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For what its worth....how I quit smoking...


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I have always been pretty quiet on the board here, not ever really posting much besides my daily 'NOPE", but after reaching the Lido Deck I thought sharing how I have succeeded in my sticky quit could maybe help others in their struggle, because lets face it, the struggle is REAL when quitting this damn addiction!  

I smoked for decades.  I started in my early teens (probably around 14 or 15 and I am 48 now) with a few "quits" along the way, such as when I was pregnant and a couple other tries besides, but for the most part I was a very committed smoker and thought I needed it, loved it, and it was my "best buddy" who helped me through stress, sadness, happiness, anger, etc.  

I honestly don't know what changed in me, but I just finally came to the mindset that unless I quit, smoking likely going to kill me off with some horrible illness and I realized that I wanted to be able to live the rest of my life to the fullest and not die of a smoking related illness.  That being said...how I did it was this:

I used the patch and educated  myself on this board about the addiction.  I lurked here for several weeks, reading what worked for others and getting to know what MY addiction was all about and formulating my plan.  I decided that they do "studies" on these things and so I was going to actually follow the directions on the box of patches and go with the entire program, instead of trying to get off the NRT sooner.  I was a nearly pack a day smoker and the only modification I did to the "instructions on the box" was I started at step 2 instead of step 1.  What I did was picked a week that my husband would be traveling for work (I figured I was going to be VERY crabby and wanted to spare those I love as much as possible) and during that week I put the patch on and also smoked a few a day, readjusting my schedule and when I smoked, etc., just started changing things up...part of the reason I started at Step 2 was so that I could smoke a little during the first week (that is NOT in the instructions), but I knew the psychological part of my quit was going to be the hardest and needed to change things up while being able to get my "fix"....after 5-6 days of that one day I was on my way home from work and had 1 cig left and just said to myself, you are not buying anymore this is your last one! 

I changed the way I was thinking about smoking in that when a crave hit, I told myself NOPE and also reminded myself how smoking does NOTHING for me, reminding myself that smoking would not solve one problem....if I got angry, I would still be pissed off at whatever it was and smoking wouldn't change that...we had an impending death in the family and I told myself that smoking wasn't going to change that-my sister-in-law was still going to die from ovarian cancer, it wouldn't heal her and stop her cancer and save her...if I got bad news of any kind, a cigarette wouldn't change any of it, and so that was my mantra...cigarettes do NOTHING FOR ME except keep me addicted....I played mind games with myself and refused to come out on the bottom!!  

Now, I do love an occasional cocktail and I knew I smoked a lot more when I drank, however, I decided that quitting smoking wasn't going to ruin that for me.  One person I know said that after they quit they didn't enjoy a beer for like a year....wait, what? a YEAR?!?!  I told myself "challenge accepted", I had several drinks on day 5 of not smoking and while I did crave, I didn't smoke (being with a non-smoking drinking buddy was helpful in that I had no access to any, but I still got tipsy and didn't smoke!)

I also followed the instructions on the box of patches and did the step down to step 3 as scheduled.  I honestly don't know when I actually quit the final step, I believe it was slightly less than the "prescribed" time the box says, but I got to a point where I kept forgetting to put it on and I felt fine without it so I stopped that too.  At first when I would forget to put it on, I went ahead and still put it on when I remembered it even though I felt fine...I just didn't want to chance it....

In the early days (weeks, months) of my quit I also did a lot of pacing, drinking water, eating snacks (yes I gained weight but at my age I don't care-I shouldn't be seen in a bikini anymore anyway)..I spent HOURS on this board reading and reading and reading...it was a great distraction from craving!  I also went to bed really early and slept as much as I had time for...see when you sleep you don't crave and hours pass without smoking so I used that tool as well...

So, for me, the mindset was key and what I told myself during craving....  I do still get the very occasional crave, but I mostly just find it very annoying and they pass pretty quickly.

Going forward something I continue to tell myself is "remember how bad it SUCKS to quit, and you NEVER want to have to do that again, so stick to the quit!"  Seriously, I know that I never want to have to quit again and I also know that if I had even one puff I would be back at a pack a day in no time, so my daily NOPE continues to be important.  

For what its worth...that is how I did it! 

 

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Great post Missdixie!!

I knew you had it in ya ?

 

What a great accomplishment it is to achieve what you and others of us have achieved and then, to pass that on to others who are just starting out, maybe questioning themselves. These true life personal stories really help! Thanks for posting it.

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Thank you for sharing your story, Miss Dixie.

I think the strength of this site,

along with all the pertinent information about addiction,

is our collected anecdotal evidence.

To read a story about a successful quit is really cheering and learning about how your quit was accomplished is enlightening and really helpful.

 

 People quit everyday and live to tell the story, it isn't that hard in the scheme of things.

I don't want to make light of any of the struggles we may experience but, the rewards far outweigh any fracas.

 

Congratulations again, Miss Dixie on your great accomplishment, One Year is awesome.

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Miss Dixie thank you so much for your post, it shows that we all have struggles with our quits.  Your post shows one of the ways to overcome those struggles and that we should be aware of those and where to go.

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Thanks for letting us into the thoughts and actions that made this your sticky quit. It’s so helpful to be reminded of what it takes to quit- somewhat different for each person but what it seems we all share is commitment- pure and simple. 

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It is true that in our 40's we kind of start to realize we will die one day. No need to speed up the process.

 

Picking a week when your husband is gone - good idea. I think for anyone planning on quitting who wants a solid quit, maybe pick a day in the near future where outside stress will be as little as possible. I started my "quit" on a Friday so I would have the weekend to suffer the first three days of the quit.

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QuitTrain®, a quit smoking support community, was created by former smokers who have a deep desire to help people quit smoking and to help keep those quits intact.  This place should be a safe haven to escape the daily grind and focus on protecting our quits.  We don't believe that there is a "one size fits all" approach when it comes to quitting smoking.  Each of us has our own unique set of circumstances which contributes to how we go about quitting and more importantly, how we keep our quits.

 

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