*I was a regular smoker but not a heavy smoker.*
**This is literally just a recount of my own personal experience.**
***Everyone is different and I cannot stress enough that there is no one-size-fits-all process (or if there is, I most definitely did not follow it).***
Two weeks before: I’ve been thinking about quitting for a while now. I’ve tried before, but not really, if that makes sense. Kind of like when you tell yourself you are going to go home and clean your room, cook dinner, sort out your life and save the world. You have every intention of doing so.. But at the same time you know that you’re not actually going to do it.
One week before: I’ve just bought my last pack from the convenience store on my way to work. I don’t know it’s my last pack, but it is.
A few days before: I mentally weigh up the pros and cons of smoking:
- Pros: It makes me feel better when I’m stressed, gives me something to do when I’m bored and a lot of the time it’s a social thing.
- Cons: The smell, cost & health implications.
The day before: I revisit my pros and cons list and I start to think. Something clicks, now quitting isn’t just something that I’m thinking of doing, it’s something I am going to do.
The morning of: I remember someone telling me that it’s better not to phase it out and to just quit cold turkey. That same someone told me it’s best to savour your last cigarette and to tell yourself that this is really it, that this really is the last one.
So savour it I do.
The afternoon of: I am having a bad day. I’m not sure if it’s because work has been chaotic or because I’ve been in a bad mood. All I know is that it’s a strange feeling when I search my pockets only to find they’re empty.
The day after: I pause at my usual ciggy break spot. I check my wallet to see if I have enough to buy a new pack. I do. I contemplate turning around and going back down to the convenience store; I can always try again next week once work has settled down a bit, right? I don’t.
Two days after: I’ve decided to change routes to work. I smoked for varying reasons and one of them was habit. I thought maybe it would help if I didn’t walk past my usually ciggy break spot every morning. It did.
A few days after: I catch up with a friend I haven’t seen in a while. He asks me what’s new with my life. I tell him I’m thinking of moving roles, entering the property market and maybe travelling some more once everything has settled down a bit. Oh and that I have quit smoking. He looks confused, says good on ya, goes for a high five and asks me how long it’s been. I realise I don’t actually remember when I quit, I just know that I have.
A week later: I realise it’s not as easy as I thought it would be. It appears that over the last week my brain has figured out how to turn on its very own public announcement system. The message c’mon just one more has been on repeat for a while now. I try my very best to reprogram the PA system with you can do this. Sometimes it works.
Some friends are going out tonight after work. I lie and tell them that I’d love to join but that I’m really tired and need to rest up. The truth? If I can help it I don’t want to be tempted. I make my way home, put on a face mask and eat some chocolate.
A week and a half later: I don’t know why but my back is absolutely killing me. I have difficulties sleeping and I have the constant urge to crack my neck. I take out the lighter from my pocket and fiddle anxiously with it. I decide I should see a chiropractor that day.
I sit in the waiting room and fill out a new patient form. I feel a sense of contentment as I move my pen along the word ‘Smoker?’ and check the box ‘No’. I crack my neck and check my phone. I hope the chiropractor is available to see me soon, my lunch break is almost over.
Two weeks later: A friend asks if she can steal a cigarette off me. I tell her I’ve quit. She looks at me and guffaws.. Then realises I’m being serious and wishes me luck.
Two and a half weeks later: Here I am. Still craving them when I’m stressed and missing them when I’m out drinking with mates. Still patting my pockets out of habit in search of a pack. Although I’m no fortune teller, I don’t expect my PA system to permanently shut down the announcement c’mon just one more for a while.
But mind over matter, eh. I’ve made a decision and I’m sticking to it. No ifs, buts or maybes.