Another year, that is. I'm still quit and still loving life.
Let's be honest, quitting is hard. It's not as simple as just setting the pack down and forgetting about it. We wouldn't be on this site if it was that easy for us. Staying quit can be sometimes difficult. It isn't just quit for six months and magically you're cured. Some people have the misconception that after you're over the hump of the physical symptoms that poof, all thoughts of smoking disappear into space. That's not true either.
I thought about quitting for close to 10 years off and on until I finally took the leap. I'd bargain with myself that once that carton price got up to $30, $40, $50, $60, $70 I'd finally quit. It's not that hard to do. It's only a habit don't ya know. There were gizmos, gadgets, inhalers, pills, drops. If they were out there, my gawd, I bought them. I was on the search for anything and everything that would make this as painless as possible. They tell me the cravings go away after a week. One of the main reasons why so many people fail on their first attempts, no knowledge, no education on the effects of nicotine on the brain, let alone the body itself.
When I quit back on 1/25/2016, a month prior I gradually cut down my cigarettes after failing so many times at cold turkey the month before that. I was determined to get the hang of this thing without the use of any pills, patches, drops, etc. When I got close to that quit date that I set on this site, I was set into panic mode. The reality set in, my goodness, I won't be smoking any more. How am I going to handle it, what am I going to do, does life truly go on after you quit?
Those waves and waves of cravings were hitting me like a ton of bricks. I distinctly remember the day when it would just keep coming every 5 minutes and just wouldn't let up. I caved that day and smoked. Then I came to the realization that I need something to help me along. I went out that day and bought nicotine patches and slapped it on and within an hour I felt much better. The cravings were still there, but they weren't half as bad. I did notice I had some increase in cravings as I stepped down from Step 1 to Step 2, but I was also decreasing my nicotine. In the beginning 5 weeks, I did go back up to Step 1 for a few days again, because I so desperately didn't want to fail again.
I finally came off the patch once I put on Step 3 and forgot about it one day and didn't even notice any difference at all. So I never put a patch on again. Then the depression set in, the fogginess, being tired. When I gained some knowledge, I understood that it was chemistry going on in my brain at the time resetting itself. I wasn't giving myself that steady flow of dopamine any longer. If I had to change anything about quitting and my way I went about it, I would have went to my doctor and asked for a mild antidepressant instead of white knuckling it. I think back now and know I would have had an easier time, who knows.
I've been quit now for almost 3 years. Yes, I have times where I think of smoking, but that's usually at times of stress or sorrow. I've developed ways of dealing with those things now that do not include smoking. The biggest difference now is I dismiss that thought of smoking whereas before it was an all-consuming need for it. It's so nice not to be tied to that any longer. Stick with this site and listen to these people on here. Do as much reading as you can, search for things that worry you or you are concerned about. There is an answer. You just have to look for it. I'd like to close by wishing everyone on this site a very happy New Year. May 2019 bring you health and happiness. My love to you all.................. Crazymama