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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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.
Congratulations Douglas - 8 years - hard to believe how fast times flies by. I followed your advice and that of other successful quitters when I started my quit back in 2013. Thanks for all your support and now you are giving new quitters the hope that they too can put cigarettes in the past. It's so great that you were able to donate a kidney for your brother which is a gift he will forever be grateful for. For those quitters that are wishy washy about quitting, See - quitting has its rewards!!
You are truly inspirational. I wish you continuous health and prosperity! You definitely are no sissy! Onto year 9 for you!
"Quitting isn't for Sissies!" I quit poisoning myself Sept. 27, 2013
Congratulations on 8 years quit.
I so agree on all the benefits of quitting and how important our quit buddy group is. They saved me many a time and we are still in touch daily.
Congratulations Douglas. I have seen you on here for a long time, back when I first quit and since I have been back around off and on during this year. Happy to hear you are healthy and doing well! Eight years sure looks amazing when you are at the beginning of this journey!
Thank you Debbie, you're a great inspiration and resource on this site. I come here regularly and always spot you helping and encouraging the folks here. A modern day Florence Nightingale.Keep it up!!
Thanks for the congrats! And thanks for all you do as moderator on this site. It's the glue that holds the groups together.
Eight years... time really flies. I like to share my story because it shows those who are struggling that quitting is not only possible.. but so worth it as well.
Congratulations Douglas! Thank you for sharing the rewards that are possible with time away from the smoke! I hope you have a wonderful celebration planned for your 8th year.
Congratulations Douglas, and thanks for taking the time to post and outline what worked for you, valuable info for us newbies
I didn't think I could do it, until I did. I flunked a few times until I said to myself, this is it, and no matter what, no matter how awful I may feel, I will just keep on going. Little by little the addiction that entombed me started breaking apart. After a while, I started believing that finally it was happening and this realization gave me strength. The first year was a ride, but even through the rollercoaster I starting seeing what it was like to be an adult nonsmoker. And here I am.
If I did it.....