Quitting Smoking 6-1-12
Every night I go to bed and as I lay there, I beat myself up because I did not follow the plan for smoking less that I had laid out for myself the night before. I then resolve to not have a cigarette the first thing in the morning. I tell myself I will drink a cup of coffee first, then have the cigarette, delay having the morning cigarette. Every morning I wake up and sure enough, the resolve from the night before means nothing. I grab a cup of coffee and smoke the day’s first cigarette. And because I already screwed up the plan I give up on the rest of the day. Silly isn’t it? But that is exactly how it goes. It is as if the logical part of my brain says, this is the plan, don’t worry if you don’t do it perfectly, just keep trying. The other side of my brain, the evil addicted part says, why bother following through, you already messed up again, try again tomorrow, tomorrow will be better. Then I lay in bed at night and beat myself up again. You would think that knowing this would be half the battle. It is a viscous cycle that is defeating me right now. Again, I remind you, if quitting was a matter of resolve and will power alone, and was an easy thing to do, I would have quit years ago.
I have 15 days until my quit date. It scares me. Like a true addict, I think of things like what will I do when I am stressed? What about after meals, when I truly enjoy a cigarette, maybe I can have one then? That last one is really a dumb idea. If I can’t hold off on the first cigarette of the day, what makes me think I can have just one after meals? What if I am around someone who is smoking? And they offer me one? Am I strong enough to say no thank you? Logical or not, these are the things that go through my head. I truly have an emotional attachment to cigarettes. I have been smoking for almost 35 years. I already know that I am not able to have just one, that I am truly truly addicted and that I am powerless over this shit.
Today, so far I have smoked less than I did yesterday. How? I have been clock watching. I smoke a cigarette, I pay attention to the time. When I have the urge to smoke another I look at the time. I have noticed that I want one about every 20-30 minutes. Damn, I smoke A LOT. So instead of having it I make myself wait at least another 20 – 30 minutes. It seems like the urge to smoke goes away but does come back. Sometimes I am watching every minute tick by and other times I get distracted and it is 45 minutes before I notice. It is a start, for sure. A small one, but a start never the less.
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.