Wow...I don't live too far from you!
Well, you have taken the very first step, in deciding that you now want to quit smoking...and that's great! Do you feel like you're ready to make a strong commitment to quit, no matter what it takes? Cuz..I'll tell ya right now,
without that commitment, and a very strong desire to truly quit, nothing you do will work to make you succeed in quitting smoking.
I quit smoking in 9/03, after about 28 years of smoking a pack a day, sometimes more. I quit in the early 80's when the nic gum first came out, and my hubby and I would take classes at our Air Force hospital. We took those 8 week courses over and over again!!
I managed to quit a couple of times for at least a year...one time I made it to 14 months....but I would always go back to it....dumb..I know. I think all along, in the very back of my mind, there would always be a little voice going, "It's okay...someday you'll get to smoke again", and I always did.
Finally, in Sept. of '03, I had had enough of it!! I bought a pack of patches, joined this board, and went into my backyard with my last pack of cigs and doused them with the hose. I really, really, wanted to quit, no matter what! So I started using my patches and went from there. I came to this board daily for probably the first year too, and found support from other people who had just quit, or people who were wanting to quit. There was always someone to cheer me on. I also found support at my old job, as almost everyone there was a non smoker. (Not surprising in CA these days, right?)
Not to say it was easy at first, no it wasn't,...but I didn't expect it to be either...knowing from my previous quits that it wasn't a piece of cake to quit. But I also always kept this in mind, "nothing good or worthwhile ever comes easy". And it doesn't...that's for sure. I think we have to make sacrifices for just about anything that's good and worthwhile...hard work, and preseverance...always pays off in the end.
I did have one relapse 4 months after I quit, as that point has always seemed to be the toughest period for me after I quit in the past too. But I was so sure that I wanted to quit, that I only smoked for a few days, and then quit again, and never have touched a cig since then.
The first year I did think (crave) about it, a lot, but always told myself that this would be so worth it, in the long run. It seems like it's such a big mental experiance, and it is really, cuz it's so ingrained in our minds this habit of picking up that cig, taking a drag, flicking the ashes off,...every time I did anything....talking on the phone, talking in person, after a shower, a chore, (sometimes during my chores) etc. I never smoked in my car or home for a good 8 years prior to quitting...but I did go out to my garage a bunch.
couldn't do it without the help of nicotine replacement therapy...no way. There are people here who do choose to go "cold turkey", and suffer through maybe a few rough days, and then just deal with the mental trip afterwards. I wish I could, but if it wasn't for the NRT, I don't think I ever could've done it. Luckily, there are so many different forms of NRT today, and also the help of the antidepressant, Wellbutrin...which also helps many people quit too. (I did take that for about 3 weeks)
I'm glad to say it was all worth it...today I am so happy, and so proud to be a non smoker, and lucky for me, I never crave them any longer, at all. In fact, I absolutely hate to be around it. (only in casinos every now and then).
Read from the archives here, Shorty, and see how other people did it. It seems we all have to find "our own way" concerning how we do this...what formula or methods work the best *for us*. I also prayed a lot, and tried to learn methods of relaxing more...as I never knew how to do that w/o a cig in my hand. (someone once made a great point that, "we didn't smoke for the first 16 years, [or so] of our lives, we were nicotine free then, and we got by just fine"....I always tried to remember that,...such a good thought).
I'm so happy that I don't have to hide my smoking any longer. I was at the point that I was so embarrassed and humiliated to smoke anymore. It seemed like most places I went, I was the lone smoker.
I got tired of people's hissing and looking at me like I was such a loser....cuz really I was, (at that time)
You can quit smoking now and you can be a winner too, Shorty.
You can do it, if you really, really
want it bad enough...