Yes, it is six whole months since I puffed on a cigarette. On one hand, I can hardly believe it's already been 26 weeks, and on the other, it seems like a few years. Isn't that the way of important events? I cannot believe my son is already nearing 3, yet I can barely remember what life was like before he arrived.
It took a couple dozen tries to get here. The record before completely puff-free is 2 months. I made it 3 months twice, but was starting to cheat by that milestone. That's one trick I can share - it's the first puff that gets you, or "I'm a puff away from a pack a day". My quit gadget on Quitnet says I have NOT smoked over 3600 cigs as of today. Honestly, I have NOT smoked just one -- the first one. This is a recovery technique borrowed from Alcoholics Anonymous, but like so many other AA sayings and techniques, it's applicable to any addiction.
Many time I have just barely made it. Here are some things that helped me.
- Coming up with my own goal. For me it was 1 week for each year smoked, which will be next week. I convinced myself that when I reached that it would get much easier. I didn't see the great improvement at 30, 60 or 90 days that others did.
- Not expecting it to get easier after a week or a month or 100 days. Everyone is different, but for me it was a very gradual improvement though nothing has been as bad as hell week.
- Delay & distract. IE, I will not smoke one right now, but I can if I still want one this badly in an hour or tomorrow I can have it; then get busy with something else.
- WATER. Ice cold water has magical properties when it comes to cig cravings
- Sunflower seeds.
- Fireballs - the hot jawbreakers.
- Quitnet - incredible amount of online support and quit info.
- Hubby quitting at the same time. Da Kane has had an easier time than I, it looks like, but never judge another's recovery. All I know for sure is that not having cigs in the house made my quit much easier.
- A complete list of every single reason I can think of to quit that I reviewed all the time the first couple months.
- Nicoderm Patch, compliments of the state of Colorado.
- Nicotine gum, for the really tough spots the first few weeks. I actually like the new mint coated Nicorette.
- Several supporters at work. Personally, it worked well to tell everyone I was quitting and have them check in with me. Unfortunately, people who have never smoked pretty much think it's all over and done after a month or so.
- Rewards! I may have spent all the $600 I've saved by not smoking so far, but it was worth it. Particularly the 30 min massages a few times a month.
- Knowing that it's not over yet and probably never will be. And that's ok today. I smoked for 27 years, maybe after 27 years smokefree I will not have to keep my guard up, until then I must be aware.
- Anger at Big Tobacco. It really helps to read up on their deceitful and dangerous practices. Once you fully understand that they do not care that they are killing their customers, and would like to addict more teenagesrs to kill them too eventually, you don't want to give them more money.
I just don't know where to start to overcome this addictive eating! Argh! But for today, I will just try to keep it mindful and celebrate my success over smoking.