Any recommendations on how to best use this community, please share!
My quit this time around has been kind of screwy. Crazy as it might sound, I don't think I've spent enough time thinking of smoking. Slap on the patch and go on with life! But I know too well what happens when the patch comes off.
Explaining my whole quit thus far is tedious. My mom came to visit me, so I didn't smoke while she was here. Then, she left and I smoked, but didn't like it (did I ever?), so got some patches so I didn't have to taste it and could exercise. By November 20th, I was committed, had a plan. Slip-ups came when I forgot to put on the damn patch, which goes back to the point of knowing "what happens when the patch comes off." All-in-all, I have smoked twice since I started what is a quit or a "quit" depending on how you view it.
My blueprint takes from the good elements of different methods I've tried. It borrows from CBT, Allen Carr, habit-building, and the traditional smoking-cessation methods. I'm using nicotine patches for 10 weeks, and in that time, when I'm getting nicotine but not smoking, I'm building up habits of exercise and better diet. I'm not looking to be a superhuman, but eating poorly, smoking, and lack of exercise are all related. Since I have bipolar and anxiety disorders, this really needs to be comprehensive because people with particular mental health conditions are even more susceptible to being stuck in the smoking trap, as well as bad diet, and overall poor health habits. Anyhow, the last part is going back to Allen Carr's book before I take off the patch for the final time, like it's my final cigarette. That way, I will have had the chance to cultivate better habits without smoking (I have never smoked and exercised on the same day), and will be more likely to maintain the habits of mind that book cultivates.
I'm not using the plan on the website because the idea of triggers and habits in regards to smoking seem bogus to me. It's drug addiction, not a habit.
The hardest part has been to join a community like this one, but I'm looking forward to see where this will take me. I can be a bit cynical when it comes to community cheerleading, but yet I'm a middle school teacher who does quite a bit of actual cheerleading during the day. Either way, I'm here to support you and I hope you'll support me.
By the way, when it comes to quit dates, I don't even really care about that. Is it the day I put the patch on or the day I take the patch off and begin cleansing myself of the nicotine. I think it's the latter, but the milestone aspect doesn't affect me, probably because I've had many 30-day quit-smoking anniversaries, some 60-day anniversaries, and even a few 1-year anniversaries, and none of that tracking has done me well. (No offense, I don't mean to offend anyone! Though I'll probably say a fair few things that might fly in the face of traditional wisdom, and, to others, I can seem forceful. I'm sorry, just me expressing me.)
Now to go see what everyone else is saying...