Well I'm here, I've actually made it!
I've been thinking, over the last couple of days, of all the things I want to say. Reassurances I can give to newer quitters, thank yous to all of the wonderful people who've given me the support and encouragement I've needed to get to where I am today. But I can't quite choose the right words now that I'm here. :rolleyes:
So I've decided to take anyone who can be bothered to read on my journey over the last year, in the hope that it will instil some confidence in those who are still having tough times and to give the same encouragement and positivity that I have received in the last 12 months.
I decided to quit smoking after starting with yet another cold (I usually had 4-5 a year) and realising that my habit was probably the reason I suffered so badly. I was tired of spending a week at a time sleeping on the couch, instead of in bed with my OH, because I refused to just give the fags a rest for a week or two. I could usually manage a couple of days, but after that the cravings would kick in again and I'd be choking my guts up and keeping us both awake at night. I also suffered quite badly with nose bleeds whenever I was ill, so I generally dreaded the common cold.
Earlier in the year we'd been away skiing and, while in the airport coming home, I was so stressed and desperate because of not being able to smoke that I totally ruined our time together travelling back, it was my most selfish time as a smoker and I was truly disgusted with my childish behaviour when I looked back. But hey, we'll do anything for fags won't we?
My first week was a breeze. I was using patches but found I didn't really need them because my cold was keeping the cravings at bay anyway. I also found in that first couple of weeks that I was so set on the challenge it was keeping me positive anyway.
I remember hitting a point just before the month mark, when I decided to buy an e-cig. I wasn't sure that it would be a good idea but I needed something to help with the terrible cravings that had kicked in after week 3. In my post, admitting to this, I said that I would happily be a smoker if it didn't effect my health the way it did, thus justifying an e-cig.
I found that it worked for me on and off, but whenever I used it I would feel immediately guilty. I was torn between wanting something that would help and feeling so weak and pathetic (after managing three whole weeks barely using patches) for caving. I spent the next couple of weeks up and down like a yo yo, either being elated that I was managing or literally bursting into tears for no reason at all. That was the hardest point of my quit, a time that I think most of us ex smokers have to go through to realise what we want.
Six weeks after I quit was my "crossroads" point.
I decided I was going to smoke and no one would stop me. I was fully prepared to be a ten a day smoker again, I didn't kid myself that just one would be enough. I bought the cigarettes, took one out of the packet and thought to myself "don't do it, you can get through this and you will be so proud".
While that voice made me feel extremely angry, because I was so torn between what was right and what I wanted, I gave the packet to my boyfriend. It took some time after that for me to come around and I still spent a little while with that "lost" feeling in my belly, but that couple of minutes and that one decision totally defined my quit and changed my attitude for the better.
And I guess I can say that the rest is history really. Every milestone that came and went left me feeling more confident and so proud of myself. :cool:
I'm not saying I didn't have my tough days, but they were nothing in comparison to previous cravings and they slowly ebbed away until now I don't even have memory of them.
I know that I wasn't exactly what you would call a heavy smoker, but boy was I addicted! The routine and habit were so embedded that I just couldn't imagine life without nasty nic "helping me out".
Not only have I managed it, I have ENJOYED these last few months of being a non-smoker. What a great feeling of achievement and how normal it feels not to rely on stinky cigs!! And, whether healthy or not, I don't EVER want to pick up a cigarette again. I don't hate or dislike them, I nothing them.
So that's my story. Nothing too dramatic and I suppose I didn't really struggle as much as some people can/have, but I hope there are some things in my post that you can relate to. We all travel on the same path to freedom and it's great to know that WE'RE NOT ALONE.
Here are my 1 year stats:
Not smoked: 3650 cigarettes :eek:
Added 14 days onto my life
Have been a non smoker for 1 year and 14 hours
I think I'll always keep the no smoking app to hand, as a reminder of my forever building stats!
Thank you thank you thank you to this wonderful forum and its members for the help you've given me I know that achieving the goal has been on my shoulders, but I honestly believe that I would have already failed by now if it hadn't been for this place. I'm hoping I can spend the next however many years guiding others too, the way I have been guided.
*oh gosh! getting emotional now!*
Max and Kat, if you wouldn't mind helping with my bags I'm ready to move into the Penthouse
Much love xxx