Day 1 January 28, 2017
It has been 12 hours since I smoked my last cigarette. I tried to quit yesterday and failed miserably. I stood outside on the porch staring at my lit cigarette in my hand and said, “this is my last cigarette. No cravings. I do not need to smoke”. Unfortunately, I was not strong enough and bought a pack of cigarettes that next day when I got stressed out driving around Maine. I immediately went home and told on myself to my husband. His subsequent guilt-trip made the cigarette I was smoking taste horrible.
I told him to hide all the cigarettes left in the house where I couldn’t find them. Everyone in the house has been told if they see me smoking to yell at me and tell me to stop.
While in the shower this morning, I began to wonder when and why I started smoking in the first place. I am 32 years old, there should be a reason why I started smoking. I was 17 years old and getting ready for prom. My mom, step-dad, and my best friend all smoked. I tried one of my friends when we were in her car driving around. I remember the shock in her voice when she asked me if I did want one, because I have never asked before. Then I started stealing my mom’s cigarettes and cracking my window at night to try and hide that I was smoking in my room.
My mother caught me and I swore I was going to quit smoking and I would never do it again. Yep, that was a huge lie. My parents didn’t find out I was smoking until I was 22 or 23 years old, when my step father borrowed my car. I am sure they suspected I still smoked because they had quit smoking by this time and could most likely smell the smoke on me. I was an adult now so they couldn’t do anything to stop me from smoking, beyond telling me to stop and asking that I quit. Years later and my parents still haven’t picked up a cigarette no matter how stressful their lives get.
Over the years I have told myself “I will quit when I want to”, “it’s not the right time yet”. All I was really saying was, “I am not strong enough to quit. I am addicted to cigarettes. My body physically needs them”. Most people who smoke do not even think about the addictive properties of smoking. I have had people tell me to vape instead of smoke because it is “healthier” for you. I did vape for a while, but all I did was trade in one habit for another, and vaping was costing me more money than smoking ever was.
I am strong enough now, I can do this. I do not need to smoke cigarettes. I know they are addicting, I realize that I think I need to smoke when that is the addiction talking. Just like when people stress eat, they are filling a void with food instead of looking at why they feel it is necessary to eat so much. I am filling a void with smoking, thinking I need it in times of stress, or when I am bored, or because I am craving a cigarette. This will be a hard road, but I have family and friends to help support me so that will be helpful.
Here is an article written by Elijah Wolfson, and medically reviewed by Desiree Conrad about what happens to your body after you quit smoking. http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/quit-smoking-timeline
“The effects of quitting start to set in immediately. Within 20 minutes after your last cigarette, your heart rate will begin to drop back toward a normal level.”
Nicotine withdrawal symptoms usually start about two hours after your last cigarette. Early withdrawal symptoms include:
- intense cravings
- anxiety, tension, or frustration
- drowsiness or trouble sleeping
- increased appetite
In 48 hours my nerve endings will start to regrow and my ability to smell and taste will improve. This happened within 48 hours when I was vaping instead of smoking.
DAY 3 WILL BE THE HARDEST DAY! Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal may peak around this time because the nicotine will be completely out of your body within 3 days.