My 20 month old quit has become totally embedded into my life.
Not smoking is something I think about rather like not shutting my eyes as I cross the road, or not eating food I see in trash cans. Smoking is something I will never be able to bring myself to do ever again. The concept of NEVER TAKING ANOTHER PUFF is so firmly engraved into my brain that I no longer have to work at reminding myself of it.
I am now quite taken aback when someone I haven't seen for a year or so says "Oh, are you still not smoking?" or when I have to fill in a form that has the question "Smoker or non-smoker?". Yes, not smoking is actually a perfectly normal, natural and pleasant way of life. So the fact of being an ex-smoker is frankly boring.
But being a quitter, now that's something different, that's exciting, that still gives me a buzz.
Sometimes I have a really bad day. Everything goes wrong and everyone around me is an idiot and the government is screwing up its foreign policy and bombs are killing people around the world and my taxes are too high and my accountant tells me I'm on the verge of bankruptcy and my internet connection goes haywire and I get a toothache and...... Did you ever have one of those days ? No, probably not, they only happen to me. Well, when I get one of those days I think of my quit and I smile. I remind myself of what I've done for me and I get a warm, happy feeling. My quit cheers me up and the world doesn't seem so bad after all. To be honest, thinking about my children and grandchildren can also have the same effect, but I always think of my quit first.
When I have a good day, throughout the day I never think about smoking, I'm too busy enjoying a life uncluttered by the demands of an old addiction. But on those days, as I go to bed and reflect on the wonderful day I just had, I can't help but be aware of how many things contributed to that day which simply could not have been so enjoyable, or happened at all, if I had been a smoker. There are always plenty of those things, like working out at the gym, staying with my grandchildren for hours to play with them, going for a long walk with my wife, staying in a restaurant and relaxing after a meal, getting on an aeroplane, talking to friends, posting to Freedom.
The thing I am acutely aware of at these times of reflection is the thing I most miss since I quit. The thing I miss is the awful, sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that I used to get every night when I went to bed, the dread of what I was doing to my body, and the feeling of self-disgust that I wasn't doing what I knew I should do about it. When I smoked, even the best of days was ruined.
But now, the huge emotional boost I get to my self-esteem from knowing that I have now done what I always knew I should, I QUIT, the feeling of pride I still get twenty months later, makes any good day even better.
We often say to people here that your quit will get better and better. But what I'm experiencing is not just "better", it's much more than that. I don't know if what I feel is unique to me, or whether this is what the future holds for all of you. I hope that you'll stay around to find out for yourself.
NOT A PUFF for one year, eight months, : 10930 cigarettes not smoked saving £2,349.81 : 5 weeks, 2 days added to my life