As a smoker who has tried to quit many times, I am not going to sit here and preach about the dangers of smoking and then tell you that withdrawals don’t last long. I once quit for several months and I wanted a cigarette every single day.
I have seen smokers quit and I know that it can be done. I don’t know anyone who had the same experience as another. We are all individuals. We experience everything differently.
I ask myself:
Why did I start smoking?
Why do I smoke now?
What are my triggers for smoking?
What methods of quitting have I tried?
Why I Started Smoking
I started smoking when I was 18 years old. I thought it made me cool. Yep. I started smoking because I thought it was a cool thing to do.
My triggers are typical patterns, social, and emotional.
My Pattern Smoking Triggers
I smoke with coffee, after meals, before bed, after sex, and when I am done with every project or chore.
My Social Smoking Triggers
I smoke because other smokers are smoking. I will go outside to have a cigarette and talk to other smokers.
My Emotional Smoking Triggers
I smoke when I am feeling depressed, anxious, angry, super happy, or bored.
Why I Smoke
I smoke because quitting makes me feel anxious all the time, gives me headaches, makes insomnia worse, causes me to eat too much and too often, and because I can be downright bitchy when I don’t have nicotine – from a cigarette – not a patch, gum, or lozenge. I smoke because it has become a part of my life and giving it up will not only cause withdrawals, it will leave and empty space in my life. I also smoke because I LIKE to smoke. I enjoy every lung damaging, cancer causing,blood pressure raising, wrinkle promoting, delicious cigarette.
I have tried all of the nicotine products.
- Patches? Wanted a cigarette.
- Gum? I could not keep it between my cheek and gum. I absentmindedly chew and it caused a flood of nicotine that made me sick and shaky.
- I could not suck on a lozenge. I chewed it — and they don’t taste good.
- I have quit cold turkey. I wanted a cigarette all the time and I gained weight.
- I have tried Wellbutrin. I had a hard time getting excited in bed and when I finally did, I could not have an orgasm.
I have never tried Chantix or similar meds because they raise the risk of seizures and I am epileptic, already.
Did I mention I suffer from bipolar 1? I’m a little afraid that I’ll develop another worse addiction if I quit. That’s a valid fear. It may not be a good excuse, but the concept is valid.
But I WANT TO QUIT.
I have friends who quit using nicotine replacement methods and friends who quit using Chantix. I know people who quit cold turkey and are smoke free after 10 years. One of my friends swears by workouts and meditation. Another says she found it EASY after a few days.
If you are former smoker, feel free to share how you quit and how it made you feel – unless it was easy for you. I don’t want to hear that. That’s just annoying. If you are a smoker: Do you want to quit? What have you tried?