5ever = better than 4ever (forever), the promise that i made to myself for the previous quits.
I am from India, and 35 years old. Thanks for the great resources and the supportive community here. I came here after I had already quit for 2 days. I read the various forums for another day, and then applied for membership yesterday (80 hours after I had quit).
I quit smoking, for all time, on Oct-10-2011 at 8am Indian time. I don't hope that I will never smoke again, I know it. It is not a question of choice anymore. I don't want to again have to quit, and I am tired not of smoking, but of quitting.
I liken the quitting journey to a mountain climb with a slippery slope. The start of the journey is the hardest, but the higher you go, the cleaner the air gets, and you can look back at your accomplishment with pride.
With every day one doesn't smoke, things get increasingly better, you feel better about yourself, the lungs start cleaning themselves, the health improves, you no longer waste 2 hours everyday in smoking 10 (or more) cigarettes, you finally get around to the books and films and music you always wanted to enjoy but never had time for, you don't have to beat yourself every time you smoke a cigarette ("ah, couldn't control myself, again! what a weak person I am!"), you have more confidence in yourself, you start having a proper appetite and to enjoy eating and drinking healthy food, and so on...
And then, in an impulsive moment, one throws it all out, and slips all the way to the bottom of the hill. During my previous failed attempts to quit, I believed that after a week or two of not smoking and not suffering any withdrawal symptoms, I could smoke again and be in "control", but that never worked. With one cigarette smoked after breaking a quit, the resistance to smoke the next one is almost nil ("I broke the fast anyway, so what is another cigarette now?"), and one lands with a thud.
Nicotine: if you give it an inch, it will take a mile.
Repeated failures to quit (relapses) sap one's soul's strength to believe in oneself, and that is one of the worst consequences of smoking. I had started hating myself, got into serious depression and had no real engagement/relationship with anybody in life. I belong to a community (Sikhs) which has a taboo against tobacco, and I always felt like I was cheating my family, who loved me the most. I am a high-ranking executive at a finance firm, and almost all my colleagues smoke. At any company event, I will have to isolate myself if I don't want to smoke actively or passively. But I believe it is worth it, more than worth it. One quitter inspires another, and I hope some of them will see me as a success story. They used to laugh at me when after telling them that I had quit, I would start again, and I couldn't look people in the eye many times.
I am back on my feet again, and the world looks like a sunny and beautiful place. :)
I have had SO many reasons to never smoke again, but due to a lack of will power, I have always failed till now. I know I will not fail this time. The time of failure is over, and I want my life back. I have it back, and I am not going to lose it this time. I think the relapse policy of this forum is great. No more relapse, no more smoking. Not One Puff Ever.
I started smoking, in 2005 (at the age of 29) when I came across a somewhat spiritual cult whose leader smoked and didn't see anything wrong in it. He thought the moral brigade was behind the "Stop Smoking" campaigns and he used to cite stuff like: Picasso lived till he was almost 100, and he smoked a cigar everyday. Same for Churchill. Same for Japanese people, whose rate of lung cancer is low but they smoke a lot.
But all of that doesn't count when I know what smoking did to my body:
1. Feeling fatigued and sleepy all the time
2. Yellowing teeth
3. Lack of stamina (wanted to drive, or to take the elevator, instead of walking or climbing stairs)
4. Minor pains in the chest and arms
5. Need to clear my throat all the time
6. Increased heartbeat
7. Bad taste in the mouth
I wanted to quit, after I realized that this was no longer just an occasional hobby, and I tried almost 15 times to quit. The longest I quit was about 2 months. This is the last time.
I wanted to quit. To respect my parents, to honor the love of my girlfriend, for my health, for a better quality of life, for my future children, to never have to lie to anyone about my smoking, to have better self-esteem.
Whenever I tried quitting, just the decision was tough, that's all. Withdrawal is tough if you think it is going to be tough. Withdrawal never troubled me, physically. On average I smoked around 8-10 cigs a day. Whenever I quit, I had to decide not to smoke my next cigarette, and the next after that was easier to not smoke.
Yes, I did have mild cravings. But if you distract yourself, it goes away in a few minutes.
Just like relapsing by smoking one cigarette and then the next makes it easier to slip further and further into smoking; with every single craving defeated, quitting also makes it easier and easier to not smoke.
I didn't even have any strong cravings this time. It is already more than 4 days, and I am not going to count the days, because it is game over for cigarettes now.
If you ever struggle with a craving, I can tell you from my experience that that craving will not go away with smoking. It will return, stronger and stronger, and will encounter a weaker and weaker you.
Never Take Another Puff. Not One Puff Ever!
Thank you for reading, and I wish you all the strength to stay smoke-free for your life, and inspire others to never start, or to quit.