hwc turns GOLD. One year tonight!

Discussion created by hwc on Feb 9, 2009
Latest reply on Mar 14, 2017 by jonescarp.aka.dale.Jan_2007
12:15 am

So one year ago almost to the minute, I checked the weather forecast and saw that we might get snowed in the following day. So about midnight, I bundled up, got in the car, drove to the local convenience store, and plunked down ten bucks and change for two packs of cigarettes. Just like I had done so many times before over the course of 38 years.

I don't remember, but I probably smoked the last one from the old pack in the car on the way to or from the store. I don't remember a lot of of the 400,000 cigarettes I've smoked. I probably smoked one in the car, though. I always did. Even when I was coming down with a flu bug and a fever and a scratchy throat like I was this night, one year ago.

And, with a fresh dose of nicotine drug in my system, I probably went up to the computer. Maybe, I was watching a DVD on TV. I can't remember. In any case, I was good to go for at least 45 minutes until my nictone junkie alarm bells started ringing.

1:00 am

OK, to continue the memory, the forty-five minutes passed and my junkie alarm started ringing. Head downstairs. Out to deck (temp was probably in the teens) to grab a quick fix before bed. Man, the flu was setting in. I could feel that achy fever thing. Oh, well. I'll just smoke through it. I grabbed one of the new packs I had just bought. Tapped them hard on the kitchen counter to pack the tobacco. Ripped the cellophane off. Pulled out the foil. And grabbed the first cigarette and my lighter. Out on the deck, I cupped my hand against the bitter wind and lit the cigarette. No, there was was no "ahhh" sensation. I coughed. It hurt my throat. Yukk. I can't do this on a raw throat. So I tamped it out after one puff, came back inside, and put that cigarette back in the pack. No use wasting it. I'll smoke it in the morning. And with that, I went to bed. Still without a thought in the world of quitting.

And as it turned out, that was my last puff. Woke up sick as a dog. Stay in bed with a fever sick. Shivering one minute, hot the next. Throat hurt. Breathing was congested. Just couldn't go back and smoke that cigarette I put back in the pack. So, I decided to see if I could go 24 hours without a cigarette for the first time in thirty-eight years.

I did. I don't even know if I was suffering any withdrawal. I was so miserable from the flu, what's the difference, right?

And, you know the rest of the story. I decided to go for a second day. Started hunting the internet for information on nicotine gum and stumbled across www.whyquit.com. Started watching Joel's videos.

Started realizing that maybe I could actually quit. On Day 3, I knew I had to take advantage of the opportunity. Having proven to myself that I could go 48 hours without nicotine, I decided that enough was enough and became an ex-smoker. Honestly, something in the nicotine addiction education from hours of watching Joel's videos killed my desire to smoke. Oh, yeah...I had to work through the triggers and the urges just like everyone else. I didn't care, though. I was done and that was that. Whatever I had to endure, I had to endure because I knew I would never get another chance to quit.

And now I'm Gold!

Since that last puff, I've never even really considered taking another puff. As I celebrate my one year anniversary of quitting, I suppose that fireworks should be going off and all that. Don't get me wrong. I am so happy I quit. I am so proud of my one year. But, nothing really feels different about one year.

I've felt like a comfortable ex-smoker since about the three or four month mark. With every passing day, it just gets harder and harder to even remember being a smoker. I knew I had smoked my last cigarette on day 3 when I decided to quit and nothing has changed. I still know I've smoked my last cigarette. The only thing I have to do as a matter of routine is do a little refresher reading in the One Puff Files, so I never lose sight of what I have to do to stay quit.

My advice is the same as always. Thinking about quitting is so much harder than actually quitting. When the mood strikes, just dive in and start paddling. If I can quit, anybody can. Don't make it harder than it needs to be. The one foolproof method for quitting smoking is simply stop buying, lighting, and putting cigarettes to your lips. Just stop. Ride out the early weeks on the back of daily education and support. And, never look back. Until your GOLD one-year anniversary.

To everyone who is rockin' a quit, I'm so happy for you. Just keep hangin' on. It gets easier and easier and easier. If you can focus on the desire to enjoy life as an ex-smoker rather than whining about having to "give up" your nicotine addiction, it will just get easier and easier as you turn smoking triggers into things you associate with not smoking.

After smoking for 35+ years, I quit cold turkey 365 days ago. By breaking my active nicotine addiction, I've not purchased and smoked 7300 cigarettes that would have cost me $1,852.65. They tell me I've extended my life expectancy by 25 Days and 8 Hours as a result of quitting when I did.