Thursday, 9 May 2013

The End Of An Era

I never ever imagined that I would ever say what I am about to post today. I made a decision last week to give up smoking for good. After continuous pressure from Chad to quit, I decided to humor him and go out and buy Nicorettes and give up try and quit smoking. Wednesday, 1 May 2013, was a public holiday, it was the beginning of the month and a good day to attempt to quit smoking. I bought a packet of cigarettes as well, so who was I kidding? I think I bought two packets, which is normal for me. I smoke between 30 and 35 cigarettes a day and that is on a good day.  On a bad day and by bad day, I mean an emotionally strained and drained day, I smoke from 35 to 45 or even more in a day.

I tried to buy Nicorette patches, but it seems they have been taken off the market. This I found out after doing some research. I also was astonished to read on different forums that many people become addicted to Nicorette gum. My psychologist told me that she was addicted to Nicorettes, so I had heard of it happening, but she never went into detail about how long she was addicted, so when I read that some people have been addicted to them for 15 or more years and the side effects, I was quite reluctant to even open the packet. I have had them before, many years ago and they did not work. I also was not that interested in giving up smoking. I loved love smoking. Mark said the other night, how can you love smoking and miss smoking. I do love it - admittedly some of the time it is habit, some addiction, but many are because I enjoy them.

I always said that I gave up, giving up smoking years ago and I had no interest in giving up, but last year I toyed with the idea when I added smoking to my list of goals for the year, which you can read about over here. What I have learnt is, call them goals or changes or new year's resolutions, call them what you like, they do not work for me and it is just a waste of time. Well this time I thought I would attempt to give up and then Chad could at least see I am putting in an effort.

On Thursday morning I woke up and had 2 left in the pack, which I smoked and decided that is the end - no more. I arrived at work and did not rush up to the shop to buy a packet or one loose cigarette, which they sell at the shop up stairs even though it is against the law to sell loose cigarettes. I was so proud of myself for about 45 minutes, then sent Brilliant up to buy  a packet, which I was planning on leaving in the car so that it would  not be such a temptation to smoke if they were not lying on my desk. I ended up cutting down to one pack of 20's a day. Friday night I bought a packet and buy 2 pm on Saturday I had 3 smokes left. I was at work and when I left I thought "Who the hell am I kidding" There and then I decided not to buy another packet.

I arrived at home with 3 smokes. I smoked one and went to sleep. I woke up after 2 hours and as usual as my eyes opened so did my mouth - in popped the smoke, I lit it, smoked it and enjoyed it.
I got up, then went o make supper. I made curry and whilst it was simmering on the stove, I made myself a cappuccino, sat down and had my last and final cigarette. That last cigarette I had on Saturday evening, was the best cigarette I have ever had in my life.

I have not had a single cigarette or even a puff on a cigarette since then. Mark and I debate about me doing it cold turkey, he says I did not, I started cutting down before. Cutting down from 30 to 25 cigarettes on one day is not cutting down slowly.

I am shocked at how easy it has been, yet extremely difficult. In 35 years that I have smoked, the only time I went without a cigarette for more than 24 hours was when I had my jaw operation and I was too sore to go outside the hospital to have a smoke in the gardens. I am not proud to admit it, but even when I gave birth to Chad and Clint, I went and smoked as soon as I could after my Caesars.

I am on day 5 now and I have to admit, the first 3 days were easy, maybe, because I was chewing Nicorettes, yesterday and today have been hell and we are not even half way through today. I also signed up with CANSA's eKick Butt program. I found this whilst searching for Nicorette patches. I only read through it on Monday night, so had in fact quit, before starting the program.

The side effects of giving up smoking are real and nasty. The worst is my concentration levels, which are way below zero. My brain must surely be in shock after 35 years of heavy heavy smoking, but if I have to quit, quitting after almost 5 days of being smoke free, then I would be really stupid.

As I go along my smoke free journey, I will post about my cravings, feelings and side effects. I need to get back to work now.

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