Addictions seemed to always find me....bad ones that is! I smoked my first cigarette at 12. I started smoking regular when I was 15. By the time I was 30 years old, I was smoking Kool Filter Kings at a whopping THREE PACKS A DAY!
I tried everything to quit. I tried cutting back, the nicorette gum, and the patch. I got addicted to the gum! I learned that if I put it in between my gum and lip, I would get a jolt from that like someone dipping snuff. Nothing seemed to work. But that was 20 years ago......
How did I stop?? Well, I knew that the initial addiction to the drug Nicotine was about 72 hours of hard withdrawals (nausea, headaches, nervousness, sweating, etc.)That's only three days. Each real craving lasts approximately 2 to 3 minutes tops and usually one hard craving per hour. I could last at anything for 3 minutes every hour for 3 days. I made up my mind that when I accomplished this, no one could ever tell me I could not be successful at anything I attempted.
I knew that if I could make it through the 72 hours, then the rest was a matter of breaking a bad habit.
So, for those first 72 hours, I would acknowledge the need for a cigarette. As soon as the craving began, I would say out loud "I CHOOSE NOT TO SMOKE." This was very important because I had to acknowledge there was a real need for the nicotine. I was addicted to the drug. Then, I had to remind my self this was a choice!
Then, I would either run in place or take off running till I was out of breath. As crazy as this sounds, IT WORKED! After 72 hours the nicotine was out of my system and the rest was breaking a habit. I was retraining my mind to not crave something it did not physically need.
I would physically put myself in places that did not allow smoking. It reinforced the habit would be broken. After about a week, I found my taste and sense of smell returning. I could not believe how sweet things were, nor how BAD my clothes and house smelled.
Did I gain a lot of weight? NO, because I replace the bad habit with good habits. I could chew a straw in two LOL, but that was only for awhile. Soon, I learned I could hold a pen or pencil between my fingers to satisfy the physical holding of a cigarette. After awhile longer, I just didn't need the props anymore.
I put the money I was spending each day on cigarettes in a jar every single day for a month. It really added up. Cigarettes were only about $1.50 a pack then. That was about $150 dollars in a month then. By today's terms, this would mean a small fortune. At the end of that month, I splurged and bought myself something special.
It has been since February 05, 1990, since I last smoked. For the first 3 weeks, my lungs purged themselves, and I was sick a lot.
After the first year, an x-ray revealed that my lungs were like someone's who had never smoked at all!!!!! That was TWENTY YEARS AGO! Hello! 20 Years!
A miracle? no way! It was just DISCIPLINE and the KNOWING I would make the changes for me to be a healthier me.
I challenge ANYONE that smokes to do what I did and QUIT !
Yes! It can be done!
3 minutes at a time.....
Here's to YOUR healtier life.
c September 26, 2010