I am about to embark on my first serious attempt and what I'm sure will be my only attempt at quitting smoking. I found this site through a google search for some reason I feel that I want to anonymously go through the experience with some fellow ex-smokers. I'll explain.
I started smoking 11 months ago. I am what is commonly referred to as a 'secret' smoker. It goes much deeper than you may assume. Absolutely nobody is in my life knows I smoke (apart from my ex-flatmate). My mother, my sister, my long term girlfriend, any of my friends - including my best friend of about 6 years, they all have no idea. 11 months ago I made the stupid decision to accept some tobacco from my ex-flatmate and I have felt absolutely ashamed of myself ever since. It almost became my guilty pleasure, despite my rational mind knowing it does absolutely nothing for me.
It has been a gradual decline from there. Almost instantly my frequent exercise and good health declined up until the point where I'm at now - barely exercising at all. I haven't put on much weight, but I feel absolutely awful. Constantly waking up with that awful feeling in my chest, high resting heartbeat which goes through the roof even walking up a big flight of stairs, bad skin, that awful taste in my mouth. Worst of all the feeling that I loathe myself for falling for the hideous trap that is nicotine.
Life as a secret smoker is incredibly difficult. I have to make sure I never leave lighters or empty packets lying around my flat. I have to go outside everytime I smoke, constantly wash my clothes and make sure I haven't smoked at all that day if I see my girlfriend/friends. I spend majority of my time abstaining from smoking - during this year I started medical school (ironic I know) so every week day I would go all day without smoking. Until I started writing this down I have never really reflected on the fact that I often went 10 hours during the day without a cigarette or 3 hour exams and I didn't get one craving, it didn't bother me at all, it wasn't on my mind. Here I am walking along for lunch with my friend who is puffing away and I am masquerading as a non-smoker, pathetic. When I am alone - it's a completely different story. I would smok 10-15 a day on days that I wasn't seeing my girlfriend, if it was a particularly stressful day revising for exams it would sometimes be more.
I don't contest that some people think they enjoy smoking. However, I'm not one of them. The tragic thing about it all is that I despise smoking. I always have and I always will. This could be why I have never confessed my addiction to anyone. I hate the smell, the taste, the way it makes me feel every morning and the gradual deterioration of my health, wellbeing and confidence. It is a miracle that people can survive 20+ years chainsmoking these filthy things. I am studying to be a doctor and and wish to set an example. Not avocating people to systematically destroy themselves.
I just felt it would make things easier if I got things out in the open, to someone, anyone. Even if they are a complete stranger. I know I am a strong willed person, my degree has already made me pretty educated on the health side of things. I know I can make today the last day of my life that I ever puff on one of those filthy things. I plan on posting my progress in the other sections of the forums to document my progress.
My method will be willpower, an audiobook of Allan Carr, and kickstarting my process of quitting with an exercise reigeme.
Here goes nothing.