One year for me tonight, and I am grateful it is not the same as this date last year. At that time, I had recently broken my heel and had two operations. My bone was not healing well and my surgeon attributed that to smoking. I did my own research, but could not find the flaw with his medical opinion, though I tried So I decided to quit, but seriously quit, not like the dozens of times when my quit was a passing thought; or something I said to shut someone up. I had already started vaping (along with my smoking) and decided to eliminate the tobacco part.
So on a Tuesday night, I was out with friends and had my last cigarette. I walked home and thought this isn’t so bad. Reality kicked in the next morning. My doctor had also recommended that I quit or limit alcohol and caffeine (as they also interfere with bone healing). So I spent Wednesday, without my ciggies, or my coffee, on crutches, in my walking boot, working from home. I drew on my e-cig so hard, I thought I would break my teeth.
The whole week was horrible, as was the next one, and the one after that; but gradually it got better. I didn’t keep track of when changes came but with time there were less cravings, and they were less intense. I lowered the e-cig to zero % nicotine, and eventually stopped using it. I remember feeling better at 3 months and much better at 6.
My friends have been incredibly supportive, but it was also this site and the contributors who helped with the determination to keep on going. Overall I feel healthier; my throat, chest, skin, teeth, fingers, numerous other parts, and of course my heel is better. I gained 37 pounds after my quit (and being on crutches for months). Since I’ve ditched my boot, I’ve lost 20 of them. Hopefully the rest go by next year.
The cravings are almost completely gone. They probably never go away 100%, but at this point for me, it is 30-40 minutes a week. Sometimes I understand the trigger and sometimes it is random. But it is more like nostalgia than a hard craving. After smoking for 30 years, it still seems odd not to smoke in certain situations. Like too many people I started smoking as a teenager. We were all young and dumb, and I regret not quitting after I supposedly matured, but I have no time machine to go back in.
In return for the painful months and remaining moments; I’m not thinking about smoking in an airport, meetings, a restaurant, with my family, or the other 23 plus hours a day. Missing something for a short time is nothing compared to being caught in an addictive, dangerous, antisocial, smelly, and costly habit.
For new quitters, or people lurking on this site who are not sure they are ready to quit; I can only say to swing for the fences. If you miss, try again, and again, and again, until you have succeeded. Nobody has ever regretted quitting this habit.