My original quit date was for today, but yesterday morning at 7:34 a.m. I smoked the last remaining cigarette in my stash. Before I even finished smoking it I was already thinking I would drive into town for another pack, but something else said “WHY? You already know you’re going to quit, so why not do it now?” The mere cost for a pack of cigarettes in CA is nearly $10 now. Saving that much money was good incentive for not going to the store, but it really isn’t why I quit early. I wanted, instead, to test the waters, get a feel for what a “real” quit would feel like. I honestly didn’t expect to get through the rest of the day without smoking, but I did so I decided to stay with it. It wasn’t without a couple of rough moments, though, even with the patch on.
First and foremost I kept focused on the main reason I want to quit: my health. I know if I don’t make this a successful quit, the symptoms from COPD are going to kill me sooner rather than later. Plus, I’d rather breathe than smoke. So I kept very busy, doing whatever I could find to distract myself. Sometimes I deliberately didn’t distract myself from an urge, but would focus on how it felt, instead, why it surfaced when it did, and if giving in to it would make any difference in how I felt or with whatever was going on at that moment. I kept coming back to this site, reading, sometimes replying and/or looking thru other sites, like whyquit.com. As the day went on I tracked feelings, cravings and thoughts in my journal. Sometimes I breathed through a crave while visualizing the oncoming urgency of a wave crashing to shore, then receding back into itself. I sucked on honey filled hard candies a couple times. At one point I ate an entire bag of sliced carrots. LOL. Whatever it takes, right?
I’m only 27 hours into this quit, but I already feel my breathing easing up - not an enormous difference, but enough to know that smoking cessation will help me in the long run. I didn’t even have to rely on a nebulizer treatment yesterday. But heading into No Man’s Land isn’t going to be a slam dunk. I know that, especially, because it’s not the addiction, itself, that’s been so difficult for me to fight in the past but, rather, the habits engrained so deeply inside from smoking for so long. Those are my real monsters. They have a way of rearing their heads at the least expected moment and with ferocious power. When it happens, I just have to work a little bit harder, suck on more candies, and eat more carrots!