So, here I am. A bonefide ex-smoker. I found this site on Day One of my quit so I didn't do any of the preparing that is recommended, but I did all of the reading and then some! When people asked how I did it (and did it successfully), I give them these tips. Maybe a couple will work for you, but, remember, everyone is a little different:
(1) Right after you stop smoking: find a close support person or community. Mine, oddly enough, was a smoker. But, he was also a recovering alcoholic and friend who I could be very candid with. I also lived and breathed on the Ex Community and website. During the first month, all support was critical to my success, so I recommend that if you are quitting smoking, find someone you can trust outside your normal circle of friends and family to work with and be there for you. Make sure they are honest and have been down the road of addiction, as a non-addict will not really understand what you are going through.
(2) After you make it through Hell Week (days 1-7), adopt the N.O.P.E. principle: Not One Puff Ever. Think about this. It’s important.
(3) Use various methods, if you have to, in any way that you need to as to get through the first 30 days. I was taking Chantix, but opted NOT to continue it for 12 weeks. the side effects were awful and I stopped on Day 7 of my quit. Do what you have to. Don’t feel confined or pressured to go one way or another. Your way will be the best way in the end. Mine was: Chantix and then 100% just me and Alan Carr's Easy Way to Quit Smoking.
(4) Write. Write it all down. This will be your screaming and bitching and yelling and freaking out — without dragging others into your emotional turmoil. This is a safe way to verbally express the feelings you are feeling without hurting or insulting others. I found it kept my ***** quotient to a minimum on most days.
(5) At week one, figure out why you think you smoke. At week 2, add to that list. At day 60, make your final list and open up a healthy dialogue with yourself about why you smoked and what factors, as a ex-smoker, you will continue to have to deal with.
(6) Expect to feel lonely. Figure out ways to deal with this. Expect to feel depressed. Figure out if you have always been depressed or if this is just part of letting go.
(7) Feel very, very proud of yourself and remind yourself constantly of how well you have done. Even if others stop noticing, self-congratulate every now and then as this is really a hard thing to do and you deserve a huge hug for even trying. This was key for me during NML.
(8) Know that this is a process. Lots will be learned, lots will be gained, some will be lost. Welcome the process and remove any ideas of instant success.
(9) You are your ultimate source of strength. Every minute you resist counts. Every day you don’t smoke compounds with every other. If you need a boost of encouragement, go to a doctor. 9 times out of 10, they will say “good for you, keep it up” when you tell them you quit. Due to another reason, I go to my doctor every month. Every month he asks if I am still not smoking. Every month I am VERY proud to tell him I am not!
(10) Become a person who HATES starting over. Of all things, this is the one that kept me on track the most. One puff: start counting from “0”…..sorry, but there is no cheating when it comes to quitting. This has kept me 100% smoke free.
I am FREE - 270 Days, 6,491 Hours, 389,497 Minutes, 23,369,852 Seconds (Give or Take)!!!
Money saved so far: A little over $3,164 (and I am actually putting this money into a savings account for a rainy day).
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 8,114.5
Life regained (in days): 67
Time spent NOT smoking (days): 28
Cravings - I honestly cannot remember the last time I had a craving which is a bit scary.
What keeps me strong is positive self-talk. I tell myself I don't do that anymore! NOPE. SINAO. One step and then another will get you where you want to be. the only way out is through.
Weight Lost since quitting: 25.6 pounds! I am lifting weights and working out 3-4x per week.