The Quit

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Thread: The Quit

  1. #1

    The Quit

    I smoked my first cigarette when I was 18 years old; IT WAS AWFUL! I coughed so hard but in a weird way it made me feel cool and grownup. I can’t remember the second cigarette or the ones that followed. All I know is, one day I was ‘just having fun’ - as I told mom when she caught me - and the next, I needed a cigarette to function. In those early days I never considered quitting at all, in fact I enjoyed smoking immensely. Deluded by the invincibility of youth, health concerns were not a deterrent and neither was financial cost. I was living in kenya where cigarettes are not subject to sin tax; I could even buy a stick or two when things were tight.

    When I moved to Canada a few years later, I was shocked by the price of cigarettes. Couple that with the social stigma that followed smokers everywhere, I had thoughts of quitting for the first time ever. But even then, these were just fleeting thoughts that went up in smoke with my next cigarette.

    Seven years ago I started working from home entirely and with no restrictions like I would have in public offices, I could light up anytime. I smoked so much during the workday and in no time I was up to two packs a day. After a couple of years of this, I knew something had to change if only to salvage what was left of my lungs. And besides, I was burning a hole in my wallet!

    And so began a year long battle to quit.

    I started with nicotine gum but I soon discovered that there was too much technique involved. Turns out you just don’t pop the gum in your mouth and merrily chew away your nicotine cravings. You have to put the gum under your tongue, or some bullshit like that. The gum also curiously, irritated my throat.The nicotine inhaler was no use to me either for similar reasons.

    I tried habit replacement by vaping in between real cigarettes but I found that the vapour made my chest congestion even worse. I was so frustrated to the point where I remember searching to no avail for a smoking rehabilitation centre. I told myself that if I could stay smoke-free for a week or two, then maybe I might be able to quit for good.

    During the winter of 2014 I came down with a really bad cold and like most hardcore smokers, I kept smoking anyway. During one really bad coughing fit, I looked at myself in the mirror and I was overcome with shame. Shame that I was so weak, and my addiction had gotten the better of me.

    “No more cigarettes!” I vowed to myself.

    ”At least for tonight.” A small voice in my head bargained.

    The next morning I woke up feeling much better and the first thing I did - you guessed it! - I lit a cigarette. It was half-way through that especially delicious cigarette that it occurred to me that if I was ever to successfully quit smoking, I would have to make a definite choice, one not primarily influenced by being sick or saving money. A clear choice to quit. I crushed out that cigarette and as it turns out, that’s the last cigarette I have had in more than 4 years and forever, I hope.

    The first days were very difficult, it took all the willpower I could summon not to fall back into the nasty habit. I tried different coping tips to beat the cravings which were very strong especially during the first month. I would drink from a straw instead of a glass to mimic the sucking on a cigarette. I also read somewhere that cravings only last around 3 minutes so every time I felt a craving, I would focus my attention on something else, like doing a chore, and it worked! Sometimes I would even drop down and do some push-ups!

    It’s been 4 years now and I hardly ever think about smoking anymore. I am amazed at how free I feel. It’s like a fog was lifted and everything is brighter, food tastes better and my house and clothes don’t stink anymore. I am thankful that I now spend money on things that improve my life and that of my loved ones, rather than spending it on cancer sticks. I am also amazed by the amount of free time that I found myself with. As a smoker you are aware of financial and health costs of smoking, but most smokers like myself do not realize just how much time is spent on the habit.

    Lighting that first cigarette was the dumbest thing I ever did, but overcoming the addiction in a away opened my eyes to a will power that I wasn't aware I possessed. So while I do regret the financial and health cost during those smoke-filled years, I am also thankful for the lessons learned along the way.

  2. #2
    Nicely written, it flows well and does a great job of not only sharing who you are, but sheds some light on something non smokers would either not realize or have a hard time understanding.

    I did not see a single nit. I am curious as to how many pushups you were able to do when the urge to smoke no longer temped you?

    Welcome back to the forum :}
    Last edited by Plasticweld; December 19th, 2018 at 11:45 PM.
    God hates a coward Revelation 21:8

    “Good writin' ain't necessarily good readin'.”

    Hidden Content ,

    To encourage and facilitate "me"

  3. #3
    Thanks Plasticweld! Regarding the pushups, I could probably manage only about 5 or so and then I would be sprawled on the floor panting like a dog! It did the trick though! Nowadays I workout at least 3 times a week so I am in much better shape

  4. #4
    I liked this as well. It was personable and informative and I have a soft spot for the internal struggle.

    I hope you can apply the same drive into pursuing the things you do want as you did escaping the things you didn't.

    Keep writing

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