My 1st day without cigarettes went nothing like I thought it would.
I understand that this journey is something that is unique to each individual so I would just like to share a few of my experiences.
I joined this site a few days ago, Monday I think, and was unsure what to expect. I knew that I was tired of smoking but I didn't know how serious I was about actually quitting. As I read the many blogs, stories, successes, setbacks, and other experiences of the members, I was stuck in a whirlwind of emotion. I was excited, happy, optimistic, angry, scared and even sometimes sad to almost the point of tears. I have no idea why I felt these many things in such a short time. What I do know is that being able to read what others have shared helped strengthen my resolve.
I work as an accountant in a community mental health center and we have a smoking cessation counselor in my building. On Tuesday, I mustered up the courage and went to his office and we had an hour long chat. I told him about this site, what I had been reading and what I learned along the way. I told him about my proposed quit date (March 15 2018), about the tracking tools and about the ways to cope with triggers and cravings. Oddly enough, (Or perhaps not), these techniques that I was entering and using in My Quit Plan were the same techniques he was going to implement for me. It turns out that due to My Quit Plan and reading the posts that this community is kind enough to share had greatly educated me to the point where I was just conversing with my cessation counselor and I had done all of the preliminary work. I left his office cautiously optimistic.
Because I was using the Track Your Tobacco tool in the My Quit Plan, I was paying much closer attention to when and how much I was smoking. More than I ever had before. That tool forces me to recognize how often I actually do smoke. I'll be honest, I didn't like that. Because I didn't like how being confronted with how much I actually do smoke made me feel, I started to tell myself things like, "...maybe I can go without a cigarette for a little longer..." "...I don't want to put in a 2pm entry into my Tobacco Tracker...wait just a little longer..." Since I started keeping track that Tuesday morning, I only smoked 6 cigarettes the rest of Tuesday. Was it out of spite? Anger? Embarrassment? Desire to please? I'm still not sure.
Wednesday was the first full day of keeping track of all of the cigarettes that I smoked. Because of the unknown reasons above, I managed to only smoke 2 cigarettes during the whole day and was thoroughly angry with myself after I smoked a third at 10:30 pm. I know I should be looking at the victory of cutting down from 20 cigarettes a day to 3! That is an accomplishment to be sure! I know I didn't really need to smoke that last cigarette of the day. I don't know why I did, but I went to bed angry.
Thursday I woke and felt like really trying to not smoke. I figured that I got by with only 2 real cigarettes on Wednesday. And that 3rd one on Wednesday night was still irritating me. If there was only one cigarette that I was going to cut out today, it was that one. Anyway, as my Thursday progressed, work continued, I chewed gum, counted seconds, chomped lemons, walked up and down stairs, and before I knew it, it was 10 pm. It dawned on me that in 1/2 hr, I would be smoke free for a whole day and I have no idea when the last time that was for me.
When 10:30 rolled around, I was on the phone with a friend and I mentioned my accomplishment. After some congratulations and well wishes, I felt the oddest feeling. My worst urge of the day came because I wanted to celebrate. I recalled reading about this somewhere on these pages, but I ever knowingly experienced this before. Fortunately I was able to deal with it (mostly because I went to bed) and now it's a new day.
It turns out that my first day of being smoke free was yesterday. A full 15 days earlier than I had planned. I might as well keep a good thing going. I'm happy for this accomplishment, but walk into today knowing full well that it is only day 2 and that many challenges await me. I recalled reading about one minute at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time. In the past 24-36 hrs, I have experienced all of these situations.
Other things I have learned:
I am much more stubborn and have much more willpower than I ever gave myself credit for
Lemons are sour
Time moves slow
I like peppermint
I am afraid of failure
Thanks to you all for your willingness to share hard earned wisdom. I will continue to rely upon it as my journey goes forward.
36.72 Smoke Free Hrs
1.53 Smoke Free Days