How did I do it? I honestly do not have a specific answer. It was a part of my life for 28 years. I believe it was a culmination of things. The 37,000 times I tried to quit previously may have contributed to success this time, but I don’t know for sure. The cost of smoking was a definite influence. Seeing people around me lose loved ones because of smoking really brought the need to quit home. It isn’t like I wasn’t aware of the health effects. I wasn’t one of those people who thought it wouldn’t happen to me. My luck, if it’s going to happen to anyone, it IS going to happen to me. Whatever it was this time, it feels like the last quit. I am so grateful that it is finally over! It feels like a prison sentence is over.
I used a prescription medication to help with my quit. I know that it contributed to my success. I have used every new pill or patch out there over the years. This time I realized that I was going to have withdrawal and it would be fine. Dreaded withdrawal. The thing that will make you give in and go as fast as you can to the nearest store to get rid of the feeling. I finally realized that as a smoker, you are in constant withdrawal all the time. The withdrawal feeling is how you know you need another cigarette. When I quit smoking that is the thing that always got me. I just couldn’t take withdrawal anymore. It seemed like it would never end. Now when I occasionally have a withdrawal feeling, I realize it is temporary and it will go away. It is much less withdrawal than when I smoked. Mastering that idea took a long time but it really has made it so much easier this time. I know it seems simple but nicotine is a really wicked and sneaky drug. Withdrawal. I was sick of it.
My husband and I both smoked. We have smoked together the entire time we have known each other. Now we have both quit. We have to get to know each other as non-smokers. People are different when they no longer smoke. I didn’t realize how much my personality and our relationship were twisted up with smoking. How much of the time my husband and I spent together was filled with smoking. It really is time consuming.
We could no longer use smoking as a way to solve our problems. I know that sounds dumb, but when you smoke and you are mad at your spouse, you go smoke a cigarette. It makes you feel better. It gives you time to think or cool down, whatever. So if the hubby and I were bickering, we would go outside, smoke a cigarette and then we would both feel a little better about the disagreement. We would both be more willing to compromise and let the argument go. Not a great way to cope but that is how it works when you smoke as a couple. Did it work, not really. But it worked well enough. Until you quit smoking! Now we are learning to argue differently. Not because we want to, but because we have to. It has lead to some really funny disagreements. You see, we don’t know when to stop disagreeing. There aren’t any time outs for a cigarette. It is quite funny to look at each other, be out of points to make, but not know how to end the disagreement. We just look at each other. Is it over? We don’t know for sure. Thank goodness we both have a good sense of humor and enjoy laughing at and with each other. Our common inappropriate humor has been a tremendous help. We are getting there.
I feel like I was granted a second chance. I am not going to waste it. New lifestyle, new adventures. I am looking forward to it all!