It has been two years since I smoked a cigarette. I started smoking at a young age. Trying to fit in with my friends I took up the habit when I was 16 years old. Most of our parents smoked which made it easy for us to obtain a cigarette here and there. If I knew then the horrible struggles I had to go through to quit, I would have never started. I was a promising young athlete at the time, but cigarettes really sent me down the wrong path.
Peer pressure is no joke. It was the summer of 1995 and I was visiting my best friends. I was shocked when Joann and Linda told me they had been sneaking smokes from their parents for a few weeks. I protested, but soon I felt I was being too harsh toward my friends. I took up my first Marlboro red, my head went light and I was buzzed. I laughed with my dear friends and we didn’t think much of it. The whole summer we stole cigarettes from our parents and found ever opportunity to smoke. We even had a code word! Pretzels = cigarettes. When school started back up I wasn’t able to focus during my studies and I couldn’t run as well anymore. The withdraws for a young hormonal teen were horrendous. Often I was mean to my family.
It wasn’t until I was about 22 that I wanted to quit and it took me seven years. You really need to want to quit. I actually believed I enjoyed it and it became the background of my life. Unthinkingly buying packs at 7-11, stocking up on cartons from the PX and smoking every change I could get. I smoked while driving, when I had a cup of coffee, after sex, in the bathroom, waiting for something, after eating at every meal and always while socializing. It started to cut into my sales at work. I would be busy smoking and as a result I would lose on a sale.
I would quit for a few days, would think I could have just one and I would end up starting back up again. Your mind must believe you are not suppose to be a smoker you can not justify to smoke for any reason. You should be aware of your thoughts as you are breaking your habit. Have a bag of nuts like almonds around to snack on. Chew gum.
Keep busy and put off having a cigarette as long as you can. If you have to smoke only take a few drags and do not finish the whole cigarette. Know when enough is enough. Make new habits. Understand smoking is bad for you, unattractive, and expensive. Look at pictures of lungs, read accounts of cancer, read health risks of smoking and ask yourself if you want to life longer. Just think, that cigarette you are about to smoke is shorting your life! Constantly remind yourself of the negativity of smoking and you will soon become strong enough to over come the addiction.
Once you stop smoking you will realize all of the positive benefits like, living longer, tasting food, breathing right and saving money. It is going to be a hard addiction to kick, but with willpower you’ll be able to do it and help your friend in the fight against smokers. Remember parents who are smoker: You have children who look up to you!
The reason it took me so long to quit is because I was always around it. I worked in a club, I drank coffee and my boyfriend smoked. My boyfriend and I quit together. We were short with each other, but we were aware it was the withdrawals causing it. If you have a partner to quit with, be each other’s support and you will make it through this difficult time. There are other thing you two can do besides smoke ;). It is going to be hard to stay positive so be aware of what this addiction has made you become.
You may want to take a few days off from work to sleep some of the addiction off. Exercise is an important element in quiting. Exercise and learn to breathe right. Keep busy. Remember if you must smoke, take a drag or two and put it out. Stay away from triggers during your first month of quiting. Example of some of my triggers were other smokers and drinking. There are some medications you can get from your doctor to aid you in quiting, I however do not recommend them. I tried to use medication myself and ended up even more depressed then I have ever been in my life. It has taken me a year to get back to my normal balance. Remember depression may result in more smoking! I’ve used the gum, but it always gave me too much nicotine causing me to smoke again, and more! With E-cigarettes, I am not convinced in the science and I don’t want nicotine in my system at all. Nicotine is an addictive drug! E-cigarettes are just another way to inject poison into your blood!!
The solution which worked best for me:
Every morning I would wake up and I would not have a morning cigarette. I’d have breakfast, then take my dog for a walk while listening to music or an audio book. Whenever I would think I wanted a cigarette I would push the thought away and I would look for something else to do. If the craving got really bad I would pop an almond in my mouth. When it got extremely difficult I would take a drag or two always reminding myself my life was shorting and I was better then cigarettes until finally I didn’t need them anymore.
Looking back, I regret all the times I quit for 3 months and start back up thinking I could be a casual smoker then end up being full time again. Two year is a long time to be without nicotine… and it has been great! I have no desire to smoke and I do not miss it at all. People smoke around me and I do mind because second hand smoke kills. Fortunately, laws are being changed and the ugly smoker is no longer in a majority of places. I see them huddled together in their little smoker’s corner and wonder if they realize they are actually killing themselves. It’s been proven folks, cigarette smoke kills.