TL:DR - I'm still a bit shocked or confused that it is extremely likely I won't ever be a smoker again.
I've been smoking 20 a day for the last 14 years. Not sure when exactly, maybe a few years ago, I started disliking smoking immensely. So each year, I'd say... maybe this is the year I'll stop. And it kept rolling over to the next year.
For the last year, I've increased my exercise (specifically hiking) to 2-3 times a week. In January I started including running as well, and am now in a solid fitness regime, where it feels strange to only exercise once a week (this is also still something I'm slightly in shock over).
Anyway, at the beginning of this year, I could feel that this was the year I was going to stop and made a commitment that I will stop by 31 December 2019 for the absolute latest. From Feb to May, I cut down to milder cigarettes from 0.8mg nicotine cigs to 0.1mg (not sure if I was inhaling deeper/more or if this actually worked. But psychologically it made me feel better).
End of May came and I realised I don't quite know what to do from this point onwards. So I just kept smoking as usual. Beginning of June, I felt like July was the right month to stop & I picked a date - 15 July - to be my first day as a non-smoker.
On 10 July, I decided to check out Allen Carr's Stop Smoking Audiobook. I really enjoyed it. It gave me a lot of data to repeat to myself (he drills it into you with repetition anyway). He says it will be easy. I can't fully agree with this though. It was as hard as I thought it would be initially. But surprisingly easier after the first 3 days.
My experience so far:
Day 1 - I slept about 16 hours - the time I was awake was torture. After eating, the cravings were the WORST. Did not know what to do with myself. Felt like something was constantly missing, that I needed to do something. Ate a whole slab of chocolate.
Day 2 - Crap... but slightly better.
Day 3 - Still crap... but also slightly better than day 2.
Day 4 and 5 - substantially better. Cravings after meals were still very strong, still eating a lot of chocolate and chips (this could be slightly related to PMS though), but nothing compared to days 1-3. It has now become a feeling of empowerment every time I resist a craving. It feels like each time I accept and move on from a craving/thought.. I'm one step closer to reprogramming my brain for good.
So I say it's quitting shock, because this whole year, once I decided to quit this year, I've been living with a feeling of underlying dread and panic about how difficult it's going to be. How I'm going to feel lost without cigarettes, how I'm going to feel deprived, how I won't stop craving. HOW I WILL FAIL. How I will fail and not have the willpower to quit for another 5-10 years.
Day 5 - Today is the day where I started feeling like the scales have tipped and I'm too far into Non-Smoker territory to go back. The shock, that this is actually happening. Something I doubted would happen or that I would succeed at it after all the half attempts and failures I had previously experienced.
Wow. It feels like a massive battle is over.
Also - OMFG - CANNOT believe how easy it is to smell other people after they've smoked. Even when they are standing at least a metre away. I've always misjudged this, thinking I'm standing far away enough that the other person can't smell the smoke on my clothes/breath. Crazy.
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