Now a non-smoker

Hey All,

Things are going fantastic for me in this quit. It's only my 8th day off cigarettes , but I'm already feeling like a non-smoker. The cravings have been almost entirely gone from my mind the last three days and it's actually only when I'm on the forum here that I'm reminded more about cigarettes (ironic, no?). But anyway, here are some tips I can give you to try and help you have a successful quit as well:

1. Whatever you do, join a forum like this one (or support group). I've found it extraordinarily helpful to be part of a community of people all striving for the same thing. Watching people fail on their attempts made me realize how difficult a process it is, but at the same time I was motivated even more to stay quit. More than anything, the story of forum members' successes inspired me to keep going. I'm also quitting with my twin brother, so if you have someone you can quit with, I'd recommend trying that as well. Especially if it's someone you have regular contact with.

2. The First Three Days really are the hardest on you. You will be constantly frustrated, heart-broken, and in pain for the better part of at least 48 hours, and you won't like it. What you need is something to distract your mind with for the next few days. Get involved with a new hobby or craft, any activity to engage you enough to occupy your attention when you would normally be overwhelmed with thoughts of cigarettes. I became involved with some political forums online, reorganized some work on my computer, went for night time bike rides in the streets of Amsterdam, and I also smoke weed occasionally (it's okay, perfectly legal in Amsterdam), which I found therapeutic at times. This doesn't mean that I'm recommending this for anyone, everyone has a different attitude. The point is, distracting your mind is key.

3. After three days, notice how the cravings start to diminish and take pleasure in this. Keep track of how much money you save, something to reflect your progress concretely. The cravings continue to show up after three days, of course, but you'll wake up feeling more refreshed every morning with cleaner lungs and a clearer voice.

4. Work from day to day. After three days, you have to keep up this pattern of thinking until you begin to reconceptualize yourself as a non-smoker and begin to break your psychological habit.

I realize that a lot of you quitters on here (ha ha!) have been smoking much longer than I have (I only smoked off and on for two years and regularly for one), so I'm not sure of the degree of difficulty you face compared to me, but I'm assuming it can be infinitely harder as the habit has become more stabilized when you've smoked ten or twenty years. Perhaps these tips will be more helpful to those who have smoked for fewer years, I'm not sure, but good luck to all!

Alec

2 Replies

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  • Hi there,

    Wise words, glade you are doing so well.

    I think what you have said applies equally to long term or short term smokers, in varying degrees and without this place I don't think I would have found this half as "do-able".

    All the best and hang on in there.

    Nic

  • Well done Alec. Thank you for a lovely post. xxxxx

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