I just celebrated my 64th birthday and the 17th day of my quit! I have smoked since my early teens so that is approximately 50 yrs. I must have an extremely healthy constitution because I have been lucky enough to have escaped any serious health problems up to now. However, I have had many symptoms of problems about to become serious...problems with circulation, heart palpatations, shortness of breath, chest pains, etc., etc. The incident which decided for me that now was the time to stop for good occured 18 days ago while I was having a shower and realized that the whole left side of my body was numb and I was having chest pain. Of course I immediately thought of a heart attack and since I was alone and in a foreign country I was very anxious. I waited awhile and when the chest pain eased I made up my mind to end the stupid dependence I had built up on cigarettes.
This is not the first time I've quit.......but it is the last! I have quit for extended periods of up to two years a couple of times in the past and have always relapsed when with friends who were smoking I decided that I would just have "a couple" to join in and then found myself back to pre-quit consumption levels within a day or two. I am determined to NTAP!
I haven't posted before this because I was waiting to feel more confident about my ability to live without cigarettes. It does seem that they filled gaps...time, reason for a break, reward for finishing a task, etc. I have been finding over the past couple of weeks that I am getting by very well without these artificial "rewards" and that in fact, because I feel so much better from not poisoning my body with nicotine and all the other horrible toxins I had been inhaling, I don't require the "kick". It took about 1 1/2 weeks for the circulation to completely return to my legs and feet and my face on the left side is still not quite restored to full sensation. It is amazing how we can fool ourselves into believing the nicotine addiction is not hurting us and that we need the substance which is causing us to feel bad. I'm so glad to have broken free. It seems that it was almost too easy to do and I guess that is why I've waited so long to post. I was concerned that I had missed something however it seems that it was just the right time for me and I was ready and had enough knowledge and support available. Thanks to this site and all the great supportive people helping to make getting off the addiction merry-go-round easier.