Hi lovely Ex buddies!
I wanted to leave this post here for everyone, but mostly for anyone getting ready to, or very freshly quit, to tell you that it's to e to celebrate! Celebrate every milestone, every day smoke-free, celebrate every craving you don't feed! Celebrate every second of life regained! My husband quit vaping a few days ago, and he has not been enjoying his quit quite as much as I have mine.
I can tell he is baffled by the fact that I quit "so easily," as were my midwives, and pretty much everyone else that I've ever met who saw how infatuated I was with cigarettes. But the truth was, I had been trying to quit for YEARS. I had been collecting techniques and tips, etc. for years. I read Allen Carr a year ago, and it really resonated with me, but it was still a year of internalizing the book and witnessing the truth of what he said in the world around me before I worked up the courage to do it. BUT that wasn't all.
All those years, I had been trying to take my quit into my own hands, and by that I mean being too headstrong to listen to or try any of the advice I was getting. And I refused to read The Articles. You know the ones I'm talking about--this is what cigarettes do to your lungs, teeth, skin, heart, blood, etc. I'm an avoider (hence the stubborn 13-year-long tobacco addiction--nothing to help you ignore your feelings/problems like stepping outside for a smoke). So, I finally said to myself, "Self? You know all those times you promised yourself you wouldn't smoke and you did it anyway because you didn't know what else to do? Well, maybe all these methods and tips have more to them than you're giving them credit for. Maybe, (gasp!), someone knows more about this than you do! Just try it their way, and if it doesn't work, you're no worse off than you already were."
So I did! I found the Truth website, which helped educate me so much, especially concerning how Big Tobacco has manipulated us! This is a truly evil industry that has managed to trick millions of people into paying them for death! I bought an app called Smoke Free, that I have been using in tandem with this website, which I found through Truth. I used nicotine gum (though not as directed because I am pregnant--I let myself chew, chew, chew away on Day One, only when I absolutely couldn't stand it on Day Two, and switched to regular sugar-free gum on Day Three). I have a chewing gum habit now, and my breath is so nice. The I like is sweetened with xylitol and my teeth look/feel GREAT! Can I be honest? I'm still not all that great at brushing my teeth every day, but I've seen more improvement in my dentition from quitting smoking than establishing a daily brushing habit. Gross, I know, but cigarettes are grosser.
I walk every day and it is so pleasant and delightful to be an after meal walker as opposed to an after meal smoker! I rearranged all my "smoking" furniture. Instead of trying to ignore my cravings, I accepted that I would be thinking about tobacco a lot those first few days and let that be okay and I talked about my quit CONSTANTLY. I let it be the biggest thing on the menu, and watched FOUR friends set a quit date, followed by my husband. Sure, there were intense emotions, but so what? It's healthier to feel and process those feelings and just let them be okay. They tone down a lot as time passes, too.
I made a plan to deal with cravings and be alone for those first few days--and wouldn't you know it? ALL of my triggers came to my doorstep on Day One! BUT I was ready for them. And here's the remarkable thing: it had never been so clear to me how much tobacco had turned us all into FIENDS. I was with a large group of smoker friends and it was constant. "Do you have a cigarette? I need a cigarette." We are in the mountains (cold and windy) and were at the hot spring (warm and lovely), and I did not envy them at all as they had to keep getting out of the spring to shiver, soaking wet, to go and light up, and that day was a pivotal moment for me in witnessing the real truth of the fact that smokers don't smoke because they're privileged, because they're allowed to. Smokers don't smoke because they "get to"--look at a smoker standing outside in a snowstorm in the dead of winter to take a few puffs and you'll realize: smokers smoke because they HAVE to. How many of us remember those winter smokes? Those mostly smoked butts picked from the ashtray? Spending the last of our money on a pack and that horrible relief of getting our fix? Asking random strangers for a cigarette even though it was weird and uncomfortable? How far have you gone for a cigarette?
To quit such a complex addiction is not deprivation, it is freedom!