Today marks 14 days since my last cigarette and nicotine, and I have learned so much in that time.
The good, the bad, and the ugly!
I now understand that healing comes gradually. Just as I learned I am completely addicted to nicotine, I also learned I associated every activity in my life with cigarettes. I have to re-learn and practice doing those activities without a cigarette in order to re-train my brain.
My morning routine has changed. I don’t sit with a cup of coffee and a cigarette in hand before my shower. I set my alarm a few minutes later and when I first wake up, I immediately get in the shower. At two weeks, I'm still feeling strong urges to smoke first thing in the morning (and other times during the day), but the craving is not quite as sharp as it was during the first week.
I am getting used to NOT smoking in the car now and it is getting easier and easier.
The becomeanEx Community has been a lifesaver for me. I still check the forum frequently during the day and continue to read. It gives me something to do when I am feeling bored and want to light up. It gives me inspiration NOT to light up.
I am constantly hungry. Everyone knows that you gain weight when you quit smoking. I gained a few pounds, but you can’t really notice, because with me that’s like throwing a few handfuls of sand onto the beach. The experts usually chalk that up to the fact that you are so used to the hand-to-mouth motion that when you take the cigarettes away, you simply keep doing that motion, but replace cigarettes with food. I call BS.
The reason for this is that nicotine spurs the release of blood sugar; so that every time you have a cigarette, you get a little pick me up of energy. When you get that 50 times a day from cigarettes and then suddenly yank that away, your body wants to replace that with food. All day long.
The world smells like crap. One of the great benefits that is repeated over and over about quitting smoking is that you fully regain your sense of taste and smell. This is not as wonderful as it sounds.
You see, when you smoke, you can only end up smelling things that are intensely powerful, either good or bad. It takes actually standing next to a bakery oven to smell freshly baked bread. Likewise, if something smells bad, it has to really smell awful for it to register. When I smoked, there seemed to be an equal amount of good and bad out there in the world; there was balance to the Force, and that was fine.
Now, I am discovering all kinds of new smells, and the vast majority of them are horrendous. Public transportation, bathrooms, ethnic food, perfume stores, city parks, KFC, all of these things smell terrible. There are actually far more horrible smells in the world than good ones, you non-smokers have just gotten used to it. But let me tell you, the outside world stinks.
Spoiler Alert: I am going to talk about poo. I used to really enjoy pooping. I had a predictable schedule. It was quick and relatively easy. That has gone to **** (no pun intended).
Something that hardly anyone ever mentions about smoking is that it helps regulate your bowels. Now, I have no clue when I’m going to have to bomb the harbor. Maybe this is what it’s normally like for you never-smokers, but for me, this is a big deal.
I still wake up in the morning and head to the bathroom…and nothing happens. Then, all of a sudden, I find myself locating the nearest bathroom and heading there as soon as I can. While it has added a level of adventure and unpredictability to my life, I somewhat miss the old way.