I want to share my personal quit smoking story with each of you for several reasons. I want you to know where I came from and hopefully give you some inspiration knowing that if I can quit smoking anybody can quit.
My addiction to tobacco started when I was 15 years old. I was an outstanding athlete competing year round in various sports. During baseball season as I entered high school I was introduced to chewing tobacco. I didn't appreciate it at first, but it quickly grew on me. First I would chew only during baseball games, but soon found myself enjoying a pinch in the morning, after meals, at night and just spending time with friends who also chewed. Soon I was a full blown addict but didn't even realize it. It wasn't until a couple years later when I read a story of an 18 year old high school senior who died of oral cancer due to chewing tobacco that I realized I needed to quit. Unfortunately I found how hard it would be to conquer my addiction.
At 19 years old I was determined to quit chewing by whatever means I could. I tried everything but couldn't kick the habit so I decided to try smoking cigarettes rather than chewing tobacco. My thought was that it took much longer to suffer the effects of smoking. At first it was hard to make the switch but within a couple months I forgot all about chewing and was smoking a pack a day. For more than 20 years I continued to smoke but within a few years my daily dosage increased to nearly 2 packs a day. If smoking were an olympic sport I would have won a gold medal 5 times. My normal routine was to wake up, grab a cup of coffee and be out on the porch smoking within 3 minutes of opening my eyes. I had the coffee programmed to be ready when I woke and sprinted from my bed. That was the most enjoyable cigarette of the day for me and the one I had the hardest time giving up when I quit. I smoked better than a pack by noon each day and continued until minutes before bed. It was the first thing I did everyday and last thing I did.
Several years ago I began to really worry about the effects of smoking all those years. Luckily in the internet era I was able to find a lot of information about nicotine addiciton and the ill effects of smoking. I read every article I could get my hands on and spent hours each day learning about the addiction that had afflicted me for so long. It is this information that I am sharing with you on this blog so that you too can better understand why you smoke and how to quit.
The most important thing you must understand before you attempt to quit is that you do not enjoy smoking. You think you do and belive me I know how you feel. But the reality is that you only think you enjoy it because your body is in a state of withdrawal from a drug addiction. Once you remove the drug you no longer feel the withdrawal. It is critical that you understand this premise. If not you will never make it through your quit. Read the other posts on my blog about addiction and the reason you smoke. It is not a choice it is an addiction. Once you realize what makes you keep reaching for a cigarette it is easier to reason why you shouldn't have one. The next step is to make a list of reasons you want to quit. Everyone's list is different, make your own and keep it with you at all times. You will experience craves for a cigarette but reference your list and remember that if you don't give in that eventually those craves will go away completely and you will live a wonderful drug free life.
The early days of quitting smoking are tough, even if you know what you are up against. The first few days you are still suffering from physical withdrawal and your body will remind you almost constantly that it needs a cigarette. Keep telling it no, and like a spoiled child eventually it will realize you are not going to give in and it will stop. The first week is tough, the 2nd week is much easier and by the time you make it to 30 days your craves will be so few and far between you will no longer be a slave to tobacco. You will have officially quit smoking. Start your journey today. Enjoy the feeling of getting healthier, breathing better and no longer worrying about an early death. Let me know how you are doing and feel free to email me with any questions or help you may need. Best of luck!!!!!
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