A Conversation for Cigarettes

Diary of a Quitter

Post 1

Gilbo

I've been a relatively heavy smoker (10-15 per day) for 13 years, but as I'm rapidly approaching 30 and am beginning to notice certain subtle physical effects of the ageing process, I've decided to stop. No patches, no gum, inhalers, hypnosis, nothing. Just willpower.

What an interesting experience. Both easy and difficult at the same time. The easy part is not smoking. You just don't do it, simple as that. The hard part is having to continuously listen to and feel your own body try to convince you that you want one. Need one. MUST have one.

Within 1 week I've noticed sudden changes in my body... my heart-rate has dropped DRAMATICALLY as my ingested levels of carbon monoxide have fallen. My resting heart-rate used to be around 80bpm, now it's 60bpm. With moderate exercise it used to be 100-110bpm, it's now 80bpm.

I feel stronger, faster. I'm waking up in the morning and feeling much more mentally sharp and alert. And, get this, my vision seems to be better. Not of a higher resolution or detail, but ... vibrant. Things seem brighter, more colourful. It's difficult to explain.

My sense of smell is better, though I've not noticed much difference to the way things taste, and I find it easier to breathe, especially through my nose.

Strangely, when in the pub I seem to be getting lashed after 2 pints instead of 5. I admit that this may be due to me drinking much quicker as a response to not smoking, but I swear that alcohol has become more potent to me.

I kid you not... this is like having a new body.

But I've also noticed some not so good things. I want to eat more. A lot more. Each time I get the urge to smoke, it's all too easy to stuff something into my mouth or drink something.

And beware of your own mind. The reason so many smokers appear to be in a constant state of "giving up" is that, after a while, it becomes all too easy to see a quick smoke as a 'reward' for feeling good for so long. As your body struggles to return to normal, the feel good factor will inevitably lead you to conclude that just one more cheeky toke won't hurt... one toke leads to another, and before you know it you're on 5 a day. Still, that's not heavy, right? Wrong. It's the beginning of the end.

It's not easy, and I know it's going to get harder as the immediate benefits of giving up become less noticable, but the significant breakthrough for me has been breaking the "associations."

I loved having a smoke in the pub, when watching a film or using the computer. I had frequent fag-breaks at work... but if you can get out of the associative habit then you're half-way there. Quit smoking when you change job or move house, or when you buy a new computer, anything that allows you to treat your new environment as a part of the solution instead of a reminder of the problem.

At the end of the day we can discuss all manner of reasons for why we do it, why we volutarily damage ourselves in the name of relaxation, stress etc etc. At the end of the day for most, it's ADDICTION, and like all addictions the mind has some very sinister ways of making you warp your thinking to get what it wants...

Hope this has been of some interest to someone. It's been great for me to get off my chest.

Gilbo


Diary of a Quitter

Post 2

Reddy Freddy

Good stuff, and good luck, Gilbo! I quit "cold turkey" like you on 1 January 2002. After a couple of days going round the bend, I bought a book called "The Easy Way To Stop Smoking" by Allen Carr - the best £7.99 I ever spent! I found it incredibly useful, and a lot easier after reading it.

I used to smoke 20 a day on a slow day (one that didn't involve going out in the evening). In one year I've saved over £2,000. Which is nice.

To me, the most important aspect was the change in mindset - you no longer think of yourself as a smoker, and do not view the process as "giving up" - this implies that it's something that you're losing, whereas you are in reality gaining something (many things, in fact: longer life, sense of smell, fitness, that £2,000 a year mentioned above, etc.)

Other helpful things - positive assertion: if you do a quick search on www you'll find a number of sites that will send you a daily e-mail with a positive message a day, and other good stuff. In reality they're trying to sell their products (for stopping smoking, natch), but the e-mails are free! Also, go visit someone you haven't seen since before you stopped. You get a warm fuzzy feeling when they notice that you don't smoke!

Reddy Freddy


Diary of a Quitter

Post 3

Lolly

I've been "trying" to give up smoking since the beginning of this year and have had several attempts. Each time I have lapsed I have learnt something from it and made myself get back on the horse. I suppose the theme of this posting is don't give up on giving up.

This time I positively know I can do it. My quit date is 18th August 2003.

This time I am planning my attempt before I start. I have opted to use patches as I have found in the past that my will power alone is not enough despite having a stubborn streak as wide as the Thames. My husband even found details of a stop smoking support group and I spoke to someone who could offer group or one to one support sessions. They are phoning me next week to set a time.

The next two days are going to be spent getting my motivations clear in my head and writing them down as a positive reminder. And when I am not doing that I will be cleaning the carpets and curtains so that my house doesn't smell of smoke.

On Sunday evening I will have a happy and sober night in with my husband. At 11.50pm I will smoke my last cigarette in the garden and then I will ceremoniously dump all my smoking related paraphenalia in a bin, slap on a patch and go to bed.

As of Monday the 18th August I will be a non-smoker.

This time I know I can do it because I feel different. I feel ready. I've attempted it enough times in the past to know how truly difficult it is and I've developed a lot of coping strategies... to use counselling speak.

If you are finding it difficult to give up then don't worry, everyone does. You might find that you have lapsed... View it as that, don't view it as a failure. Get back on the horse. And if you are not finding it difficult at all then post back and let me know your secret smiley - winkeye

Lol

PS - Thanks to the other msg (sorry, can't remember who posted it) giving the name of that book... I've been trying to remember that for days. This really is the place to find out everything you've been wanting to know smiley - smiley


Diary of a Quitter

Post 4

Gemwriggle


As a smoker myself and after reading these pages, I would be really interested to know if the above people have managed to stick to their guns and now are non-smokers? I have tried to give up smoking and failed, One day i shall suceed but not yet eh?

smiley - biggrin


Diary of a Quitter

Post 5

A Super Furry Animal

Just having a look at conversations on my old PS (back when I was Reddy Freddy, not Reddyfreddy...did you spot the difference?) Don't know if any of these original contributors are still on Hootoo, but I'd just like to say that yes, I have stayed off the fags!

RTCsmiley - evilgrin


Diary of a Quitter

Post 6

riaschose

Hi
I quit a week and two days ago.
Did not realise how hurgry you can get for smiley - chocsmiley - cake
The worst part i found is what to do with your hands either i am eatting or drinking tea but i found a great way.
I piece of chain about half a meter long, and whirl it round your finger for five minutes, everytime you want to light up just becasue you don't have something to do.
Now, when i want to light up, i give the chain a whirl or just play with in my fingers, it really works for me, gave me something to with my hands, instead of lighting up and eatting.


Diary of a Quitter

Post 7

KizerKaz

I think to give up it has to be *you* that *wants* to give up, not someone telling you you *have* to give up.
Not that anyone implied that here, I just thought I'd give my reason for not being able to give up.
I've had so many people (mainly my parents and younger sister) telling me to stop smoking. If they'd stop telling me to or asking me too I might actually get to thinking that I really should have listened. But with them constantly mentioning it, it's annoying me making me want a cigarette as soon as they've left my flat!

*Rolls eyes*

I'm sure I'll give up eventually, if my boyfriend decideds *he* wants to give up, I can't be a meany and smoke in front of him. We live together so I'd have to go outside, which is down 2 flights of stairs and... Yeah right, like I'm gonna do that! So hopefully he'll want to give up soon (he keeps saying he wants to get fit again like he used to be but can't even run 100 meteres without getting severely out of breath and getting bad chest pains) *Crosses fingers*


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