No smoking!

It’s been just over two years since I gave up smoking and I’m so fine with not smoking that I only remembered on the way home from work last night!

I’ve only truly craved a cigarette at times of stress – not because of the nicotine but because going for a cigarette in the middle of an argument or when I was getting too worked up forced me to take time out, to stop for a few minutes and calm down. Ironically, your breathing patterns when you smoke helped me calm down – take a deep breath to inhale, pause a few seconds and then exhale. Repeat until calm.

Otherwise, I haven’t missed the old weed at all and am surprised by how much I now dislike smoking – and how much I cringe when I realise quite how much my non-smoking friends had to put up with! When someone near me is smoking or has recently been smoking, the stench is appalling. So, from me to all the non-smokers in my life, here’s a huge apology for making you all gag for so many years. Sorry!

Giving up itself was really easy and has consequently left me rather unsympathetic towards those who claim they can’t quit. I used to smoke at least 20 a day, frequently far more. Especially on a night out, when I’d easily smoke 20 in just a few hours.

In the November, I cut down to 10 a day and stuck to that rigidly. I kept buying them in packs of 20 as it was slightly cheaper but I also bought a 10 pack and saved the box. Every morning I would fill it with 10 and that would be it. I had a strict routine about when I could smoke and I found that worked immensely. Ordinarily, I would smoke a couple of cigarettes on the way to work, have one or two when I got there, another couple on my break, several on my lunch break, another couple on the drive home, plus whatever I smoked when I got home. But I started having one on the way to work, one when I got there, one on my break, two at lunch, one on the way home and the rest that evening. After a while, I found that I would only have one more that night, after I’d eaten and maybe one more if there was a long gap between eating and going to bed. But I rarely smoked all ten and never wanted more.

I decided that once Christmas, New Year and my birthday were out of the way, I would quit altogether. I let myself smoke as much as I wanted on NYE and then cut down to five a day. One on the way to work, one on my break, one at lunch, one on the way home and one before bed. Then, when I reached my final 5, I spread them out over a few days. Three on one day, two on the second and one on the last. I genuinely believed I would savour that last cigarette but, in truth, it made me feel sick and I stubbed it out half way through, unable to smoke it any more.

And that was that. I quit, feeling sick and wondering how I’d ever been able to smoke 20+ a day for all those years.

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by compostwoman on 15 January 2009 at 10:21 am

    Well done for remaining smoke free.

    I did much the same method of giving up, with much the same lack of difficulty. Gosh, 24 years ago now!

    Compostman is a non smoker and I just didn’t want to smoke in a house with him around.

  2. Well done, I am so pleased top read your post as I am in the process of doing similar. Up to now I have only allowed myself to smoke by the back door, the next stage is not to smoke indoors as well. It is such a lousy habit. You have inspired me. Thank you, Margaret

  3. Good luck, Margaret – you can do it!

  4. Posted by suzy2110 on 15 January 2009 at 12:35 pm

    I gave up about ten years ago now and don’t even slightly miss it. I decided to go cold turkey- it didn’t bother me at all. Ian smokes heavily and it drives me mad, even though he does it outside and never in my company- I just worry about his health!

    Well done on sticking it out!

  5. I don’t know that I’d have had the will power to do it on my own, without a Loved One who gave me the ultimatum: you can choose between smoking – and me. Love conquers all, after all.

    Though I still had occasional lapses over the years, like while I was away from home and among friends who smoked.

    It looks like Martha is trying to give up at the moment – but without the help of the same ultimatum, it seems.

  6. The benefits of smoking cessation are truly unlimited. If you have decided to quit smoking, you can get many benefits from smoking cessation like every breath you take feels so clean and refreshing, no more coughing, less heartburn and indigestion, etc.,

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