So, I'm going to start recording this a bit for myself, and maybe others if it will help or have similar experiences to connect over.
I've made it a month. Not one puff. This is my some unknown number above 20th attempt to quit. My longest quit was about 15 months. Almost every quit I've had, I've cheated a little at the beginning, expect this one and my longest one. So, I have high hopes for this one. I've been very scientific thinking about how my last few quit attempts went and tried to proactively face my triggers early on, so I would already start to build the habit of not smoking when they occur.
Coffee. I still drink coffee whenever I want. If I crave while I do, I just put it out of my mind. I've come to realize that coffee is less of the trigger than being hungry. If I have a coffee in the afternoon, after lunch, there's no crave at all. Only if I've been awake for an extended period of time in the morning without eating or exercising (the breathing helps) do I have the tiniest cravings, and it's more of a "something feels missing" than a "I want/need a cigarette"
Alcohol. Always my downfall in a quit. So, I just went full throttle. Told my friends I'd drink with them and be leaving the bar if the cravings came. And that's what I did. And over the last 4 weekends, I've been able to drink a little more and stay out a little later without even thinking about smoking. I'm braced, though, for when the hard craving comes out of nowhere. My smoker friends know not to give me a cigarette and my non-smoker friends know not to let me try to bum off a stranger. And no one has a problem with me leaving if I need to.
Sex. I was really nervous about this one. I ALWAYS smoked after sex (cliché as it is). But without TMI, I did it. No smoking. And it was similar to the coffee, felt like something was missing, but I just need to retrain my brain.
Stress...gotta figure this one out. Work is a pretty big trigger for me, but I don't have the option of walking out when I'm frustrated to smoke. So, I'm going to try breathing techniques and just naming that the craving itself will pass. Hopefully, that works.
I've read all about No Man's Land and it was an epiphany for me. That period is where 70% of my attempts have failed. Now that I know how "normal" that is, I feel like I can face it with a different feeling. And hopefully plow through.
It's hard to be overly excited about the whole thing when I've failed so many times. So, I'm staying close to the cuff with it. I do believe, though, at some point it has to work, because I wouldn't keep trying if I didn't want to be an ex-smoker.
Onward and Upward,