Smoking, a four letter word with seven letters. Less and less accepted in today’s society, smokers are becoming a rare and extinct breed due to scientific proof of failing health issues and the continuous rise of cost per pack. First banned in public buildings, then restaurants, hotels, and now in our own vehicles when children are present. Smokers are now forced to basically hide their habits or be ridiculed by the ever growing number of non-smokers. You see them, turning their noses up, pointing fingers, and always freely giving lectures on the downfalls of smoking. But being the non-smokers they are, they do not realize that you can not just crush your pack and say that you are a non-smoker.
Smoking is an addiction and some have claimed that it is just as hard as an alcoholic giving up the bottle. Method after method have been tried and failed. In the beginning, you start out strong then fizzle back into your habit before you ever knew what happened. There are many people out there struggling with the idea of quitting for one reason or another and I am no exception.
I have tried various sources from the patch to the anti depressant “Wellbutrin” because they say it’s supposed to curb your craving and ease the withdrawal symptoms from quitting. However, these methods were a temporary fix for a long term habit. In the long run, I went back to my ball and chain which in laymens language meant my cigarettes and lighter, my comforter, my stress relief. Yes, I admit it, I loved smoking. Just think of the sadness I felt when I found out they really aren’t good for you.
So how did I quit smoking? Not an easy task, but a doable one. First, you have to really want to quit, have that strong desire and determination. Second you need to change your routines. Smoking is a routine. You light up in the morning with coffee,when you take your breaks at work, after a meal, and most certainly after a beer or two. Recognize this routine and alter it. I used to sit in front of the hood vent on the stove, have my coffee and light my cigarette before I could even start getting ready for work. But when I decided it was time to quit I changed my sequence by heading straight for the shower instead of the stove for that first smoke. It didn’t really bother me until the morning break at work. I ALWAYS left my desk and went out for a cigarette or two. Instead of following the norm, I kept working through my breaks, munching on carrot sticks or anything else that would curb the desire. Generally people are concerned with gaining weight when they quit smoking. This is true if you decide to load yourself full of junk food. This is why I recommend veggies like carrot sticks, celery, apples, anything that gave me the hand to mouth fixation and mimicked the smoking. I do not suggest sunflower seeds, though they helped me tremendously I soon found out that I was consuming a load of calories, not to mention the over indulgence of sodium. Inhaling deeply helped also during this crucial initial period because you could still taste the left over nicotine that had not yet left your lungs. It’s kind of a rush actually.
Being at work wasn’t too bad, it kept me busy and not one person in the whole building smoked so I wasn’t constantly reminded of what I was missing. It wasn’t until I would get home at night that I would be missing the cigarettes and badly. I would just keep reminding myself on how much money I was saving and what I would be buying with the extra cash. I had done some figuring on the calculator and determined that I would smoke a pack a day at $4.50 a pack times 7 days is $31.50 times 52 weeks equals a whopping $1,638.00. Imagine that. Enough for a vacation. That was my motivation. I would not give another dime to those habit forming cancer sticks. Every day became a little easier, changing my routines, munching my veggies, counting cash, plus my very strong will power to over come my ball and chain. Before you know it a week passes, then two. I still think about smoking, sometimes I want to pick one up, I miss it honestly. But I stop myself and think “Do I want to control my habit or do I want my habit to control me?” It has been since January since I had my last cigarette and I did it the natural way, without gums, or drugs, or hypnosis. I feel my success comes from doing it that way because I wasn’t trading one bad habit for another. It’s a great feeling and I have more time for me instead of time for my cigarettes.