For my one year anniversary I wanted to write in so that I may offer hope and encouragement to those who are starting to quit. Quitting smoking was by far the hardest thing I have ever done. However it was the most rewarding thing I could have ever done. I can honestly say that when I first made my commitment to quit that I truly believed I could not do it. But it is now 365 since my last puff and I am here to tell you I did it and I will hopefully continue to do it one day at a time. I love this website. I stand by it 100%. I remember when a man came to our college to do a why quit seminar and that was when the seed was truly planted. He told us everything a cigarette did to us mentally an physically in explicit detail. He educated us on the long-term consequences of smoking. But most importantly he offered a solution (a simple answer). Never take another puff! The seed grew and finally on October the 20th of 2009, I made a decision to commit to never taking another puff. I was done! I hated the way I smelled. I hated the way I felt. My nose was constantly running. I was tired all the time. I was started to develop smoking lines. My chest would hurt during the winter. Most importantly, friends were dying all around me from lung cancer and heart disease related to smoking. I wanted to be healthy and happy.
Quitting smoking was a commitment. I had to be willing to go through whatever aches and pains I had to go through in order to become a recovering nicotine addict. There were aches and pains. I cried! I got angry! I got scared! But I prayed and I stuck to my commitment to never take another puff. I made a decision not to use NRTs. I wanted to truly be free of Nicotine. I also did not use Zyban or Chantix. I just made a commitment to myself and my higher power. I journaled on this website. I got frustrated at times and then relieved to hear and read that I was not alone. I almost picked up a cigarette once and I remember telling myself, "Call three people first before you pick up that cigarette." So I went up to my bedroom and called three people. The first two made their quit sound so easy. I got frustrated and called the third person. The third person experienced the same withdraw symptoms I did and she said that I could pick up and the anxiety would go away. But I would just have to start over again. She said just give it two weeks at the most. That is how long it took for me. So due to our conversation and giving myself enough time to stay out of my head, I was able to not pick up that cigarette.
She was right, the withdraws eventually passed and I felt on top of the world. I could breathe. I could smell flowers and chimneys cooking during the winter. My chest did not hurt. I took up running as a hobby as well as regular excercise. In fact I found that to be a great way to deal with all that excess energy I had from the initial withdral period. I am in tip top shape now from regular excercise and no smoking. I have more energy, more self-confidence and I don't have to worry about my clothes stinking of smoke all the time. I can also sit in a resteraunt the whole time and enjoy a conversation with someone without having to get up and go outside to have a cigarette. But mostly I am not plagued with constant fear of lung cancer, throat cancer, stroke, etc. For I have reduced my chances greatly.
I hear smokers today say all the time just like I did, "Well I'm gonna die of something anyways." Look I worked in acute hospital setting. I saw COPD, lung cancer, trach collars and heart disease. Yes we will all die someday. But dying of smoking related illnesses is a long, slow and painful death that encompasses several remaining years of your life. Trust me, that is not the way to go. I hope I provided some hope and I hope to stay committed to my quit one day at a time!
Thank you Joel for all your help!