It is my one year anniversary of being smoke free!
I have not had one single, solitary puff of a cigarette in an entire year, and I don't miss it! I am so proud of myself for accomplishing this.
A few hints from me for anyone quitting or considering quitting:
1. As soon as you stop, you are an ex-smoker. Don't wait for some magical day where you finally feel like a non-smoker, because it doesn't happen that way.
2. Cravings are not that bad. Physically, they are akin to hunger pains. Take a moment to really feel one - actually focus on it - and you will see that I'm right.
3. Be PROUD that you quit. Don't MOURN cigarettes, they are not a long lost friend. You are not missing out on anything but poisoning yourself.
4. Finally, the easiest way to stop smoking is JUST DON'T SMOKE. Not one cigarette, not one puff of a cigarette. Nobody needs expensive NRT's, hypnotherapy, pills, patches, lozenges, sprays or inhalers. It's a waste of money, honestly. Stop smoking and don't ever do it again. That will make you a successful quitter.
x-posted to a few different places
Well, I've had a friend ask to borrow Allen Carr's Easyway from me. I loaned it to her and now I'm full of conflicting emotions. I'm so excited for her to read it, I'm hopeful that the blinds lift from her as they did from me. I hope that she has that moment of revelation, the exilheration that I felt when I knew I didn't have to smoke ever again.
I'm so scared that either she won't read it or that it won't work for her the way it did for me. I re-read the book before loaning it to her, so right now I can't possibly imagine it not working. It acted as a GREAT tool to reaffirm my decision to quit forever. I feel again the way I did 11 months ago when I was PROUD of my decision and not mournful.
I loaned it to her a few days ago and I want to call her, text her, or something and ask if she's read it yet, but I don't want to pressure her and be a pain in the ass and make her not want to read it at all, y'know?
As far as my own quit goes, I'm doing wonderfully. I still have cravings once in awhile, mostly when I see or smell cigarettes. Now that I've re-read "Easyway" I am feeling much much better about it, though! I realize the cravings are very deceptive, it's all part of drug addiction. You think you need it, you think you can have one and be ok, you think you are missing out on something, but it's all a BIG FAT LIE.
1. Make a conscious decision to quit smoking forever.
2. Never smoke another cigarette again.
3. Don't ever doubt your decision.
4. Don't MOURN cigarettes. It's wonderful that you don't have to smoke anymore!
Just a quick update, but there isn't really anything new to report. I am on week #47
of being smoke free, and I have not had a single puff of a single cigarette in almost 11 months.
I have had a few REALLY strong cravings lately... always when I'm with someone who is smoking or if I'm watching a movie where they smoke a lot. I "miss" smoking at those times until I stop and try to put my finger on what part I truly miss. It's then that I realize that there really isn't anything I miss about smoking itself. It's the little breaks I got from daily life when I went out for a smoke, and maybe the distraction of smoking. Those are both easily remedied with something else (in my case it's been food - not great).
I have been trying very hard to cut the junk food out of my diet and I have been fairly successful for the last week and 1/2. I am allowing myself junk on the weekends, but during the week I have kept my snacking to fruit, nuts and low calorie snacks. I don't know if I've lost any weight at all yet because I refuse to weigh myself.
Now if I could just get off my ass and jog I would feel better about my efforts.
I was talking to a friend today. We were discussing "girl things" as girls are wont to do. She told me that she's been off of "The Pill" for a few months now. She decided to cease the birth control for a few different reasons, but one reason is because she is a smoker (FYI - smoking while using the pill can cause complications such as blood clots).
I had to laugh at this because this was one reason I wasn't on the pill before. I was *cough cough* worried about the health risks, lol! It amazes me that as smokers our cigarettes were a much higher priority than our method of birth control. (I actually pointed this out to her - I hope she wasn't too offended!) What we would give up for cigarettes is just unbelievable. That was just one small example. I've been on the pill for three months now. I love it so far and I have no worries about complications caused by smoking. Looking back it actually horrifies me that I had the same mindset about birth control that she does now. I can't believe smoking was ever such a high priority in my life.
I read Allen Carr's final book "Scandal". An interesting read, it's a little bit radical when it comes to his views on "The Big 3" and a bit angry about the lack of respect his method has gained from the professional medical community. If you can get past that, it's practically a free copy of "The Easy Way to Stop Smoking". You can download it for free from his website. What the heck - it won't hurt to read it.
I have not smoked a cigarette in over 22 weeks. Not a single solitary puff of a cigarette. It's been much easier than I ever thought possible, but lately I have had some challenging cravings. It's strange - I've gone months barely thinking about cigarettes, but the last few weeks I actually think of them more often than not. I've recently had some medical diagnoses. I won't go into them in detail, but they do involve taking hormones. I truly believe the mental setbacks I've been facing are due solely to the hormones I've been taking. I've been overly emotional on several levels, and I think what would normally be mild "If I still smoked..." thoughts have turned into full blown cravings. I've still successfully (and proudly) remained smoke free, and I don't anticipate that changing - full blown cravings or not. All it takes to remain a non smoker is to not smoke. Every time I think I want to smoke I remember what a slave I was to nicotine and I think about how proud I am to be free.
On another note, I plan to integrate this blog onto my personal website. Anticipate a few more updates from me. I will try to keep this an active blog, so if you are no longer interested in this subject I will not be offended if you unfriend this journal. I will be adding a "Stop Smoking" area to my personal site in lieu of the layout/template areas that currently occupy it. Those will be moved to their own domain eventually.
It's been awhile since I've posted, but nothing has changed much. I will get an occasional craving, but they are barely even noticeable and pass rather quickly. I don't think that the mild intermittent cravings will ever leave entirely. That's just part of being an ex-smoker, and it's a part that I can certainly live with. I still have an entire box of Nicorette gum sitting in my cupboard that I will never need. I want to sell the crap on ebay, but I feel guilty giving someone nicotine gum when it's counterproductive to quitting in the first place.
My next great challenge is dropping down to my goal weight. My goal is 130lbs (I'm 5'4", it's perfectly reasonable) so I have about 25-30 lbs to drop. The big deal here is not eating as much as I normally do (I eat ALOT of unnecessary junk) and taking the time to exercise. I only started four days ago, and I have no idea if I've even lost a pound. Since I didn't weigh myself before I started I will never know if these four days made a difference or not. I just weighed in at 153lbs. I guess I'll start from there.
I had the strangest thing happen to me yesterday, and it proved to me that I am an ex-smoker and will NEVER be a non-smoker. I was talking to wahhappen
on the phone and we were talking about going to Milwaukee. Julie told me she would drive (she knows I hate driving in the rain) and that we could take her car. My mind immediately balked at the idea. The half thought that ran through my head was "No! I can't smoke in her car!!" It only lasted for a second, but I haven't had a "I forgot I don't smoke" moment since I first quit. I don't feel that I'm relapsing in the least, it was just one of those moments that proves "Once an addict, always an addict."
I hit another milestone the other day. I went to my first "smoke free" concert on Tuesday (went and saw James Blunt - what a great show!!) and it was fantastic. In fact, I thought alot that night about how free I was. I could enjoy the show without needing a cigarette halfway through.
I've become "That Person". The one I hated only a short time ago. It was never the non-smokers I was envious of. It was always the ex-smokers. The people that smoked for 10, 15, 20 years and then quit with no problems. I envied the hell out of those people and I knew I could never be one of them. Look at my family. My parents smoke, my grandparents smoked, most of my family smokes. They are all way older than me and have never been able to quit. So, when someone I knew successfully quit, I would feel contempt. "Oh, they found it so easy. Screw them, they don't know what it's really like. They probably didn't smoke that much anyway. They weren't raised around it like I was... etc." Anything to rationalize my own addiction. I smoke more, I've smoked longer, I'm more addicted than you, so of course your quit was easy. Mine won't be.
I was wrong, and if you are a smoker that feels the same way, then so are you. Quitting smoking is not that hard. Don't let anyone convince you otherwise.
See what I mean? I'm "That Person". I'm the one that will preach all day if you let me. I'm the one that has "been there before" and successfully quit. I'm now that person that doesn't understand how you feel because I am (ta-da!) an ex-smoker. So, I say again to you as I say to myself: I don't smoke. I never want to smoke again. I have control over my own time, my own life, and it feels fantastic. I don't remember a time before I was addicted. If you've never been addicted to anything before, then you have no idea how absolutely liberating it is to be free.
A few days ago I left a comment to Allen Carr on his website
. I did not actually expect a response, but I got one today. They thanked me for my comment then went on to ask for my support with the media/government etc. Apparently the EasyWay method of quitting is being attacked by other cessation programs because Allen Carr doesn't promote the use of Nicotine Replacement Therapies. Screw you and your NRT's.
That's what I have to say. NRT's solve nothing
. Believe me, I tried two: the patch and the gum. I made it less than one day with each. And I still smoked. I read "The Easy Way to Stop Smoking" and I never want to smoke again.
Anyway... back to my point. I am not one to write my senator/newspaper/etc. I have never done these things and I doubt I ever will. But, in the email from the EasyWay team, they did ask me if I would be willing to participate in a clinical study. I would TOTALLY do this. They sent me a questionnaire. Here it is:
Carrie Last Name:
PetriDate of Birth:
09/15/1975Daytime telephone number:
email@example.comFull Address (including country):
SalesDid you stop smoking using an Allen Carr book or by attending an Allen Carr’s Easyway clinic session?
Reading the book. Briefly describe your thoughts on the book/clinic session:
Absolutely fantastic. Eye opening. There is nothing in the world to lose by reading this book. I have actually chronicled the entire quit on my blog, including how awful I felt before I read the book and how genuinely relieved I felt after I read it. carriesquittingApprox date that you stopped smoking?
August 9th, 2006 Briefly describe the impact on your life of having stopped smoking:
I have so much freedom, I have so much time. I do not have to rush through things to get to my next smoke. Quitting has also
changed my entire state of mind. I now want to be healthier in general. I'm eating better and exercising as well.
Tomorrow will be seven weeks smokefree and not one puff since I quit on August 9th. It's funny that I started off posting several times a day, then daily, then weekly, and now whenever I remember. I still have cravings regularly, but they pass quickly and are easily forgotten. My husband and I had another night out recently and again I was fine being smoke free. Ted finds our nights out to be a real challenge compounded by the fact that I don't feel the need to smoke.(Ted did not read the same book I read.) All in all, he ends up caving and having a cigarrette on these nights. He claims he can be a "once in a while" smoker. I claim otherwise, but as long as he isn't smoking on a daily basis he has no need to feel guilty on my account. I, on the other hand, can not risk a "once in a while" cigarrette. That mindset has absolutely no benefit and will only bite me in the ass eventually.
Well, that's about it. Still having cravings (fewer and fewer) and still not smoking. I am still proud of myself and LOVE that I don't have to smoke anymore. Oh, by the way... I did pass [what I think of as] a milestone the other day. My (step) Dad asked me if I had any cigarrettes and I was able to say "I don't smoke." What a lovely phrase.
I don't smoke.