I would never be the one to reprimand anybody for lighting up anywhere, maybe just because I’ve been doing it for over 33 years. Anybody who wanted me to refrain from smoking somewhere was just a thorn in my side and I’d feel targeted and marked as an outcast – all just because I performed the (previously) perfectly social acceptable habit of smoking.
The more people around me pulled up their noses or tried to convince me to quit, the stronger my resolve was that it is my life, my body and I’ll smoke if I want to - and F them all. I had the distinct feeling that we smokers enjoy life more. We are the ones out late at night, drinking, laughing and partying. We are always the ones who sit and talk deep into the wee morning hours to fix the big problems the world is facing.
We are the ones who relax and see life as it is from within the smoking area – while the glum non-smokers tread by as if they are walking the last few paces to the guillotine. Secretly all of us smokers want to stop sometime in the future but not now (for heaven’s sake), not while our health is fine and the hits on the lungs feel so good…
My wife got a scare the other day through some x-rays and was advised to stop the smoking habit. I was in it with her – to help for moral support, to stop my own addiction or to ensure a somewhat healthier future for the both of us – I am not sure, but I made the commitment to myself to cease the tobacco consumption… again.
From past failed attempts I can remember the wild cravings and the impossible mind games. I used to take leave from work and spend two whole days away from home – in the saddle of my bicycle and “tough it out”, but the headaches and anxiety attacks got to me, the grinding of teeth out of frustration and anger freaked my core, while experiencing the total torture of it all, until I finally caved in again and took that cigarette – absolute bliss and dejection…
This time I gathered all available information, reviewed NRT’s (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) concerning patches, gum and mouth spray (which were just a double dose of Nico for me – I refused to drop the smoke). I went into the pros and cons of products like Zyban and Champix (weird, game-changing pills that stuff you into a zombie mode) and printed out reams of paper from the “whyquit.com” website – to study the possibility and art of going “cold turkey” – yeah, O M G. Cold Turkey just sounds off man.
All this research had me trembling with fear and spread a wild panic through my tar laden body.
I even took to reading Allen Carr’s Easy way book and became very interested after learning he was a 100-a-day-man. I suddenly realised (with a cold sweat running down the back of my neck) when I was about halfway through the book, that this all made sense to me and I was petrified to realise that after I was going to finish reading,
I would never smoke again in my life. Just the mere thought of attempting to part with a 33 year old addiction crutch brought tears to my eyes and a trembling to my hands. What the hell was I going to do? What the hell was I letting myself into?
I guess it had something to do with overcoming the fear and keeping a positive mind. Maybe the fact that I realised a cigarette created the void I felt, while it never filled it. This time I didn’t have a hard time. This time the worst was waking up five times every night during the first four nights and second worst was the little dizzy spells from time to time. I took no substitutes, refused sweets and gum and have no greater hunger for food and am not fidgety or panicky – at all.
Sometimes a pang sparks purely out of association, but it is quickly and easily forgotten – you see – I was never going to give up anything; I was only going to gain a life free of constant chemical addiction.
I will never complain about people smoking around me and I’ll never advise anybody to stop, because from experience I know – it only builds resolve to smoke when pushed like that; the smoker himself will decide if and when to stop. I will tell them how easy it was for me though, and hope that all of them find positivity and maybe even some motivation through my experience.
After being a non-smoker for a week and knowing that I’ll never touch the stuff again, I’ve finally broken my chained addiction and realised that there is a possibility of life without my ex-love: Nicotine.
Thanks Mallory (cessation 25th Nov 2012), Gert Swart, Phae Rayden, Desilusionada, Dolcy Lucy, Zohan Steppingstone, Roux de boy, Irukandji (just because of the moral support), Rohin, Zoolie (‘cause he doesn’t smoke at the office), Wreford White, NoeNoe and BlackBeard for probably saying I’m a pissy(!) and even Hugh Influence (or FlippnCool or Art Brigg) for shouting out the smokers resolve, and lastly my wife (for pure love!). Your articles and comments helped me gain confidence – and believe me, I read them all again – from way back in 2012!