Today I celebrate 5 years of not smoking.
I wrote the below post 2 years ago on my personal blog I am no longer using, but I thought it was important enough I had to reshare here. The power of the mind is fascinating. You can do anything if you really think you can.
This is something I am extremely proud of, especially after trying probably close to 10 times previously. I smoked for a whopping 13 years. Yes I started at a young age and it was very unfortunate.
I want to share with you my story of how I quit, in hopes of maybe helping someone else.
As so many, I tried many times. I tried patches, gum, food, “will power”, lollipops, water etc. I felt tortured through each process. I read the book “Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Quit Smoking” and it helped. Then I started again. I read it again. Started smoking again. But I do sort of recall using some of his thought processes in order to help me and this is why I share the book with you. It is a great book.
It really start when my younger sister and her boyfriend quit on February 1st. I was a little jealous they quit and I was still smoking and it motivated me. I said I would quit March 1st. Most people do dates like this and then do nothing to prepare until February 28th. I spent the entire month preparing myself mentally for quitting. Every time I smoked I kept thinking “this is disgusting, this doesn’t ACTUALLY taste good, this isn’t good for me” etc etc. As the days counted down I kept thinking about how I couldn’t wait for March 1st, not dread it. I wanted to quit earlier but I really wanted to spend the proper time thinking about how much I hated it. If that makes sense.
March 1st came. I woke up excited, but to be honest a little nervous about how it would play out. I don’t want to give you the impression my mind was 100% the entire time. I was pretty good for the first day, each day was a little more difficult for 6 days. I was a little bitchy, not over the top, your body really is detoxing all that crap. Most importantly every time I had a craving I made a point to honour what it was. “I’m having a craving, I really feel like I need to smoke, but I really don’t NEED to. This will pass.” In the meantime as it passed, instead of thinking about the cigarette as a delicious creature I couldn’t have, I reminded myself of the bad things I thought all month. Then redirected myself to a task, filing, laundry or whatever. I think the important thing is to honour the fact that you are having a craving and work through it. The old mind of matter is real, just not the traditional “will power” way. Thinking through the process in a positive manner, not a negative one. Thats the difference.
Another important factor for me was my visual calendar. Every single morning I went into work and the first thing I did was put a big red X through the day before when I didn’t smoke. It was extremely satisfying to make that mark on the calendar. A visual reminder all day long at my desk of the amazing work I was doing. I did this in my calendar for at least 3 or 4 months.
I additionally did a lot of hot yoga that first month. I did it a lot before, but did it 6/7 days a week then. It felt great to feel the benefits of better breathing. You may find something else for you, but digging into a healthy hobby like that made me feel amazing and helped keep me positive.
Good luck to you on your journey and stay positive.