Round dates are great for major decisions! When I turned 35, I thought to myself how wonderful it would be to finally quit smoking. It was about time! But guess what? I smoked as a maniac during that entire year and thought I would eventually die if I didn’t stop. I felt miserable and lost! The year of 35 was about to end and I didn’t do anything to make it meaningful in regard to important decisions. I turned 36, got intoxicated with tobacco over a couple of beers, observed my ex-smoker best friend, the most obsessive smoker ever, making faces at my chain smoking and decided:
“This is the time, now or never!”
And I made it!
It’s been 7 months since I kicked the addiction, on this very date. Not round date, but 7 months comes as symbolic to me now, as it was the age of 36, not 35 when I quit. It seems that I love to give myself some extra time or at least to extend the deadline to the maximum.
I, one of the most stubborn smoker on Earth, can proudly exclaim that I no longer smoke!
Different kinds of smoking addiction
It is said that there are different sorts of addiction when it comes to smoking, from the habit of holding a cigarette, feeling self-assured when smoking to being physically addicted to it. Judging from what I read and heard about the topic, I was the most serious one. I literally enjoyed the tobacco smoke going down my trachea and filling in the lungs. I inhaled it as a medicine and enjoyed every single puff. In my case it actually was a deep and long smoke.
I loved smoking! And I stopped! I had to!
I am a mom, I have two kids and I must be responsible!
That was my reasoning. Since I was as addicted as one can be, I had to prepare myself!
So, I hope that the stages I have been through would be helpful to all those who are planning to quit or at least are unhappy about that vicious circle situation as I used to be!
I had two attempts to stop and failed. The first one was quite successful, but I was stupid to have that one puff. Boom, a smoker again! Once smoker, always a smoker! Second time was disastrous. I ate incessantly and gained 5 kilos. Awful! After that it felt almost impossible to ever try again. I enjoyed smoking for years after the second attempt.
Nevertheless, I gave myself time to contemplate on the issue. I smoke. OK. I am a drug addict. I am. What exactly do I like about it? I considered every single aspect of smoking while I carried on enjoying the addiction to the fullest. And it lasted! Yet, I thought about the addiction and how miserable I was, but I smoked, and smoked without thinking when and how I would stop. I knew that the time would come, but it wasn’t about the time at the time.
When negativity prevails
The more you think how bad you feel about being a smoker, the closer you get to hate yourself about it. I wanted to do some serious workout, but I couldn’t because I easily lost breath. And I accepted that situation for years. I started to feel bad about being loose and out of shape just because I couldn’t breathe while being physically active. And I never stopped being active, but I struggled hard not to suffocate and it prevented me from doing things the way I wanted.
Thinking of pleasure you used to gain, but not any longer
There’s no situation which I didn’t relate to smoking. Being alone or in a company, drinking first morning coffee or having that last cig before going to bed. All these situations were unimaginable without cigarettes. Nevertheless, it was long ago when I stopped enjoying smoking for the sake of it. For years now I had done it out of addiction not out of pleasure. Besides, I always needed to hide in order to prevent smoke from filling in the area where my family resided.
It might have been cool and fun to smoke at the age of 18, but at the age of 36 it was just inconvenience, very rarely a pleasure. At moments I felt misfit, especially in a company of good-looking and vital non-smokers of my age. Why on Earth I need to feel as a sick person when I am still young and hopefully still healthy?
When you start worrying about health
I read somewhere that if one quits smoking by the age of 35, there won’t be health repercussions. I extended that deadline and really started feeling consequences. Suddenly it was hard to enjoy the addiction when I knew that with each smoke I ruined my health, and at this age I could feel it more than ever before. Smoking just lost its charm. It was becoming a real trouble to me.
Choosing the best time
With all the above on my mind I started thinking of stopping. Now it was about choosing the best moment. What seems usual and as a daily routine may prove very stressful when it comes to quitting. Right moment is of critical importance. Mood of people around you matters. If your partner is under pressure at work, it might not be the best moment to quit, although you normally deal with this kind of stress without even noticing it. You shall be relaxed and at ease with yourself. Simply, you should be in a good mood and surrounded by positive people. You should ask for support of your loved ones and explain that you really expect it.
When you quit
The time has come! You have made that decision! You should be enthusiastic about it as you will soon feel all the benefits of being an ex-smoker. IN no moment should you feel as you are making sacrifices. No! You know how bad you feel when you smoke and all you need to do is to be patient just for a while, a couple of weeks, not more, to start feeling as a winner! Giving up smoking is a kind of project and it has its stages!
The point is that this is not a sacrifice but award! The best present you could afford yourself! This is how you should feel about it. Don’t think of the smoke you inhale!
Never, ever again! There’s no just one cigarette! It’s one of the greatest lies!
So, if you have already decided to start that wonderful journey, don’t spoil it with thinking of obstacles you may face during it! Don’t spoil the beauty of you victory! And it IS a victory, your own, personal glorious victory!
How to deal with the crisis
I was ready for it as I knew what I could expect and how I would feel after quitting. I had tried two times before. This time, however, I just thought how to buy time before the physical crisis vanished. I didn’t think of quitting as a sacrifice but as a victory! One of the biggest in my life! And it is indeed!
Start doing things you haven’t done for long. See friends you haven’t seen for a while. Introduce workout on a daily basis! Ride a bike, jog, swim, go for long walks. Combine all of these. I did. It feels great not to cough as a donkey while doing some serious exercise. Test your boundaries! This felt so good to me! Oh yes, I could run for miles without panting and losing breath! Oh God, I missed this so much!
Do whatever you feel like doing! Fantasize! Fall in love! Enjoy your favorite pastime! Spend money! Dance until you collapse! Go wild! You are entitled to it because YOU NO LONGER SMOKE!
You are the winner! You have won one of the hardest battles and now is the time to celebrate and enjoy life to the fullest!
I do and I wish you the same!
Izvor: Lana’s words