These milestones are important, because if all goes well, there is no ultimate finishing line.
I can now say with confidence that I will never smoke again. I’m not being complacent or arrogant when I say this, but I know that it’s true. I don’t need to smoke, and I don’t want to smoke. There is nothing that could happen to me that would make having a fag seem like a good idea. I’m done.
This quit has always felt different from previous attempts. The fear of withdrawal and deprivation that kept me a smoker for decades has completely flipped. Now, I have an irrational fear that if I were to have one puff, it would hurt like crazy. My logical side knows that this wouldn’t be the case, but so what? For once, fear is working in my favour, so I will just let it be.
It has been interesting on here to see that while we are all trying to achieve the same goal, there is no single “right way” to get there. CT, NRT, Champix – all methods have produced winners and losers.
I have seen a lot of you successfully quit by telling yourselves that not smoking is a choice, and one that needs to be reaffirmed one day at a time. The way that my mind has always worked, when I have tried to make that choice every day, it has inevitably become a numbers game. One day, for whatever reason, I would make a bad choice. And from that point, each choice becomes more and more difficult.
In my case, what made a difference this time was an absolute conviction that I can never smoke again under any circumstances – all choice is gone. For me, this removed the endless struggles and internal debates that were features of my previous efforts. So now for the first time in 40 years, I can truly feel free and calm.
It’s great seeing so many new members joining the forum – I really wish you all the best, because there is so much to be gained from going through those difficult times. I can’t tell you how to do this, but I hope that you find a way that suits you.
And while I am at it, a heartfelt message to those of you who have blipped or stumbled – please don’t do what I did and walk away for years before trying again. I spent so much of my life believing that I was that hopeless case who was too addicted, too weak and too far down the line to make this happen. I can’t begin to tell you how much I regret that now. If you lapse, get back on that horse and ride like your life depended on it. If it gets scary, just shut your eyes and hold on tight until things ease. Trust me, the view from here makes it so worthwhile.