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Hello - I am a 32 year-old American man. I have smoked for most of my adult life. I have been sober from alcohol and drugs for over 4.5 years now, and I desperately want to be smoke-free. I have had some success in the past with nicotine gum and patches - however, I really want to be free of nicotine, completely. I have had several quit attempts since the new year, and am having a really hard time with committing to it, 100%. I could really use help towards becoming successfully nicotine-free. I have done a lot of research into cold-turkey quitting, and I know that the most intense withdrawal symptoms go on for 3-5 days after the last cigarette. I also know that this is largely dependent on the severity of one's habit. I have been a pack-a-day smoker since I was about 24 - roughly 8 years, now. I was a social smoker during college as well, so I have smoked in some way or another my entire adult life. I fully expect that, even after the initial withdrawal phase, I am in for a long road to recovery. The first time I got sober from alcohol and drugs was when I was 22. I remember that the first 90 days of sobriety were absolutely critical, and that my brain had a ton of recovery to undertake. I expect that when I have my final cigarette, this will also be true of recovery from this particular addiction. I would like to apply the 12-step model to my nicotine addiction, and colloquially, take it "one day at a time". In the early days of quitting cold-turkey, it will really break down to taking it "one moment at a time" (i.e. "get through this craving" "get through the next 5 minutes" "get through the next hour" etc., etc.) I need to have a solid quit date planned, and do as much work as I can before that quit date, so that I am adequately prepared. Quitting cold-turkey will be very difficult, but it is definitely not impossible. I believe that I will be able to do it when I am completely ready and completely prepared. Obviously, life will continue to present challenges, even if I am totally nicotine-free. But I can apply 12-step principles to difficulties that will inevitably come up, as I move forward with life. I just know that smoking is a horrendous addiction, that it is holding me back in life in so many ways, and that I'm 32 years old - not so young anymore, and becoming acutely aware of how this addiction will seriously screw up my life, if I don't beat it at this age. To anyone out there, I could use all the help I can get.
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