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Formerly known as the About.com Smoking Cessation support forum, this community is open to all who are recovering from nicotine addiction.

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After the Quit - The Ongoing Process   Quit Stories and Journals

Started 8/29/15 by Terry (abquitsmking); 26660 views.
In reply toRe: msg 140
Douglas8845

From: Douglas8845

Jul-23

Today I celebrate my 8th year as a nonsmoker.  I quit on July 23, 2012 and have not smoked since.  Smoking has become a distant memory, just something that I used to do and no longer is a part of my life, as much as any other thing that isn’t part of my life anymore.  Sometimes this is hard to believe because when I was a smoker I could not imagine what it could be like to be an adult nonsmoker.  I didn’t have that experience since I started smoking at 17.  And now the thought of lighting up hasn’t occurred to me in many many years.

The first year of my quit is the most memorable. I had just come across this site and was getting familiar with the different groups and all the resources it had to offer.  I decided on my game plan after reading Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking, about which I learned on this site.  My plan was to use the patch and participate in my group, the August Avenges.  My original intent was to follow the patch instructions faithfully.  I was concerned though that the first phase would be hard since I was used to smoking a pack of Marlboro 100s Red daily, hardcore stuff.  I decided to go with the full force 21 mg patch as long as necessary to break the habit.  I’d worry about the nicotine addiction later.  As it turned out, after four weeks of the patch, I forgot to put it on one morning. Since I was on my way to work turning back was not an option.  Well, I survived that day and all subsequent days without the patch.  Nicotine became a thing of the past in four weeks.  I then needed to learn to live without cigarettes which was a longer process.

During my first year this site become my second home.  My group became my virtual family, everyone supporting everyone else.  We were all on the same trip, having similar experiences therefore understanding exactly what everyone was going through.  You can’t beat this kind of support.

The health benefits are immeasurable.  Last August, 16 days after my 7th anniversary as a nonsmoker I was on the operating table at the Cleveland Clinic donating a kidney to my brother, without which he would, in a matter of weeks, go on dialysis.   To qualify as a donor I went through an extensive battery of tests and exams, all of which I passed with flying colors.  Had I not quit 7 years earlier it is unlikely I would qualify.

Quitting is possible.  Smoking over a pack of Marlboro 100s Reds daily for over 35 years is not for the faint of heart.  I quit thanks to this site, the patch and Allen Carr.  I will never regret quitting tobacco, and would forever regret relapsing.  You can do this too, you deserve it.

Eve1973

From: Eve1973

Jul-23

Hi Douglas, loved your story! Congratulations on 8 years! I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason! So happy you were able to help your brother! Also glad to know that eventually thoughts of smoking goes away! I still think about it a couple times a week, but it is fleeting! Soon be 6 months and can’t wait to get there......will be my longest quit and more determined quit. This site has been an extremely important tool! Without the pledge of nope, and the support from forum, I know I never would’ve made it past 3 months! 
Cheers and congratulations again!

Eve 1/30/2020

Douglas8845

From: Douglas8845

Jul-23

Thanks Eve!  Good job on 6 months.. half way to the all important one year mark.  If you did six months.. you can certainly do six more...  Careful with months 8 - 11... a certain boredom sometimes sets in.. and more than one quitter succumbed to the temptation of "just one".  Stay firm.

Congrats!

Eve1973

From: Eve1973

Jul-23

Thanx Douglas for the heads up! But I know me, one would just lead to more..... I’m in it to win it! Lol.  But I’m going to stay strong, glad that I’m not around smokers too much ! 
 

Loreficent

From: Loreficent

Jul-28

Congratulations Douglas!

Sorry to have missed the actual day. Did you celebrate in some way or is embracing the day with recognition enough at this point? You are an inspiration and how wonderful to be able to have helped your brother like that. You definitely couldn’t have done that as a smoker I bet. It’s nice of you to pop in here and there and offer support and encouragement, so thank you!

Douglas8845

From: Douglas8845

Aug-1

Hi Lore,

For the first 5 smoke free years I used to go to PF Chang’s for dinner every July 23rd, making a toast at 6:26 PM, which was the time I put out my last cigarette in 2012.  But after that, being a nonsmoker was the new me, the new normal.  Smoking became one of those things that I used to do, and don’t do anymore.  I guess you can say that I my addiction is completely gone.  Some people say that we will always be addicts and for some people that may be true.  If however we never think of smoking I’d say that the addiction doesn’t exist anymore.

Cheers

BIG Congrats on 8 smokefree years. It is wonderful to hear that your never think of smoking. I have 2 years quit and I get occasional pings (my brain lets me know that I used to smoke). I smoked for 42 years and my brain remembers. I get a ping sometimes about a cig when I have my coffee. My brain remembers that I always had cigs with my morning coffee for 42 years. I'm sure my mind's memory will recede further until it is totally forgotten by my brain. I know I will never smoke again as I love the freedom, joy and peace of not smoking.

Glad to see you on here. Let's keep keeping on.

Gloria

Freedom since July 2018...How Sweet it is!!sunflower

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