To celebrate my 6 months quit (on Sunday 28 Feb) – I’ve been working through my smoking diary. I thought this was timely for me – and will hopefully help others. I’ve had to try and fill in for times when I really couldn’t be arsed with anything – but I think it neatly sums up the last six months for me. Take a deep breathe....its a bit of a beast........
Firstly, the background. I had to give up as I shattered my shoulder and my surgeon said I must not smoke for 3 months to allow the bone to repair itself. If I did there was a chance my shoulder would crumble away and I’d need a replacement as the chemicals and nicotine would stop nourishment getting to the shoulder bone. So it was Cold Turkey. After 4 days of tentatively smoking 3 or 4 cigs a day – and having a panic attack every time – it was finally time to go for it:
September 1 2009 - Day 1 – SCARED SH**LESS!!!! This seems to be the only thing I can remember – being petrified that I cannot smoke for the next 3 months (as per my surgeon’s instructions).
Day 2 – Disbelief that I got through day 1! I’m feeling sick – and my eyes feel like they’re bugging out of my head. Veer between being starving hungry and having no appetite at all.
Rest of Week 1 – pretty much the same – am moping around feeling VERY sorry for myself or wanting to strangle somebody. Been craving cigs all week.
Week 2-3 More of the same. Craves are bad. It is only the pain in my shoulder that is getting me through – the pain is greater than the crave to smoke. Am irritable and have no patience with anything or anyone. My fiends are saying how well I’m doing – and my mind is screaming “SHUT UP AND GIVE ME A FAG!!!” But am also becoming aware that my will power is stronger than I thought it would be. Start of positive feelings about the quit but have concerns about what I’m going to do if I’m not smoking (really stupid thoughts) – like what I’ll do watching TV or waiting for a bus (what grip did cigs have on me!?!?!?!?)
Week 4 – A big change! Masses of energy. Start to feel euphoric – but do still have cravings – but they seem less intense
Week 5 – Things even out slightly – but still quite a positive feeling. Craves still there but are starting to get more manageable. Start to notice I do not have a lot of concentration as the only thing I’m really thinking about is smoking – either that I want to smoke or thinking that I’ve given up smoking. This is a real worry for me.
12 Oct: FOUND AND JOINED THIS SITE! A Daily dose of messages keeps me strong.
Week 6 – A change again - Being very unreasonable about things – and the smallest things are causing me to go into moods. Start feeling a bit depressed and highly emotional. Am angry about what smoking has done to me and how it is making me feel. Start to change my attitude from NEEDING to give up (due to shoulder) – to WANTING to give up and not just for 3 months – but forever. Concentration still not very good. Am back in work after my accident and am worried as I can’t focus on anything.
Week 7 – I go on holiday to Disney in Florida (hardly worth going back to work!!!). It is brilliant as it is so difficult to smoke and it is really frowned upon. Really get to grips with dealing with the craves and have a fantastic time. Kill off a great number of triggers. The flight is the best flight I’ve ever had as I’m not relying on fags (see post in Symptoms). I get this from Marg’s signature whyquit.com/whyquit/A_Sympt... and read it on holiday. It is without doubt the best thing I read for me and my quit and helped me tremendously.
End Month 2: in basically a good position. Still having craves, but manageable – but do have funny hollow feelings in my stomach and the back of my throat (I want the feel of the smoke to get rid of this – but alcohol is a good enough substitute!!).
Month 3 : they say its part of the dreaded 3s – and it was for me. Around week 10 I really didn’t feel right at all. I got drunk one weekend and had to spend 2 days in bed – not sure if it was a hangover, the flu or what. But not good. I thought if I have a fag I’ll be OK – but I didn’t. Also really noticed my sleeping patterns were starting to get all over the place and I was sleeping far longer than I normally do.
Weeks 11 – 12: I really do start to feel a lot more together – am glad I dug me heels in. Feel much more positive. Start believing that “it does get better” because it did. Went to Vienna where EVERYONE smoked. It was funny because in clubs/bars where the smoke really was bad I didn’t fancy smoking at all. But when I was walking around in the lovely fresh air I did fancy one – but the crave was more of a niggle than anything and easy to deal with. Really start to believe that this can be done and I can become a non smoker. My concentration really returns and is more focussed and razor sharp than I think it was when I was a smoker.
Month 4 – the festive season. Bit worried about how I would deal with it – but got through Xmas and New Year with no problem at all. Can’t remember having any particular craves – and was just happy I didn’t have to go out in the freezing cold for a stupid smoke.
Month 5 – My Birthday – went out - had a blast - got off my head and didn’t think of lighting up once. Rest of the month goes by pretty quickly with nothing really to report – a few minor wants but absolutely no problem at all.
Month 6 (Feb 2010). Things seem to be going from strength to strength. Can’t really remember the last time I had what I’d call a crave.
So here I am. Hopefully all will go smooth for next 6 months and I’ll get to the Penthouse.
My aim: I want to be indifferent to cigarettes – I don’t want to hate them or find them disgusting or rant and rave at friends and colleagues who smoke – that would give the cigs too much power and I feel I’m better than that.
I thank everyone who has supported me this far – and I hope those at the start, or further on in their quit, the very best of luck.