It has been almost nine months since my last attempt to quit smoking. As with many people, I made it my new years resolution to quit and today is day 3.
Being at home has made this much easier than previous attempts as I don´t have to be happy and smiley whilst I´m alone! Admittedly, I´ve been using patches which were unused from my last quit attempt. The patches I had left will run out tomorrow and I´m hoping that I can force myself to go cold turkey from day 4 onwards.
I really don´t want to drag this out any longer than I need to and I find that the patches, in the long run, make withdrawal much more difficult. The day you reduce to the second or third stage and eventually come off them completely is like quitting all over again each time.
I haven´t made a big deal about it. Infact, I haven´t even discussed this with my partner. I just woke up with an awful hangover on 1st and stuck a patch on. (Well recommended to quit with a hangover!)
I´ve been dieting since July also. I managed to lose 7 kilos total but it has crept back up slightly in the past few days. I spent my first Christmas as a vegetarian and it was pretty tough eating with family as they just tend to assume that you only eat pasta, rice and potatoes. It´s fine, I love my tatties but I´ve been low carbing since July and that week over Christmas and New Year has resulted in a 3 kilo gain which I´m now trying to correct.
I know that people say you shouldn´t try to do everything at once, which is why I wanted to get a routine with my exercise and eating going before I quit, but I think total overhaul makes such a difference to breaking habits.
I had started the Insanity workout two weeks before Christmas and was able to finish the first week. After that, I made some crappy excuses and stopped but I do plan to start again soon. I´d like to do it right now actually but this week, my partner has decided to sleep over every night and I´m too embarrassed to go and do jumping jacks and push ups in the lounge while he´s here!
You can read more about my dieting fails and successes at: Fat Battles
Saturday, 18 February 2012
So having convinced myself that I would be "better off" smoking just for the last two days of work before carnival, I´m quitting again after I managed four full days... Silly brain.
I´m 14 hours into my first day quit, again and I´m having those niggling thoughts and my anxiety levels are back up. I got angry at myself earlier and the little voice inside started telling me that giving up was a bad idea and I´d be better off dead in the long run, as I don´t have a pension plan. I mean, how do you deal with your subconscious telling you oh just kill yourself, it´s for the best!
I got pretty annoyed with that little demon and decided to punish it. I drank a glass of water, chewed some cloves and started typing this blog. Still feeling a little anxious but just had a good laugh at myself as I wrote this, and the cloves worked really well. Anyone who has ever smoked a clove cigarette should definately try the chewing cloves technique. I just hope I don´t start a fight this evening with my boyfriend. He knows how difficult I am when I go cold turkey but reason kind of goes out the window when someone is determined to make your life miserable, aka, me.
Thursday, 14 April 2011
When I tell people that I´m going to quit smoking, I get that usual look of disbelief and then the subject is changed quickly. It´s not that I don´t want to quit, it´s just that something always stops me from succeeding.
I decided to write a blog diary tracking my highes and lowes as I, once again, try quitting. This is merely an experiment for me to see whether or not writing about quitting can actually make me quit.
After trying patches, gum, lozenges, going cold turkey and various other methods, I started to realise that I am quite useless when it comes to saying no to my demonic cravings. I heard that writing about it helps.
So last Friday, I started cutting down. Saturday I smoked about 4 cigarettes and the Sunday I was down to zero. I managed to get through the majority of withdrawal symptoms, headaches, coughing, mood swings, dizziness and poor concentration for a total of 3 days cold turkey.
Today I smoked a cigarette and it made me feel sick. I still smoked it though. Afterwards, I felt so disappointed with myself that I smoked another.
I´m feeling a little angry with myself and I´m not looking forward to the withdrawal all over again. I´m planning to quit again tomorrow. I´ve messed up completely today and I´m not proud of that nor am I hiding that fact.
I have been hell on earth to my colleagues, students and boyfriend for the last couple of days. I become so irrational and argumentative, I don´t know how anyone can forgive me for some of the things I say and do.
Quitting smoking is probably one of the hardest things that any person should ever have to do. There is nothing fun or easy about it and your subconscious will continue to taunt and tease you until there is nothing left of your willpower, patience or control.
A smoker will tell you that they would quit but they are under a lot of stress. That they will quit as soon as they get the job, pass the test, lose weight and so on and so forth. There is never a perfect time to quit smoking and there never will be for the majority of smokers which is something many non smokers cannot fathom. Explaining to someone who has never suffered from addiction how difficult it is to overcome could be compared to explaining to a man how childbirth feels. They may understand the process but cannot physically experience it.
Nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs and yet it remains available for purchase worldwide. In the UK, smoking was permitted in bars and public places until 1st July 2007 when it was then banned. Anybody over the age of sixteen was able to buy cigarettes until the minimum age was raised to eighteen on 1st October 2007. The government is clearly sending the right messages but is it enough? Why is it that cigarettes and tobacco products are still being sold and taxed? Why hasn't this harmful drug been removed from the market indefinitely and all tobacco fields been replaced with a sustainable food or fuel source? These are some questions that raise debatable responses.
There have been a number of studies suggesting that quitting smoking can lead to depression or depressive tendencies however, on 24th November 2010, Oxford Journals published a study online (Nicotine & Tobacco Research) which suggests that ex smokers actually have lower depressive tendencies after successfully quitting. Even so, it cannot be denied that the withdrawal symptoms and feelings of depression that many quitters experience in the first stages of giving up are any less than they are.
The health benefits of quitting smoking are unarguable, however, it is often easier said than done. A person preparing to quit smoking should have as much information as possible and the support of professionals, family and friends. In the first 48 hours of withdrawal, a smokers body will go through a number of difficult stages both physically and psychologically. They may appear moody, childish and irritable. A quitter may throw temper tantrums and demonstrate uncontrollable behaviour. Friends, family and colleagues should be patient and forgiving, if at all possible, as this is a critical stage in breaking the habit. The quitter may experience dizziness, vagueness, mental confusion and anxiety as well as headaches, increased appetite and an inability to control anger or sadness.
This blog will follow one such quitter as she embarks on the task of giving up smoking. All advice, opinions and suggestions made in following posts will be subjective and any person wishing to stop smoking should seek professional medical advice.