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Smoking Cessation Message Board

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[QUOTE=tiggy44;3456811]thanks everyone. (((hugs))))) you are all right you have to be ready. otherwise it wont work. i stopped drinking about 6 years ago got tired of it dumped a whole 6 pack down the drain-- so i was ready then - havent drank since. dont want to. but i started smoking. what the!!!! so i am trying i dont take my cigs out with me. they stay home. thank you all for the much needed support. one day at a time. congrats on all whole are smoke free =)
i have smoked for 6 yrs now. 1 pack and a half to a pack now no mroe than 5.
weekends i smoke more. but i will keep coming here and i will be smoke free one day. thankyou all so much:angel:[/QUOTE]

You remind me of myself a bit. I didn't start smoking until I was 25, around the time I started drinking heavily (was introduced to alcohol by my alcoholic now ex boyfriend). Before then I had been a dancer and was very consciencious about my health. I just let everything go and eventually ended up going through several detoxes, police encounters, treatments, and a halfway house before I quit drinking altogether in 2000, only 3 years later. But...I made up for that addiction by smoking almost two packs a day. My Aunt died of lung cancer from smoking in 2003 and still I kept smoking. I began to have other health problems not directly related to smoking and still I kept smoking, although I began to try to quit halfheartedly. I had a total hysterectomy and removal of both ovaries when I was 33 in 2005 and I knew I needed to quit because I would be on hormone replacement which is a bad mix with smoking. I tried the nicotine patch but for me it gave me nightmares at night so I would take it off at night, only to wake up with bad cravings. And I wasn't 100% ready. So I went back to smoking anyway. Still in the back of my mind I continued to have little talks with myself about what I was doing to my body, and how I needed to quit. I was slowly building myself up for quiting. Then on August 31st of 2006 I had a DEXA scan to measure my bone density since I was at high risk for osteoporosis. Imagine my shock at being told I had severe osteoporosis in my spine at 34 years of age. I was told that smoking can thin your bones considerably by lowering estrogen levels in your body (and testosterone in men). It was one of many risk factors for me. But somehow that was the push I needed, the event that made it all click. Really by then I was sick of smoking and didn't even like the taste anymore. I had smoked for nine years. I just couldn't imagine life without smoking though. But I quit that day and my official quit date was September 1, 2006. I have not had a cigarette since then, almost 1 1/2 years now. this time I did it cold turkey, though I realize that this does not work for everyone. the first few weeks were really rough while I went through the initial physical withdrawal. I was really weepy and so very tired. But gradually that subsided and the toughest part for me began. Driving and waking up in the morning were my two hardest times, the times when I always smoked before. I started chewing gum while driving and giving myself less time to get ready for work in the morning. I made sure I was too busy for a cigarette. Sitting at the computer at home was another toughy and I made myself get up and stretch every fifteen minutes or so, and when it was really bad I chewed gum or fiddled with a straw. Sometimes snacks like banannas turned me off of craving a cigarette. And sometimes nothing helped except the knowledge that if I smoked I would maybe get a buzz for five minutes and then be back to the same craving again. I also posted a list on my wall in my bedroom detailing the benefits for me of not smoking, including saving a ton of money every month, not smelling like cigarettes all the time (and I had no idea how awful I smelled until I quit and started smelling it on other smokers), improving my health, no more burn holes and ashes all over my car and house, not having to worry about where I would be able to smoke at work since smoking was banned anywhere outside on the property (which is a huge complex), no more guilt at lighting up, no more smokers cough and morning phlegm, and the list goes on. My DEXA scores also improve considerably the following year.
My boyfriend that I am with now was still smoking when I quit but I would not allow him to smoke in the house or in my car and he respected that. He finally quit in November of 2007 and has been smoke free for 3 1/2 months.
Every once in a while I still have a craving here and there or daydream about my smoking years, but it passes and there are entire days, even weeks, that I don't even think about cigarettes. I can no longer stand the smell of second hand smoke and it actually makes me queezy. How weird is that? But I know I can never be too relaxed about it because I have an addictive personality and it wouldn't take much for me to be drawn back in. I keep my guard up and remember the positives of not smoking now.

Anyway, that's my story. Like the others I think you will succeed at quitting when you are ready. Good luck to you!

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