It’s been a long three weeks since my wife and I first entered the doctors surgery and asked for help to give up smoking and the last week has been particularly strange.
Those of you who read the journal entry at two weeks will be aware that we were set a big scary quit date of June 1st and those great at reading calendars will also recognise that date as being today.
It’s fair to say it has not gone entirely as planned and certainly not in the way we expected, so let’s rewind a little to when we left the surgery after the two week checkpoint.
Talking in the car on the way home we started planning on how to cut down and reach zero cigarettes with just five days notice. We were both still smoking somewhere around twelve to fifteen a day and this seemed like a mountain to climb. We agreed to start the next day with a box of ten each and then reduce our starting number by two each day, leaving us smoke free on the big day.
We both went into the first day fully committed and excited to crank up the effort. Surprisingly, despite having a box of ten, we both ended up with a few cigarettes left over. The next day we began with eight and again had a couple spare at the end of the night.
The morning of day three was the biggest shock of all for us both. My wife, as always, had found her way out of bed several hours before I managed and to my surprise told me that she had still not been for a cigarette as she was waiting for me. I’m not sure whether she secretly wanted to kill me when I told her that I had no intention of going straight outside and planned to try and wait an hour or two myself.
The rest of the morning turned into a battle of who would crack first. It was such a tight battle that it raged right through until the afternoon, then the evening and into the night. To cut a long story short, neither of us have cracked since that third morning.
Although today is our official date to quit, we have both been ‘clean’ for four days now and neither are showing either sign of slipping up. Though I can’t read my wife’s thoughts (pretty sure she gets mine) I think we are on the same page.
We are both determined to stop for the sake of our Son, Robbie. I am also well aware that my wife’s chances of succeeding are also dependant on me quitting too. This gives a huge amount of extra motivation for us both as neither wants to be the one who gave in and as we are both so stubborn, it should last forever!
Aside from my own refusal to to let my wife ‘win,’ one of the greatest aids I have found to keep me committed has been to gather a thorough understanding of what is happening within the body whilst quitting.
I had seen that day 3 is supposedly the toughest day and the one in which the highest amount give in. The reason being that after 72 hours all nicotine has left the system and although you feel that you need to get more into you, this feeling of desperation is actually caused by your body becoming healthier and will soon pass. In fact, almost every stage and nasty side effect of giving up is just your body’s way of telling you what a great job you’re doing!
Extra coughing is a sign that your lungs are recovering and functioning far better. Those ‘smoking dreams’ are a symptom caused by the body removing tar whilst you sleep. Speaking like a true sadistic, there is no gain without pain. Every different piece of suffering or discomfort is a step in the right direction and knowing this really helps me.
All the knowledge and determination in the world won’t stop the craving with certain trigger actions though. Actions such as finishing a shift at work, finally getting the boy to sleep and even just getting out of bed myself leave me craving a smoke but not to the point I even consider having one. I’ve tried my best to stick to my normal routine and lifestyle in order not to prolong the misery. I had considered avoiding alcohol whilst giving up but feel as though this would just be another demon to face later on so I’m getting everything out the way now! It may only have been four days but taking this approach has allowed me to face plenty of potential banana skins early on and sidestep them relative ease.
Hopefully, this will be the last update to this little journal as I feel so confident we will now succeed. We know there will be more challenges and temptations ahead but I know that we will overcome them. Thanks to everyone for the support and kind wishes and we’ll see you all soon. Take care, Steve.
Part two of the quit smoking journal. 14 days in and we now have an official quit date. Things just got scary!
You may have read earlier this week that my wife and I have taken the decision to quit smoking. If you didn’t read that post then don’t worry, that last sentence has brought you right up to date!
The results of a one month alcohol detox including health and lifestyle benefits as well as long term advantages