I have hesitated on writing this post for a while now. So it’s time to confess, I am a smoker. I originally smoked for ten years, and quit aged 26. I stayed quit for seven years so I’m aware of how ridiculous it was to start again in 2011. I have questioned the logic of starting again many times since and can only conclude that I had a weak moment during a stressful time and was foolish enough to think it would be a one off. Unfortunately, and inevitably, it was not and I have been battling to quit ever since.
In recent years I have been fighting the torturous battle of resolving to quit, throwing away my tobacco, managing between two days and a week and failing. A few times I have even managed a few months but I always seem to end up smoking again. Frustrating.
I know I need to quit. I don’t want to suffer from a horrible smoking related illness, and I let my family down every time I light up.
So over the last three weeks I have been attempting to quit again. It has not been very successful. Initially I managed nearly six full day and felt positive, I was on a roll. Then a stressful situation occurred and I dealt with it by lighting up, as has been my coping strategy for a large chunk of my adult life. Fine I thought, onwards, and resolved that this was a one of slip.
Which of course it wasn’t. So in the last two weeks and three days I have smoked on six of those days. I feel like a massive idiot. So I’m owning up and making this struggle public, in the interests of accountability and support.
Drawing a line under the last failed attempt and starting again, today. I have identified that I need to find a healthier way to deal with my stress, not ongoing stress but those trigger points where I feel overwhelmed and on the brink of breaking down. In these moments I need to do things differently. I need to learn to manage anxiety without this unhelpful crutch.
I’ve made a list of my main motivations to quit; my family, my short term and my long term health.
I’ve made a list of alternatives to smoking in those trigger moments; Play video games, take a bath, meditate and if I’m really struggling I can use my sedatives.
I have an electronic vape thingy, which will help me to deal with the nicotine withdrawal whilst I learn new coping strategies and adjust to a smoke free life. In time I can step down the nicotine level gradually, easing myself of this drug.
So today is the first day of my new smoke free life. I’d appreciate supportive comments, and advice for the quitting process. Wish me luck!