Non-Smoking 10 Days and Counting
As of 10:00 pm last night have been smoke free for 10 days. Honestly, am amazed I have been able to do this for this long. I do know that many people are to blame for my success. I have many friends and family who are in my corner, and some of them are doing more than cheering. They are helping to distract me when the cravings are almost too much, some are available to me 24/7, even if only for a quick phone call. I owe much to these people as they are helping me to live longer.
Speaking of cravings, no, they have not gone away. I still have them. They are fewer than they were just several days ago,but they are definitely there. I do miss my cigarette in the morning and after meals. Those cravings are actually easier for me to get through, I acknowledge that I miss it and move on. It is the cravings I have when doing something new, well not new, but something I have not yet done smoke-free. Those seem to be the hardest for me. It also seems I did nothing without smoking. I am , of course, exaggerating, but it certainly feels like it.
The other day I went to our local county fair. I really did have fun, but I was surprised how much smoking used to be a part of that. I actually was planning my route, so to speak, through the fair based on what i considered good places to have a cigarette. Places that were out of the way and less likely to have a lot of people around. When I caught myself thinking that, I was a little shocked. It was just a bit dismaying to me, how much and how deep cigarettes were ingrained into my life. Although I had strong cravings for a cigarette (and, yes, people walking by with a cigarette that I see and smell, can trigger them) throughout my time there, I purposely changed up my routine and did things a little different. Some of it was as silly as going through a building backwards instead of the way I normally went.
Some of my friends have said and some of you reading this are thinking, “Well what is the problem here? You quit for 10 days. Shouldn’t you be over this already? Do you really need to use the patch anymore? Why not take up a hobby?”
The problem, folks, is that I smoked for 35 years. I do believe that it takes more than 10 days to get over it. I am not a weak person by no means. I can do most anything I put my mind to. Nicotine addiction, however, is something that just putting my mind to it is not enough. I do need the Nicotine patch and lozenges. Even if my head becomes as smoke free as my body, I intend to give myself every chance at success here,so I will continue to use the patch as directed. The lozenges I use as necessary. It is not as necessary as often, but I will use them rather than smoke.
Taking up a new hobby or, has been repeatedly suggested to me by well meaning people. exercising every time I want to smoke, although sounds good, isn’t really the answer for me. I know the idea is to replace a bad habit with a good habit, but smoking is more than a habit. It truly is an addiction. I have been teaching myself new jewelry techniques, and I already exercise. For myself, it is not just replacing the habit, it is learning how to do the normal everyday things without smoking or rewarding myself with a cigarette when I do something extraordinary or hard.
These are hard things to learn, to deal with stuff without a crutch. To not mask feelings with nicotine. Yes, Nicotine does mask feelings. It is one of the reasons to smoke. Nicotine stimulates the feel good areas of your brain. So, when things are hard emotionally, you smoke. Instant relief. Bored? smoke again instant relief. Angry? Nicotine can help that. I am not smoking, so I am learning how to deal and get through any emotions that I honestly, haven’t really dealt with in 35 years. It is a rough go for me, but i am more than determined to get through this. My life depends on it.
DISCLAIMER: These posts are nothing more than chronicling my efforts to quit smoking. Anything I write is nothing more than my way of doing so and my feelings associated with those efforts. If you are inspired to quit smoking by anything, you read here, please see a doctor and follow their instructions. I, in no way, am suggesting or recommending anything as means of smoke cessation.