Stories & experiences

Percy Verence

Day 21...

Posted in Quit experiences 19 Aug 2021

Hi, everyone! - Percy checking in...

Well, I've had a mixed sort of week.

Firstly, I haven't toyed with the idea of a cigarette at all - not once. I believe this is entirely down to the Allen Carr book, which I have taken everywhere with me. If I have a spare five minutes, I read from this book. In fact, reading the book has taken the place of smoking itself - I curl up in a chair for ten minutes with a coffee and read a few chapters. If anybody is wondering why I keep reading and re-reading, I think I have had to really brainwash myself to get this far without temptation. I have had to work hard at embracing life as a non-smoker rather than just tolerating life as a smoker who is torturing herself.

Whenever I conjure the mental image of a cigarette, I think about a syringe full of Heroin (which disgusts me.) I play out the scenario of a reformed Heroin addict coming out of rehab looking healthy and cured of addiction - and then I imagine them picking up the needle and saying "I'll just have one..."

I'm never going to fall into the trap of having "just one" again.

I treated myself to a pretty, silver bracelet this week. It's the style you would normally have engraved with your name on a bar - but I have had my quit date inscribed on there. I love it! It was partly a psychological trick - the date has been cast permanently in silver so it is indelibly imprinted on my mind as the date I won the greatest (and longest) battle of my life. I love seeing it on my wrist. I love having the money spare to buy myself treats like jewellery.

Last Wednesday , I joined Weight Watchers so I could start tackling my weight. Unfortunately, I have gained an extra three stone over the course of a long illness. High doses of oral steroids have taken their toll along with endless Lockdowns due to Covid.

So, this means I'm now focusing on exercise, healthy eating and healthy lifestyle choices rather than just quitting the cigarettes. I've just come back from my weekly weigh-in to discover I've GAINED a pound this week...LOL! Nah, I'm not disheartened...just needs some more thought and fine-tuning!

I've felt quite well but I must point out that I'm currently going through the menopause. Feeling irritable and emotional is par for the course, so I don't think my challenging days can necessarily ALL be put down to giving up smoking. I've had some low moods and a few days of feeling slightly withdrawn...which could be hormones.

The 'disturbed sleep' has gone - now I'm sleeping like a baby.

I haven't had a cough since I quit (actually, I had a productive morning cough as a smoker which has completely gone.) but I've had a tight chest for the last few days and seem to be struggling with itchy skin and rashes still. I know I've mentioned this before - apparently it's a sign of my body's circulation returning to normal.

I don't think I've had any withdrawal symptoms but occasionally I still feel 'at a loss' - particularly when I'm working on the computer or I'm performing any sort of task that would normally have been punctuated with cigarette breaks. Learning to 'just be' is a new skill in itself.

I'm still meditating every day and improving my skills at relaxing. I was a fidgety smoker - I was someone who rarely sat still and I seemed to be powered by nervous energy. I've become aware how tense I can be - I even catch myself in bed with clenched fists! I'm working on it!

Much love to you all - wherever you are in your quit journey - keep going! x

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  • NOPE-2021 August 19, 2021 | 7:28
    By golly, I think you did it!!! So glad to hear from you and also glad that you are doing excellent. CONGRATULATIONS on 21 days!! I am marching right behind you! Sounds to me like you've got this!!! GO GIRL!!!
  • Happiness August 19, 2021 | 10:15
    You're doing great Percy. I really do recommend that everyone reads Allan Carr. He has such a way with words and understands exactly what we all feel , being a heavy smoker himself for decades. Understanding why we smoked and how we have been brainwashed helps us to let go of thinking that we are missing anything. Actually , we did miss out on alot because we were smokers. We let nicotine rule us because we believed that we had no choice.

    We CAN make the choice to stop smoking. We are stronger than nicotine. And Yes, the thought of being an addict is powerful.
    Keep up the great progress and soon you will feel that you have put it all behind you.

    I also lost 40 lbs in the last 18 months. DIET stands for Did I Eat That? Being Mindful of what we eat and the calories involved goes a long way. A diet is also about choices, and we do not have to feel hungry. Cut a few calories and add a bit of exercise. Mind the processed foods, white foods and avoid the empty junk food calories. Good whole foods are satiating and keep you feeling full. I was most conscious about the nutritional value after my stroke. My favorite breakfast became and still is Peanut Butter, Banana Oatmeal with ground Flax. Lunch was Mackerel, Bean Salad., Fruit and a half serving of nuts. I simply watched the portion sizes of dinner, meat potato and veg....or even spaghetti. I even had cottage cheese and fruit as not to go to bed hungry. Actually, I forgot to even have lunch several times!
  • Leeann , Central Coast August 19, 2021 | 19:06
    Look at you go Percy, you are doing amazing, 21 days is something to be proud of girl. Now, nothing screams committment like a quit date engaved bracelet, i love it - wear that bracelet like a badge of honour and a constant reminder how far from Day 1 you have come. You are winning Percy, and every day you rack up is testimony to that!!!🙌👌👍🌞
  • Percy Verence August 19, 2021 | 22:28
    Thanks, guys.

    @Happiness: Fantastic news about your weight loss - nice and steadily (and healthily) done. Let's hope I can achieve similar results. I hope you feel proud of yourself every day, Happiness - you SHOULD - look at how much you've achieved.

    @Leeann: Next month, I'm thinking toe ring....what? Too much? Oh, okay, just the belt buckle then :)

    @Nope: We're really doing this, aren't we? D'you ever have to pinch yourself? It's amazing.
  • PuffNoMore, Southern NSW August 21, 2021 | 12:24
    Great going Percy.
    I found things getting easier after that 3rd week, although, I didnt let my guard down one little bit for my next 3 month's.

    Stay strong.
  • Jessfreeof, Northern NSW August 22, 2021 | 9:59
    You go Percy 🙌 I love the bracelet idea❤️

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