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Let's go for it and learn to stay free   Quit Stories and Journals

Started Feb-24 by DaveWolf2021; 1646 views.
DaveWolf2021

From: DaveWolf2021

Feb-24

Hi all,

I am Dave, and it's my first entry here in this forum.

I decided to look for a forum to share my journal while I am learning from my experience in life as a freeman from tobacco addiction.

I am in my thirties and I have been smoking since I was about 15 yo. I did stop for two years when I was 17 yo as I got a scare from a bad sore throat. Eventually to return to smoking after two years of clean lungs. I think at that time, I was surrounded with smokers friends and students and I was also drinking more alcool and I started being stressed out as I was starting to date someone. For the two years, I was single and well focused in studying and just spending quality time with myself and friends. Anyway, as for everyone, one puff lead to a new age of addiction in my life. And now after years into smoking, I can definitely say, there is no one only puff that can be allowed when we want to be and remain free from this addiction. It's simply impossible. I have seen so many people (all the people I know who were smoke-free) falling in to this trap. It's simply ridiculous to even question it. The only way to stay free is to not touch a cigarette again from what I have lived and seen. So I won't emphasise it more, to be and stay free from this addiction, there is no more option but never touch a cigarette again.

So today is my first entry and also my day one in this journey.

I have had a very stubborn routine of smoking with drinks after work. And, although my friends did stop smoking, I didn't. Today, I have decided to go through this journey of breaking this addiction.

I have thrown my cigarettes and lighter, and I have for today, just decided that whatever comes in my head, I won't buy or ask for any cigarette. I know the triggers may be tough, and I know also that they pass. I accept to pay the price of this discomfort if any today. One day at a time.

For inspiration and if anyone is reading this entry, I have really enjoyed the book "The Slight Edge". It's a great philosophy in achieving our goals in life and understanding how our successes in life come, a step at a time, with paying attention and doing the small things that are easy to do, and also easy not to do. There is no big leap.

Hope everyone has a great day!

Dave

Loreficent

From: Loreficent

Feb-24

Hi Dave,

Welcome! Will be nice to have someone to share a quit date with. Thanks also for the tip on the book.

I think your mindset at the start of staying with it for the day is wise. Yeah, there will likely be some discomfort, but, it will be there whether you smoke or not. Yes, triggers pass. Some more easily than others, but then you are left with a small sense of empowerment to help you face the next one. Each time we don’t cave in, that sense of empowerment builds and we find we are not left as empty handed as we thought we would be at the outset. 
Stick with it and my guess is you will quickly see the worst part was actually making the decision and committing to letting go. Doesn’t mean you won’t have craves, but I think it becomes apparent quickly that the fear of quitting was a big weight and burden that is definitely worth being free of.

Hope you check back in and let us know how it’s going! You’ve got a lot of support here.

DanJF3

From: DanJF3

Feb-25

Congratulations Dave on the decision to quit smoking and welcome to the forums!  After many years (uh, decades) of various levels of smoking and way too many failed attempts to quit, I set a New Year's resolution at the start of 2020 to quit and finally I have been able to do it.  It's an understatement to say I was neither happy nor excited about quitting and I had no belief I would actually do it but so far, so good.  You seem to have a positive approach and that can only be a good thing.  

Thanks for the tip on the book.  I just read a description and it sounds interesting.  If you haven't already read it, Allen Carr's Easy Way to Quit Smoking may be a good book to help you out.  I read it in the first few days of my quit and it helped me to get a mind set I never had in previous quits, in other words, what I am leaving behind is not something good and what I am gaining is freedom and improved physical and mental health.  The weird thing about addiction is what works for one may not work for someone else but it's definitely worth exploring as the mental part of this addiction, at least for me, is far more difficult than beating the physical part.  

At 14 months in I do periodically have some desire to smoke but nothing that can't be managed and that's the thing, this addiction may just be something that needs management as opposed to it going completely away.  I admire those that can confidently state they will never smoke again but so far, I'm not there and well, I may never be but that's OK.  It's all about staying in the moment and reaching out for support and educating yourself as much as you can about quitting smoking.   Keep us posted, you will find there is a lot of good support here and know that yes, you can quit!

DaveWolf2021

From: DaveWolf2021

Feb-25

Thank you Lore!

I appreciate your message and the support here. I am very new to this forum and trying to understand how it work. A bit confused for now but it’s good to know there is a place where people who also want to share there tips and experience go. i was looking for something like this in a long time. Glad to be here :)

In reply toRe: msg 3
DaveWolf2021

From: DaveWolf2021

Feb-25

Thanks Dan!

I have read Allen Carr’s book before and I agree “it’s a great book to keep close. Simple but hey, nothing is that complicated in fact. It’s all in our mind construct and also part of physical addiction. I have decided to pick up the book again and read some every day on my phone. Maybe good to do it in fact when I am craving last yesterday.

I will write more on how it went yesterday in a separate post :) Just wanted to say thanks here directly first.

In reply toRe: msg 1
DaveWolf2021

From: DaveWolf2021

Feb-25

Ok, I am not gonna count the days because it doesn’t matter to me that much. The main thing I want is to live free and everyday is as important as the other :)

And, on the day of my first post, I was motivated and I was clear I wanted to be smoke free. I went to catch up with a friend after work to grab a beer and I prepared myself before that by reminding myself that I would not stop by a shop to buy cigarettes. So on the moment I went by the usual shops, I looked at it and I didn’t stop. I just went straight to the bar where I met my friend. I knew I would not be able to buy smokes there because there is not shop nearby. So we had a cool chat and two beers. Then I went back towards home and there I had a huge craving and mental struggle. I was going back home but I wanted badly to stop to another bar on my own and grab some cigarettes at the same time. On the path next to shops and bars, I probably stopped a few times, with a big fight in my head, until I asked myself what would I achieve if I stopped in a bar again on my own and smoked. I realised that I would not achieve anything, even more so because I was on my own. Then I realised I preferred to go home directly, have some food and relax there. Smoke and drinks were not exciting anymore but food and watching a movie and really resting was more rewarding then in my head. So I walked home and just did that. I realised at home that I just pasted a big step that I have seen before. Resisting a huge temptation to smoke and drink. I was happy that experience came again. Small win.

Yesterday, was ok. Work went well but I was tired. I decided I would go for a run after work. And as my energy was getting lower during my day, my mental clarity, emotions, were going lower too. I started texting a friend to check if he wanted a beer maybe after my run. Then another friend texted me and I knew he likes to smoke and booze. There, danger in my head already. I wanted to go for my run first. Then after more work, i gave up on the run and the rest is history. I told him I would join him straight and I asked him to get me cigarettes and I spent the evening drinking and smoking. During that moment to be honest, I also didn’t like it in many ways because I quickly felt foggy after a drink and a cigarette. And I spend most part of the evening between fogginess and clarity and interesting discussion and a lot less ones. I went back home, had some food and felt better. Went straight to sleep and rest.

This morning as I am writing, I felt bad for myself and felt I would not come here and talk about it. Then I realised that’s exactly why I never really stopped smoking. It’s not a perfect world and this path is my learning path, not a movie. And I don’t want to leave it just because I feel bad about something I never changed and I always wanted to change. It obvious it’s hard to change. And that’s my responsibility, no one else fault. So, I decided I would come here, write my story and move on to this day with the good attitude to face my life and the things I have to do to change to a better version of myself.

So now, I take my responsibility, I don’t smoke because that’s my decision even if my mind burns me sometime with some thoughts about it. It’s no one else fault nor business and I won’t blame circonstances nor other people on my path. One step at a time. I will do my job, get back in my running shoes and maybe catch up with friends or just go home and chill. And live free from this addiction.

Good day to all

Dave

In reply toRe: msg 6
DaveWolf2021

From: DaveWolf2021

Feb-26

Hi,

Yesterday was a good victory on this addiction.

I worked well and planned on catching up with friends for a drink after work. But before that, I was re-reading Allan Carr’s book to get my mindset right and remember there is nothing worth that I would miss by not smoking and also, I have so much to live by remaining smoke-free. So I told myself that I was going to have a good evening just catching with friends, I would not worry if i drink a beer or too and I will do my best to not bother with urges to smoke.

It went well. There were people smoking around and I remember it didn’t bother me actually. In fact, I was looking at them, all smoking like in a circle talking to each other. And I thought to myself, how many of them are actually thinking about their smoking while they are smoking. Do they also think that they wish they don’t smoke? Like I did so many time? I felt that I was feeling happy to remain free another day, hour, moment, from this addiction.

I came to realise how much I actually spent so much time worrying about smoking, being bothered with this, and blaming myself for smoking.

Today I wake up fresh, not so fresh for the few drinks I had, but definitely fresh from not smelling cigarette, nor having a headache as I always had after a night binge smoking and drinking. I feel lighter also because my lungs are cleaner and I have more energy.

I started running and training again to complete a half marathon training and it feels good to just go out there and listen to some music or podcast while enjoying a good breath and exercise, and the nature and the sun.

There is so much to enjoy while we remain free from this addiction.

Actually, I realise that I never considered myself addicted. But now it has changed. I know I am addicted. Simply because as in the book, when I realise how difficult it has been for me to remain a smoker for so many years while I was still thinking I want to stop, that’s nothing but an addiction thinking. So I am happier to take it seriously as an addiction and face it. It was stupid of me thinking, I can just stop anytime and it’s just a bad habit. It is an addiction and there is a lot going there.

Now, I don’t miss smoking at all. And I know when I want to smoke, it’s not because I miss anything, because smoking brings me absolutely nothing, it’s just the addiction that makes me want to smoke. And that’s the part of the fight to win.

Today, will be another good day, and another good test because I will go to celebrate the birthday of my friend I was smoking with two days ago. hahahah well, this is gonna be interesting for sure. I was worried before but after last night, I am feeling confident and I want to test myself but most importantly, learn to enjoy life more while being smoke-free.

Good day to all!

DanJF3

From: DanJF3

Feb-26

I'm glad you are sharing your experience these past few days and I am guessing writing it all out is helpful.  I know that usually helps me!

That was good you went back to re-read the book.  That book really drilled home to me that nicotine is a drug and I am addicted to it and therefore I will be forever a drug addict.  I knew for several years I was an addict but somehow my awareness went to a new level after reading Allen Carr.  

It sounds like you had one successful smoke free day and one not.  I'm just wondering, have you ever seriously tried quitting in the past or is this the first time?  While one can quit successfully on the first try I am guessing that is rather rare so the big thing is to learn from the experience so that's what I would ask, what did you learn from that night you didn't plan to smoke but did and how can you use that to help you in the future?

While I mentioned that we are and always will be addicts, don't let that be discouraging, it's really not that bad once you get some momentum behind you and time away from smoking.  In 14 months the only time I seriously was ready to give in and smoke again was about 10 weeks in but I stopped, closed my eyes, fell asleep about 20 minutes and when I woke up the crave was gone so now I have a 14 month quit as opposed to something much shorter or no quit.  Thoughts of smoking aren't super common and rarely very strong at this point.  It's great that you are excited about your smoke free day and you should be but also never let the guard down as there will always be ups and downs, it's just over time they tend to be less intense.

Keep moving ahead and I think running will help you out.  I used to run long distance during a longer quit several years ago but stupidly I gave up running and started back smoking.  Life literally is a marathon and we need to live in the moment.  Oh and one more bit of advice, alcohol definitely can kill a quit faster than anything so in the early days it may take a bit of an adjustment and not go out as often or not drink as much as you may be able to later until you get that solid quit under your feet.  Anyway, best wishes Dave.  Keep us informed on your progress!

In reply toRe: msg 8
DaveWolf2021

From: DaveWolf2021

Feb-28

Thanks Dan for your message :) I will try to reply in my post.

In reply toRe: msg 7
DaveWolf2021

From: DaveWolf2021

Feb-28

Hi,

Yesterday was a great day. Had a lot of fun with friends for a birthday. I did a nice run in the morning and felt super fresh from not having smoked as well the night before. It’s obvious days feel way better when I am not smoked and intoxicated.

Having said that, I gave in at some point during the day and I had a few smokes. The beginning of the lunch, I actually didn’t care smoking, and I wasn’t tempted. Only my friend was smoking and no others. Through out the meal, I was following my friend sometime to join him outside while he was smoking. Until, at some point someone else took a smoke from him and I took one too. Simply, I went like that, not feeling guilty and just going for a smoke. Eventually, I took a few more during the day and evening. Didn’t feel like I was enjoying them so I wasn’t binging either. Eventually during the evening I paid attention and I thought to myself, I am actually not enjoying the smokes at all. I am just doing it for some reason. So I decided to just stop taking smokes. And that was it for the rest of the night. I was thinking before I left I would like to take some smokes home. And then as well, I realised I didn’t really feel like smoking and I was more afraid I would want to smoke and I wouldn’t have any. At that moment, I decided to trust that this thought was also just my addiction and the fear of missing out that was pushing me to want to smoke. I focused on the fact that I was just very happy with the day and also happy to go home and actually rest, without smoking anymore and just sleep.

This morning felt actually not too bad. I felt happy I didn’t take any smoke home and was happy I would just live my day smoke free and do things outside.

I have tried to stop smoking or talking about this many times. And usually I feel good and bad about it, arguing myself and not really doing it. I often mention how it’s linked to my drinking and that’s always a big stop when I drink, I am usually going through a cigarette. Now I am just learning that I am actually ok without smoking and I need to push through a those moments and learn. I won’t argue with myself nor anyone about it. I am just happy to learn to live smoke free and also learn why it’s hard to not smoke at times and also why it’s also easy not to. The Allen Carr book is a good refresher in those views.

I am also happy that I am picking up running and just being outdoor active more, especially when I am not sure about what I want to do. Boredom is a huge factor in my times when I want to have a beer and smoke. Relearning to do something else is great.

I remember when my brother had stopped smoking and he was saying how he was surprised he find himself free just because he wasn’t smoking haha So it’s good to take it as an opportunity to do things that feels great like reading a good book, talking to a friend or simply spending time moving outside.

Good day to all

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