Quitting Smoking 6/13/12
As you can imagine, I have been reading a lot about how to quit smoking. Trying out some of the tips that make sense to me. The best tips I have been getting are from friends who also happen to be ex-smokers. Speaking of ex-smokers, they are either the worst people to talk to smoking about or the best. There are no in-between, no opinion ex-smokers. They are either very harsh with you, or very empathetic. I find it interesting.
One of the best suggestions I received was to suck on a cinnamon stick. It came from a friend who is also an ex-smoker. It was also one that was suggested to me by my Pulmonologist. No the two do not know each other and my friend suggested it first. When he first mentioned I was skeptical, thinking it was right up there with eating carrot sticks. When the doc mentioned it as well, I thought that it was worth a try.
The idea was that every time I had the craving for a cigarette, to suck on a fresh cinnamon stick. At first it didn’t really work. I was talking with a family member about it and he pointed out that maybe I was doing it wrong. That I was sitting in my easy chair chewing on the cinnamon stick thinking about how I wanted a cigarette. He suggested that since I do not smoke in the house that perhaps I needed to get up, take my cinnamon stick outside with me and suck on it there. He also got me cinnamon mints. I pop a strong cinnamon mint in my mouth, go outside, suck on the cinnamon stick and it works. The reason I believe, is that the mint puts a sensation into my throat as I suck on the stick as if I was smoking. The act of going outside and doing everything I would if I was to smoke a cigarette but without the cigarette seems to fool my brain for a while. I do not know if my brain is fooled that much, but it seems to be working. I am going with it.
Another suggestion I read is to distract myself for a while, that sharp cravings only last for 10 minutes or so. Well, I am alone most of the time, with no one around to distract me or even hold me accountable. So, I have good friends on Facebook who are around to help out. IF I mention I need distracting, they are willing to chat with me for a bit. Just lighthearted silliness helps. Especially if we talk about everything and anything BUT smoking. If they want to chat about smoking, then lo and behold, I want a cigarette and the craving gets worse. I have two friends in particular that are very good at keeping me distracted. One is V, who chats with me and is willing to chat about anything from naughtiness to physics. I post that I need distracting, or like last night I posted that I had decided not to have a cigarette for five minutes and there she was, chatting and being silly. Bless her!
The other friend is M. He had been instrumental in distracting me in my favorite way. He posts videos and jokes to my wall. The videos are all about 1 to 2 minutes long. He will post a good 6 to 10 minutes of them. He also posts jokes and pictures that are very funny to me. He understands my warped sense of humor.
The end result of all this is that my five minutes of no smoking becomes 10 minutes, then 20 and in the case of last night, an hour. This is good as I had already not smoked for two hours and my five more minutes was just a push to go five more minutes, to not “reward” myself for not smoking for two hours. It is because of my friends that I went another hour.
Between good friends, humor, slightly naughty videos and cinnamon, I may make it through. In fact, I am pretty sure I will. Come Saturday, I will wear the patch and hopefully not drive my friends away with my weirdness and requests for distractions.
I have three days until my quit date.
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.