Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Yay Me--I am a Non-Smoker!


I'm giving myself major kudos! Today, it's been five years since I've smoked a cigarette.!

I had a health professor who said that after five years of quitting (smoking, drinking, drugs...etc) people were less likely to return to the addictive behavior. So, in my mind, this anniversary is sort of a milestone.

Honestly, at the time, I didn't think I was ready to quit, nor did I really want to. But I was super sick; sick enough that I wasn't even wanting to smoke, so I decided to give it a try.

I quit cold turkey.

The first year was the worst. I literally felt like I had lost my best friend. (It's weird how addiction works.) I kept a few smokes in my car, for about that long...just in case. I was very depressed, but I never gave in.

I guess, after that, I considered myself a non-smoker.

The next few years were hard, but not as bad as the first one. I was in college, then, and with the stress of exams, papers, and such, smoking was still very tempting. However, the cravings, and bouts with anxiety were becoming less frequent. Sometimes, and this is still the case, the smell of cigarette smoke was nauseating, and other times it was wonderfully seductive; like embracing a long lost friend. Still, I never gave in.

Now, it's much easier, and the cravings are almost nonexistent. There are times, though, where I desperately miss smoking. Periodically, I wish that I was one of those people that could just have a cigarette once in a while; maybe while drinking. But I'm not. I know that once in a while would quickly turn into a pack a day, so I restrict myself from even one puff. And on most days, I'm ok with that.

The health benefits, from quitting, have been amazing. I can breathe so much better now. Also, my chronic cough has disappeared entirely.

Today, I'm quite proud of myself for never giving in! Five years, and counting....


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20 comments:

Arv said...

Yaaaaaaaaaaaay :)

Congrats mate and keep it that way...

cheers...

Jay said...

Congrats on being a non-smoker! Great job!

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

that is FANTASTIC

la said...

Wow! Very good for you! I'm still trying (after 30 years) to kick the habit.

Psych Babbler said...

Congratulations!!! It must be great. And you quit cold turkey...amazing!!! Congrats again and wish you a Merry Christmas!

Chris said...

Congratulations and nicely put! I can’t believe that it’s been so long! It seems just like yesterday that you decided to give it up. You really are the only person I have ever known that can do anything when they put their mind to it. While I have slipped back into the habit like 3 or 4 times since then, you have continued to hold strong, even when things got bad. Because that’s just what you do; it’s who you are.

When your computer was so screwed that it wouldn’t even turn on, you didn’t call a computer geek to fix it; you researched and became a computer geek yourself. When you needed to be able to type like 75 WPM to get the job you wanted, and you could, when you were really on the ball, maybe type 20 or 25, you didn’t give up. Instead of just looking for another job, you sat there with a half-broken computer that took 10 minutes to open a word document and practiced for days straight, not stopping until you had the skills and got the job. And when you got sick as shit, so sick you couldn’t even smoke, you just quit. You didn’t even want to. But you did it, because you knew that’s what ya needed to do. And these certainly haven’t been the easiest 5 years, and it would have been so easy for you to just give in and have a smoke (like I did). But ya didn’t. You held firm, even when everything sucked so badly and it felt like the world was going to end.

I think that’s perhaps the most wonderful and amazing thing about you. To those who don’t know you, you appear unassuming. Your beauty is obvious to anyone who sees you, and your intelligence becomes apparent as soon as you start to speak. But it is your will, your stringent, gut determination that truly defines you. You’re the most relaxed, care free, easy to be around person I know. But, despite your unassuming demeanor, you let nothing stand in your way, and are capable of getting anything you want done. If you were a character in an RPG, you would totally be the party leader, cause ya got it all, babe.

Congrats on 5 years of no smokes. I love you.

Jessica said...

Arv,
Thank you, thank you!! And I plan to!! :)

Aw, thanks Jay! Nice to see you. :)

Gary,
Isn't it the best??!!! :D

Lala,
You will, I know it! When the time is right for you. :)

Psych,
Thanks so much! :) And a Merry Christmas to you to!

Jessica said...

Chris,
Wow, so sweet! *blushing* :) I am determined aren't I? ;) I LOVE being compared to a character in an RPG...LOL! That's awesome!

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

YOU ROCK, WOMAN! the trick is never ever take that one puff....I restarted after 12 years :( but I only have one a day.

Jessica said...

Thanks Barb! :) I admire you for keeping it to one a day. I wish I could do that!

Nik said...

Big congrats to you Jessica. I just passed my 1 year quitiversary at the end of October. I quit cold turkey as well and never looked back. I've gotten lucky though, cuz unlike most quitters, I haven't craved one at all. Everybody I know smokes and I'm around it all the time, yet I have no desires for it. You definitely should be celebrating this milestone, it's huge.

JohnH985 said...

You have reason to be proud. That's a tough habit to break. My Dad smoked for years before he finally quit but by than it was too late. He ended up with cancer. I'm glad that you quit.

Rick said...

Very congratulations. Just surfing by and caught your post. I read it with interest. I'm so glad to have been raised in a non-smoking home, or else I would probably be sitting here with one in my mouth right now. You should be proud.

Roshan said...

Great job woman! I was never a big time smoker. I would smoke a pack in a week. I took to it because my friends were smoking and so were my cousins. The only time I really smoked was while staying in a Bangalore hostel for a year (I was 19). I quit it completely when I was 22 since I have asthma and have never smoked since. 10 years but I was never a real smoker anyway. I hate them now and won't go near people who have a cigarette in their hand.

Zoooma!! said...

Hey Now! That's awesome! I'm at about 4½ years right now. I also went cold turkey and I know it was the smartest thing I ever did while smoking cigs was the dumbest thing. It's such a terrible waste of money. Children pick through garbage dumps for scraps of food and die of hunger while people spend money on cigarettes to slowly kill themselves? Moronic. Besides the monetary issue, I feel so good. I can totally relate to being able to breathe better! I run now. And not smoking also makes for better sex! Why anyone wouldn't want that, I just don't know. It's great to feel better and be smoke-free. With the exception of a donut here and a little ice cream there, I make sure I'm as healthy as possible and that woulda been impossible while smoking. People worry about cravings but for me they went away with time and today the thought of a single puff repulses me.

Again -- it's great you quit and posted about it. Way to go!

Jessica said...

Nik,
Thanks. :) That's awesome that you don't/ didn't crave them!! You are so lucky!

John,
I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. :( It is a tough habit to break, and I am glad that I quit when I did. I wouldn't want to worry about it later in life.

Hi Rick,
Welcome here! :) Thanks for stopping by, come back anytime! It's nice that you were raised in a non-smoking home. Mine wasn't too bad either...my parents smoked when I was little, but both had quit by the time I was nine. I started smoking when I was 14, just to try it...and then I liked it, so it just sort of escalated from there.

Roshan,
Thanks! :)
Even though you weren't a big smoker, I'm glad you quit...wow with asthma, I don't know how you managed.

Hi Zoooma,
Thanks--Welcome!! :) Glad you stopped by, come back often!

Yay, you are almost at that five year mark!! I agree about wasting money! You bring up a great point--it's sad about the children that are dying while people are paying cigarette companies to kill themselves. I don't really like to judge others, but I'm so glad I'm not a part of that anymore. I'm with you on the health thing too, I am so much healthier now. I just am living a better life over all, and I'm SO grateful for that!!

Malcolm said...

Props on being smoke-free for 5 years. Outside of the occasional puff on someone else's when I was partying, I never picked up the habit. Your story just solidifies what I have heard... that it's hard to quit. In addition to your health, I know quitting smoking has to have saved you some money because cigarettes are expensive as hell now.

Jessica said...

Hi Malcolm,
Thanks! I'm glad you never picked up the habit. :) It has saved me tons of money, looking back I wish that I had put all of the money I was saving, per week, in a savings account--oh, well. lol I'm just happy I quit and stuck with it!

hopefaithbelieve said...

I am proud of you.

Jessica said...

Aw, thanks Nicole! :)