As you may have read from my 2015 resolutions, I promised to quit smoking. Not lessen, quit. QUIT. Cold turkey. And I have to say this over and over again in my head.
I have already tried to lessen my cigarette intake by up to 1-2 a day (though I slip every now and then, here and there). This may be part of the weaning process but I don’t think it’s working. I still crave for cigarettes almost all the damn time and quitting cold turkey would need the right mindset (hence this new category in my blog, that I’m thinking of also turning into a new blog hmmm).
1. STAY MENTALLY TOUGH
Maybe this is the hardest part. I don’t have any life threatening illness or concern (right now) and so there is no life changing event to push me to never smoke ever again. I would have to rely on my own will power and discipline (which I really sometimes fail at) and maybe friends to watch over me (and most of my closest friends are smokers) and family (who also smoke). I think the only one thing to keep me mentally tough is the though of losing my boyfriend (because he hates me smoking), and my wanting to lose weight through running, and thinking of future kids of mine.
And part of staying mentally tough is having the right reasons for quitting – health and of course I want to look pretty, not old (narcissistic desires). These both deserve another blog post which I shall do as well to inspire me further to quit.
Another part of staying mentally tough is acknowledging the fact that there will be side effects that I would have to get over with:
- You may experience intense and unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, such as depression, insomnia, irritability, and anxiety. And that sometimes these would last for three months. Whew!
What non-smokers would not understand is that choosing not to smoke (for smokers) is a deep internal struggle between just giving in and sticking it out. Most of the time it’s so much easier to give in, given that after you smoke you’re okay. It’s done. You feel better. So yes, being mentally tough is the biggest greatest challenge.
2. HAVE A GAME PLAN
- Know your triggers.
- Morning ritual – coffee and cigarettes and then straight to the bathroom. (I guess I need to eat lots of fiber so I can easily poo without having to smoke. Good for the diet as well. 😛 )
- After meals – I don’t even know why we smoke after meals. Anyway, my bright idea is to brush my teeth immediately and this would maybe stave of the cravings for after meals.
- When friends invite you to smoke – This is difficult. I think I even make friends while smoking. So anyway, just to be nice I can probably go with them but not smoke. I have already done this before but yes, I need to keep mentally tough during the ordeal.
- Breaks – I guess when I’m tired and can’t focus anymore, I look for a cigarette break just to literally break from what I am doing and maybe think and refocus. I’m considering going out for a walk along the office grounds. But would that be weird to be just walking around the office? Or maybe talk to people around.
- Sadness, Stress – Whenever I’m fighting with someone, or feel sad about something, or feel truly stressed about something, I smoke. I feel like it calms me down and pushes me to be still. (I am not really good at being “still” and so the smoking kind of helped.) I can’t avoid feeling sad or feeling stressed so this is where being mentally tough would have to be challenged.
- Trying to stay awake – (while driving or studying or writing) and coffee is a trigger. Haha I think the trick here is just to get the right amount of sleep?
- Cool-yo – Smokers have this image of an event where it will be “delicious” to smoke. Like while writing poetry, or by the window, or when it’s cold out, or when you are somewhere overlooking the city. I know it’s RIDICULOUS but it’s true. Like having coffee at Starbucks will not be complete without having a cigarette. Or like a beautiful nice breakfast will always be topped off by coffee and a smoke. I still have these weird ridiculous mental images but I think I can handle it better now than before. I sometimes don’t even like the taste anymore.
- Drinking alcohol – Well it’s either I keep drinking (and get drunk fast), keep eating (and get fat), or keep smoking. That is how I (used to) operate. Since I don’t want to get drunk fast or get fat, I would smoke in between drinks. You see, I have a problem with keeping still. I always have to do something with my hands or whatever and smoking handled that. It kept me still for a while. Solution? Maybe stay away from alcohol for a while. Water is better. Water is better. Water is better. Or practice keeping still. Count in my head.
Keep reminding yourself why you want to quit. I promise to do research and post them here.
Remember that the first few days are the hardest. I plan to put up a calendar to document the days I succeeded. My reward would be a happy boyfriend (haha) and hopefully a better more focused me.
Keep a journal where you record your thoughts and feelings throughout the process. (Hence this new blog category.)
3. KEEP BUSY!
Keep your body active. This is also part of my 2015 resolutions. I’m glad they’re all interconnected.
Be socially active. Uhm, no. Okay fine. Maybe. I don’t know.
Avoid temptation. Well since I can’t avoid my family, housemates and friends, I can just practice being mentally tough. (whew!) I will not buy cigarettes, I will not ask for cigarettes.
4. REFLECT ABOUT RELAPSE
I will not yet reflect about relapse because I am not yet there. But I really really do hope to never relapse. Lord God, please help me!
To anyone who will read this, please pray for my success. Naysayers will not be entertained, of course. 🙂