Back in 2011 I played around with the idea of quitting smoking. It was getting too expensive. I did the song and dance of oh, once cartons get to be $40, I'll quit. Then it was $50, $60. Once it got to $70, I seriously looked into how to successfully quit painlessly. I wanted this to be as easy as possible. Back then, I looked at this as being a habit. Something like biting your nails, shouldn't be that hard, right?
I tried drops, inhalers, e-cigarettes, herbal remedies, nutritional supplements, anything and everything I could get my hands on to make this as simple as can be. Some say the symptoms are gone after 3 days, some said a week, some said a month. All different kinds of information out there on the Internet. They give you these charts telling you after so many days, this will happen, that will happen. When I first gave this whole quitting thing a try, none of those chart statistics applied to me. I wasn't feeling this, that and the other thing. Am I doing something wrong? There's got to be a list somewhere that can tell me exactly what is going to happen when.
By nature, I'm a gal of preciseness. I have to have exact, delineated goals, something to go by. I think that's why when I was looking at the process of quitting as a timeline, a broad look down the road, I got frustrated. This isn't applying to me. I don't understand vagueness. I need facts. I want it and I want it now. Well, Miss Type A Personality, this is an individualized proposition. Every single person is different because every single person's life is not the same. Smoking is not just an addiction to nicotine as is an addition to oxycodone. You don't just wait until the physical symptoms are done and then, poof, you're magically cured. It doesn't work that way. If you want this to stick, you have to figure out the whys. We picked up a cigarette and started smoking for a reason. We didn't just wake up one morning and decide to smoke. What were you using it for?
Some people have the misconception that prescription aids or NRTs (nicotine replacement therapy) is what makes you quit and keeps you quit. Once you stop taking them, something is triggered in your brain that's associated with smoking because you never took the time to track your cigarettes or even notice when you were smoking, perhaps a birthday, family gathering, a night on the town, BAM, you're right back to smoking again. Oh, it must be because I forgot my gum, my patch, my pill. NO, it's because you're allowing yourself, giving permission to yourself to smoke. It's a conscious choice, not an involuntary one. You're standing outside with your friends, doing the same motions you did when you smoked, hanging out with them puffing away on their cigarettes, and somehow you think you're not going to be tempted to smoke. Someone who doesn't know you quit extends a cigarette out to you. Oh, one isn't going to hurt. Trust me, you'll be back to it in no time flat.
Take the time to understand what happens to your body, what goes on in your brain when you smoke. What happens inside that wonderful grey matter. What makes this such a powerful addiction. I'd like you to take 13 minutes and view this video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyIJo7VCdPE. It's by Mike Evans with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. It's very straightforward and explains very simply what goes on with your brain and how most people perceive smoking. Once you understand the physical aspect and what's going on, quitting will become more like a science experiment. Each day is something new that you're experiencing. Try to view it that way. Search on here for the symptoms or feelings you're having. This journey is very similar for each of us, it's just that some go through certain stages at different times.
With me, it was denial at first. It was a habit. I can quit any time I want to. Read up on grief. Here's a great blog written by a member here The Grief Cycle (You're not going crazy!) . Understanding your foe and doing something about it, another excellent blogHow Nicotine Addiction takes over (and what to do about it!) . I have many blogs bookmarked on my profile for me to refer to and also refer others to. A great place to go to for some really stimulating blogs and articles is the Best of EX. So much knowledge to be gained there. Bookmark some of them that really resonate with you. You'll be referring back to them from time to time.
Take the time to learn about this thing they call nicotine addiction. Understand why it's so hard to quit and what to do about it. It isn't just the physical aspect of it. The emotional part of it is what keeps you coming back. Read as much as you can on here. Look up certain topics. Go to member's profiles that you connect with or find their blogs informative. Start reading their experiences, their knowledge, their findings along the way. It may not be exactly similar to yours, but I'll bet that it comes pretty darn close.