Just thought I’d share something I think I’ve learnt recently. Background- I have been a pack a day smoker for 20 years, started when I was 16. I have quit a few times for max maybe 6months. I have been trying to quit since I was 21. So I have been genuinely trying to quit for 15 YEARS! Can you believe that. I have tried many things, patches, gum, champix, cold turkey etc. the only one I would never try again is champix- made me crazy. I think I genuinely have tried to quit a few times a year for 15 years, let’s say 4. That’s 60 quit attempts. Serious attempts. Making calendars, reward charts, reading non smoking books, joining apps etc.
After all this time quitting some things are easier and some things are harder. Because of so much quit practice I find it easy to go a few days. I can set my mind to it. But the big goal, the elusive goal is harder than ever. I have never tried to do something 60+ times and failed and kept trying. It was getting harder and harder to build up to each attempt, to get my mind ready, it has sapped my will power and made me feel like a failure. 2 things have helped recently and I am now on 11 days. One is this forum, reading people’s stories, seeing all the support and encouragement is awesome. You guys are tops! We know how hard this is and there is nothing more inspiring than seeing you guys succeed, it genuinely builds hope to hear your stories.
The second one is that I have been relying a lot on will power and not so much on planning. A plan is not “to not smoke”. I’ve tried to lift my planning game. Because I can’t actually go through life with the same temptations all around me and resist them, I need to get myself right away from the tempting circumstances. Quitting for me has been like a video game walking through a mind field and every time I’m completely surprised that I got blown up again. So maybe don’t walk through the mine field. Don’t hang out with that friend who chain smokes and is a terrible influence on your life. Don’t have a random night out and get drunker than you planned and indulge in a pack for fun. Don’t walk past the ciggy shop on your way to work, walk the other way. And the latest one for me that is actually working is do not carry enough $ with you to buy a pack. I leave all my cards at home and take $20 cash out for daily expenses. So yeah I’m trying to walk in the safe, pleasant smelling, floral meadow. I’m on day 11.
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