How I quit smoking

It all started when I was 11 years old, it was a July 4th evening and my mom gave me my first cigarette to light sparklers. The cigarette kept going out and my mom told me to puff on it to keep it lit.

At the time my best friend was smoking also so we would snag a few from his older brother and head out on our bikes to the nearby creek and take turns smoking.

I lived about 12 miles away from the middle school and road my bike to school every day and met up with another friend that showed me where to buy full packs of cigarettes in town, back than carding wasn’t as much of an issue as it is today. That night after I bought my first full pack we went back to his house, he had a pool table in his basement and i’ll never forget that night. After smoking 3-4 full cigarettes myself everything started to spin. He wanted to go to his girl friends house a few blocks up the road so we walked because i was starting to get sick off of the cigarettes. After we got to his girlfriends house that was it for me, he went upstairs to do what young boys do and I stayed outside and gave up my dinner.

It was a few days later when I saw my best friend again, I told him what happened and he said that we could buy packs up the road. so off we went, this was the beginning of a 28 year long dirty, filthy habit.

Fast forward to early 2018 and I was having a few problems my primary care doctor diagnosed as the early stages of COPD. He told me the only way he could give me a prognosis is if i quit smoking.

I tried all of the nicotine replacement gimmicks on the market with no success. I was asking him about CHANTIX a few times but each time he asked me if I wanted to quit, I told him no and he said it wouldn’t work if I didn’t want to quit. The same went for this time. I didn’t want to quit but this is how I made it work.

They tell you to pick a quit date, throw out all of your ash treys, get new friends, etc… All I did was say that I wasn’t going to buy any more cigarettes. I bought cigarettes by the carton, at the time i received my Chantix prescription i had a half a pack in my pocket and one unopened pack in my work van.

I went to fulfill my Chantix prescription and they said it wouldn’t be available till the next day. I didn’t think much about it, i worked the night shift. in the morning i got the call that the prescription was ready so i went to pick it up. after i got home with it i had 3 cigarettes left in my last pack.

I still told myself at this point that I wasn’t going to buy any more cigarettes so i smoked my last 3 cigarettes, took the first pill and went to bed that morning.

Now I’m cheap, and with my insurance the Chantix was $380 for the first month. This may have been a huge factor in my success compared to someone who got them for free or believe it or not there are people out there who just cant take the pills due to the side affects but that was it for me, I woke up later that day and took another pill.

The first week they have you take 2 smaller pills a day, after that the following 3 weeks is one larger pill a day. I did the first month and that was it. I didn’t feel like i needed to continue with the prescription and here is how I did it.

I always had hard candy on hand, ginger candy was my favorite because I smoked menthol and the ginger gave me that kick in the back of the throat that i wanted. Next was the trigger points. After I ate, I picked up a bass guitar, gave my fingers something to do after I ate and learning how to play kept my mind off of the cigarettes.

The next trigger point that hit me like a sack of bricks, every time I got in my truck to go some where. That’s right, light up that smoke before you start rolling. That was the hardest one, I was patting myself down and I didn’t know why.

The first 3 weeks were hard, I pretty much isolated myself from everyone. I made it through by telling myself I just had a smoke and thought about why I wanted to quit.

After the first month I had to make a decision to keep on the Chantix or stop using it, as i mentioned before, i’m cheap so i didn’t continue on. I stayed away from anything that would trigger me for a long while and talked to people who have quit. They all say the same thing. You always crave cigarettes, it never goes away.

The hardest thing is being around smokers, and it’s true. We are more critical about smoking. Every time we smell cigarettes smoke we have that mental war with our self’s about not smoking.

It took a little bit but within 3 months after I quit my apatite went through the roof. I gained 20 pounds and i realized I had to start monitoring my intake. More or less what I was eating. I was eating a lot of junk food and I had to make a switch to healthy eating.

I didn’t know I like kale. Plus at this point my doctor had me eating things that would help with the COPD. You can find plenty about that on google like THIS.

I still struggle 10 months later with being around people who smoke and it usually causes me to go on a binge. I’m trying to cut out excessive sweets, 2019 is my year to give up the energy drinks, my last energy drink was November 2018 and it made me sick half way through it.

I tried to give up caffeine but one thing at a time for now. I find that after I’ve been around people who smoke it takes me a few days to get over it. It causes me to crave it as i mentioned before about the mental war. As i wright this article i’m binge eating ice cream and cherry coke.

They say it takes 2 years before it bothers you less, at this point your body has recovered as much as it’s going to and everything should return to normal. Till than I’m just going to make it one day at a time. I’ll probably add on to this report as time passes.

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