My Journey

i"m an ex-smoking!! 206 days smoke free!  I smoked for over 30 years while in the U.S. Navy.  Started smoking about my first year and smoked pretty much my entire  career until I retired in 2012.   Why did I quit?  I really don't have a canned answer.  Most have a quick "for my wife and kids" or "doctors orders" etc - but I can't really nail one of those down.  So my answer is - I just really got sick and tired of smoking.  

I knew my battle was going to be difficult.  So to cut down on the full body shock of cold turkey, which I have a worlds record of those failed attempts.  I pulled out some quitting smoking tips booket that I picked up somewhere - I believe I stole from my sons dentist office - ok so what I'm busted .  Anyway -  as you see I'm starting to suffer from ADD as well.  

I started my process December 31, 2014  - my quest, my news years resolution, I'm going kick this smoking thing butt!  I awoke the next morning, put on my sweats, got a cup of joe - drum roll -  hell yeah I grabbed my smokes, lighter and out the door I went to go smoke in subzero weather.  Fail,. 

I started by not smoking in my truck.  Which was very difficult.  Smoking and driving was like smoking and tea/coffee.  After about month of that I started to notice my truck wasn't stinking like an ashtray.  But not smoking in my truck didn't mean I smoked any less.  I'd power puff a smoke walking up to the store or stand beside the truck and burn one.  

The next goal was to just not take smokes with me when driving around running errands .  It's the little things I had to cut out.  Like after eating.  I'd go brush my teeth immediately after meals or if out at a restaurant I'd use a toothpick for that hand to mouth muscle memory.  I still brush my teeth probably way more than what's required by  the dental association, but for a 52 year old I have to admit I have some fine shiny choppers.

This was  a couple months of putting off smoking, opting just wait till later or let the urge pass.   I had an appointment  with my doctor for my  annual  sack grab and cough - finger probe he asks was I interested in quitting smoking.  I told him I was. I started with 21mg nico-derm cc - can't remember how many is in a box but I was on that dosage for one month.  With these patches, I was like this is so easy I'm not having any urges - just that hand mouth thing.  

The next month doc put me on 14mg.  Okay - I get it now.  The 21mg was I know how way more  nicotine than I was taking in - but my body was loving it.  It took about 3-4 days for my body to adjust to its new nico-derm CQ dosage. I adjusted, fought the urges and temptations .  I stayed on the 14mgs for two months before dropping down to 7mg.

The drop down dosage effects were identical.  Took 3-4 days for my body to adjust - and honestly I never felt the "satisfied" feeling I was getting from 21mg or the 14mg. I was on 7mg for like 2 weeks.  My daughter had returned from overseas after service at a U.S. Medical center,  we planned a weekend up in the smokey mountains.  after the first day I notice I didn't wear a patch.  I didn't even notice. 

206 days later- I'm still smoke free - 

9 Replies

  • What a lovely post! Just shows there are plenty of approaches to this quitting lark. Thanks USNx. 

    Love the description of the annual medical procedure.

  • Yeah...That procedure is still very annoying for me. 

    "Growing old is not for sissies "

  • Loved reading this, such a wonderful post, many congratulations, have done fantastically well. Amazing 

    To be free of nicotine is amazing isn't it?

    Well done you 😀👍

  • Nico free!! No longer a puppet to the master!

  • Great post - congratulations. 206 days is some achievement - well on the way to a year

  • USNx...I love success stories and the moral of the story is that it can be done.....!!!

    I stopped after a chest X-ray showed all the COPD signs and being and active 58 year young Kayak angler with the vision of pulling a oxygen tank with me in the future I made the best decision of my life. 

    I stopped after 38 years 40-60 a day with the aid of Champix and after completing the coarse I can proudly say that I am 10 months + clear now... wonderful new life...!

    Thank you for sharing your success with us..!!

  • 10 months is awesome - I'll be there soon!  

    I hope you have tons of years left to out on the water

  • Congratulations USNx, great post to read on this fine Friday morning in *wait for it*, Sunny Ireland.

    PS We can celebrate our 1 year milestone together in style in the penthouse (in case you are not aware, 1 year we get to the Penthouse!)

  • I'm gonna get to sunny Ireland one day! I never made it to that side of the globe, I was a Pacific Ocean Sailor.. Have a great weekend! 

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