It's amazing. I am quit for one year today! Here is the post I wrote on quitnet.com - a terrific resource for quitting smoking!
Note that they give the title Doctor to people quit for one year and beyond.
Is there a Doctor in the house?
From Ottoette on 1/7/2007 10:27:15 AM
Well, yes, as a matter of fact - there is!! ME.
In 30 minutes it will be exactly one year since I smoked a butt in the cold garage and asked myself if I was going to quit or not? I had intended to quit on the 3rd after the holiday, but had spent a few days torturing myself, bumming smokes, smoking half, going back hours later to find the butt and smoke it. It was a Saturday morning and I smoked the last bit of a butt some smoker had bummed me at work the day before. You remember how nasty those taste.
I asked myself if I was going to quit this time or not. Honestly, I was more concerned about blowing my husband's quit than anything. He had not tried to quit for 3 years and if we didn't do it this time, I thought he might take years to quit again. I knew I had a LOT of trouble quitting with his smokes in the house so I gathered my courage and told myself that I could stay quit as long as he could - I had more knowledge, more practice, more help (patch, zyban, the Q). This is about my 25th quit since 2000. I had learned A LOT.
So, it wasn't an epiphany and I didn't see a burning bush or suddenly just not want to smoke anymore, but everything changed that moment.
It hasn't been easy, especially the first 6 months. We put a lot of emphasis at the Q on making it to Elder, and probably for a lot of people, that is when it starts getting better. For me it was more like 6 months or 200 days.
I used Elder as an important goal that I had never reached before. Then I shot for 1 week quit for each year smoked (27) thinking maybe that was the magic calculation. Maybe it wasn't magic, but it kept me hanging on thinking it had to get better.
You know what? It did get better - a little tiny bit every day. I still have moments that I want a smoke, a nostalgic longing kind of thing. But I don't let myself dwell on it and I take a moment to be amazed at my quit and then I move on with the task at hand.
I will always need to keep my guard up, especially if alcohol is around. I see SO many quits blown after a few beers - if you can, just don't drink for a few months. If you can't - maybe you need to look at that behavior too?
Many thanks to the Q and all my friends here - and even some of my not-friends who kicked me in the butt when I needed that, even if I resented it at first. You guys are AMAZING and a truly wonderful resource.
364 days, 23 hours, 34 minutes and 44 seconds smoke free.
7300 cigarettes not smoked.
$1,241.00 and 1 month, 25 days, 18 hours of your life saved.
Your quit date: 1/7/2006 9:00:00 AM