ABOUT ME/HOW I STARTED
Compared to many on this forum I guess I'm a comparatively recent/moderate smoker, yet I don't really feel like I could be much more addicted. I started 'socially' at uni a couple of years back and maybe got through a pack or 2 a week - they probably became a crutch for me at social occasions without my realising but I never felt dependent on them to get through a whole day and would never smoke when back at home for the holidays (didn't want my parents knowing).
MORE RECENTLY/MY DECISION TO QUIT
I got a job 6 months ago and randomly picked up a pack on one of the first days at an induction course (looking back, taking my social cue from the fact that some other newbies and a trainer were smoking outside). Since then I've quickly got into a 10-15 a day habit that hitherto I've found impossible to stop. Having been in pretty decent physical shape beforehand, I now feel unhealthy, poorly rested, and often out of breath. I despise the stale smell on my breath and fingers as well as the sense that it’s clinging to my suit and maybe people can smell it on me. I'm also spending 20%+ of my disposable income per month on cigarettes - something I can little afford given that my work requires me to shell out travel expenses each month before getting reimbursed. I've had money to fall back on up to this point, but if I continue I'm inevitably going to be faced with nightmare cash flow issues to go with the obvious damage I’m doing to myself day in day out (I hadn’t forgotten that part).
MY WITHDRAWALS – HOW TO MANAGE THEM?
Taking into account all of the above therefore, I'm QUITTING from tomorrow! I feel more positive about this attempt than most of my prior ones – I’m hopefully going to have this forum to rely on, and I’ve been spurred into action by watching the Bryan Curtis clip on Youtube, which is as horrifying as it is moving. Nevertheless, I’m still slightly concerned that despite the boldness of my current resolution I’ll inevitably relapse before long, regardless of how much I know that I’ve got to, and deep down want to, stop.
What keeps me coming back is that (and perhaps this is true for everyone) the basic craving for nicotine manifests itself in pretty bleak depressions – all the negatives in my life come to the foreground and overwhelm any enthusiasm I have for activities I normally enjoy – regrets about the past couple of years and failing my degree, being currently single and prone to strong feelings of loneliness. I get sudden surges of anger, frustration and jealousy when I haven’t smoked for a while and my mind wanders into places I’d rather it didn’t. Even whilst hating smoking, as long I have a cigarette to hand I’m pretty heavily anaesthetised to these emotions and the weed seems like the lesser of two evils. Cigarettes also seem most indispensable to me when I’m home after work, and want to kick back after a long day – they provide a private and solitary contemplative outlet away from having to deal with day to day stresses and strains. My ultimate question is how best to avoid or mitigate the sense of loss that inevitably arises when I decide to abstain, and give up the comfort and reassurance that smoking provides me?
That’s about it in a (rather large) nutshell. Hopefully this post hasn’t been too long and self-indulgent/self-pitying. If so I apologise, but I thought it might help to get as many specifics off my chest to better help somebody (anybody :)) give advice that will aid me going forward.
Thanks for reading.