
- they make my mind foggy
- they give me headaches
- you don’t feel better - what you think is better is only because they satisfy the addiction
- WHAT AM I GAINING? — EVERYTHING!!!
- the ability to keep hiking
- a clearer mind
- a feeling of confidence
- freedom from a poison
- no longer feeling like an outcast
- feeling positive about myself
- $150/ month
I'm looking forward to this journey - is there a part of me that's hesitant? Of course there is, but this time is gonna be different. I will keep a positive attitude (regardless of the "punches" thrown at me). I'm also grateful to this place where I can come and seek advice from others who are/or have been on the same journey. Thanks to all who have welcomed me - I must admit, I'm a bit slow at this social media thing - I don't use Facebook, Twitter or any of the rest. I'll get better at sharing.