Reflections on a year

At the end of tomorrow I'll have stpped for a year. It kind of creeps up on you. You stop filling in the spreadsheet daily, then weekly. You think back to the first days of the quit and smile because you thought it would be impossible. You feel a bit stupid now you now how easy it is to actually do it. You know you're a nicotine addict though and one fag could set you back to square one. You also know you don't want that one fag and resisting it is no harder than chosing not to walk around outside naked. In both cases you know you can do it, it's just you'd look and feel stupid doing it.

Anyway my reflections to help people starting out on a quit. It's a lot like grief

Denial: You fail because you don't feel you need to stop smoking. You find all the evidence that tells you smoking is good for you. You know how much pleasure you get from smoking and how it'd actually be worse for you to stop. I guess I fell at this stage so many times usually within a week.

Anger: Why can't I smoke! What's wrong with being a smoker. It's not like I interfer with you and your exhaust fumes. I smoke outside. I pay a lot of tax. I'll smoke if I bloody well want to! Again it's a first week thing.

Bargaining: I cut down. I only smoke 2 or 3 a day now. I only smoke when I'm drinking. It's amazing now I've stopped how frequently the occasional social smokers I know stin of fags. To think I was jealous of them!!! This is usually the downfall of most quits because you and your partner (who wants you to stop) are struggling with the "pain" and come to an agreement.

Depression: As you move in and beyond the above 3 stages you then start to feel as though you've lost something. You know you don't want it but you miss it. You wonder whether you'll ever feel truely normal again. You're not sad, but you are because a bit of you misses nicotine.

Acceptance: You know you've stopped smoking. You know why you've stopped smoking, you're glad you've stopped smoking, you're happy you've stopped smoking, but most importantly you know what can start you smoking again.

For me I reached acceptance after a month. I'd smoked for 30 years and for 27 of them I'd smoked heavily. I'd tried to stop countless times. I usually lasted hours, occasionally days, rarely a week, and my previous best was 9 months (with a lot of cheating). This time I use Champix for 1 month and Allen Carr which I've read dozens of times and at every moment of weakness. I gave away my copy 3 months ago to a friend wanting to stop as I don't need it anymore.

I've put on 2 stone 15 to 17 stone but that's starting to come off now. I've had a bit of a scare with wheezing, but Doc's say it's mild asthema. I've saved so much money it's unbelievable, but I'm free. I rarely think about smoking now except the odd dream (wierd)

It really is something that gets easier with time.

Good luck to you all. If I can do it anyone can.


1 Reply

  • Hi Richard,

    What a fab post.... thankyou ! so inspiring for us newbies...I'm just about coming to the end of Day 4, so just a little behind you mate :rolleyes:

    I read something similar to your post on the web the other day regarding the different stages of quitting (I think it was that Joel chappy) And I could immediatley relate to it.... although I'm only day 4, I really believe that I'm already somewhere between depression / acceptance ? (when I say depression, I don't mean proper life depression, just about missing my ex friend mr ciggy) and I'm now really believing that I'm actually gonna quit for good !

    That's if it's possible to skip through the other phases so quickly..... or can you re-visit the stages...... hope not !!


    p.s I'm also eating for ENGLAND at the mo, that will have to stop too....

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