An off topic post here but, if it’s ok with you, do you mind if I pat myself on the back a little bit? After 13 odd years as a cigarette smoker I finally decided to quit and am celebrating my 1st year smoke free anniversary today. It’s a horrible addiction and i’m glad to be rid of it. The journey was a hard one at first but with time, things started to get a little easier and at the three month mark i’d pretty much forgot all about them. One year on and they’re a distant memory – I don’t crave them, think about them or even care about them anymore. What I do know is that it’s one of the best feelings in the world….highly recommended!
As an extra incentive (and a great idea by my wife Curstie) we decided to save up the £5.50 I would have spent daily on cigarettes and throughout the year this has been used to buy my iPhone, my beloved iPad2, my iCade and a whole host of retro gaming computers, console, games, photography gear etc etc. In total, the figure came to whopping £2007 i would have spent on cigarettes instead of all these cool toys i now have.
Quitting for me was difficult, but it’s true what ex smokers say, it does get easier with time…even though it’s VERY difficult to believe during the first few months.
Here’s a few things i thought i’d jot down here that have helped me along the way.
– Set a quitting date. This gives you a date that you can prepare yourself for.
– As i mentioned above, either save the money you would have spent on cigarettes or simply mark the achievements on a calendar as you make it through each day. These rewards are essential.
– If you crack and have a cigarette, don’t give up, get back on the horse and continue on. Fight fight FIGHT.
– If you have access to a microphone/webcam, record yourself, your feelings, comments, outbursts, when you’re sad or happy. They’re great to look back on, especially when the cravings are at their strongest. You can keep these private or course, which is what i originally planned to do and then thought sod it and uploaded them to YouTube! The feedback and kind comments that folk had left me were very welcome and spurred me to stay smoke free.
– Change your routines. Over the years as a smoker i’d built up this set of routines based around smoking – these so called trigger points. For example, every morning i’d wake, head outside and have my first smoke. I had to change this to something else to take my mind off the craving when I quit. For me, I would take a walk out to get the morning papers and sit with a coffee and catch up on the news. It doesn’t always work but it’s better than sitting there wishing you could have a cigarette.
-Don’t worry too much about doing other things to excess whilst quitting. For example, some folk might be worried about over eating etc. You can always deal with that later. Focus on quitting smoking first.
– If you’re in employement, book the first or couple of weeks off work if you can. There’s nothing worse than trying to quit smoking and having to deal with the pressures of day to day work. Have the time off and do whatever you feel like doing whether it’s something or simply nothing at all. If you can, don’t do anything you don’t want to for a week or so.
You may not feel like it but exercise really helps. Hook up you pod, play back some tunes and head out into the fresh air.
If you’re decided to quit, the very best of luck to you. Feel free to post here if you have any questions, just want to rant or need someone to talk too (happy to give you my email address is you wish to keep this private).
If someone had said to to me a year ago ‘go on, you can do it’, i would have said ‘bugger off’. I loved smoking, i didn’t want to quit, i was different and knew in my heart that I wouldn’t be able to quit….yet, I gave it a go anyway and flippin ‘eck i didn’t half surprise myself when i actually made it! Give it a go yourself, you might be pleasantly surprised too!