I am quitting smoking! It is about damn time to…
I have been smoking for about sixteen years now, and in that time my habit has fluctuated greatly, from ten a day to thirty or so a day. Sixteen years at an average of twenty cigarettes a day means in my lifetime, I have smoked around one hundred and ten thousand cigarettes!
In that sixteen years I have quit once for about three months. When I did so I felt great, and near the end of that three months I actually felt like I did not need or want to smoke anymore! Then something stressed me out, like big time stressed me out, and it sent me straight back to the smokes, I wanted something destructive to match the stress I was feeling, and smoking fit the bill perfectly.
That was about three years ago. Since then I have not made any effort to stop whatsoever, and to be honest, have not wanted to. My affair with smoking has been a turbulent one, and I have at times worked out how much of my habit was addiction, and how much was because I truly enjoyed it.
About six months ago I realized that I had reached a tipping point, the addiction had sneakily taken over from the enjoyment to a much larger degree than before, around eighty percent of the cigarettes I smoked were due to addiction, and only about twenty percent were because I was actually enjoying them.
Have no doubt, smoking can be extremely enjoyable, for me there is nothing quite like a cigarette and a coffee in the morning, it is one of my favorite things to do. The problem comes in with the other twenty or so cigarettes I smoke through the day. There is no middle ground for me, not in life and not in smoking, I either quit, or I smoke, and I cannot smoke anymore.
Why have I chosen now to quit smoking?
I am thirty one years old, soon to be thirty two, when I wake up in the morning, my chest feels tight, and if I yawn, my lings close up and hurt like hell. My sense of smell is starting to fade noticeably, along with my sense of taste, and it often makes my stomach cramp up. I am also trying to lose weight, and I know that the cardio required for this will be a lot more difficult when I am struggling to catch my breath.
It has been a long time coming. In the past I have not even entertained the notion of quitting smoking, but now the time is here. If I do not quit now, I never will, and if I never quit, I know where it will lead. I may not get cancer or some other smoking related disease which would kill me (I realize the risk is higher if you do smoke, and it is one of the reasons I am quitting), but even without the threat of death by disease, there is reason to stop.
Aging scares the living hell out of me, as does its eventual end point, death. When I see people in their later years, struggling to walk, struggling to breath, even struggling to get out of a chair, when I see them losing their memories, or their will to do anything, it scares me that I might head down that path, and that I will head down that path sooner and more intensely if I continue to smoke.
Although I know there are no guarantees in life, and that even if I quit smoking and exercise every day, I could still end up in that position. I also know that if I do quit smoking, exercise more and look after myself, my chances of a healthy longer life are greatly increased, and with any luck I could end up going for jogs in my eighties, and being active right to my dying breath.
Champix the Wonder Drug
It is without a doubt time to quit, I will never have a better opportunity than I do now. Little stress, lots of time, and Champix! I managed to buy some Champix here in Mexico, and three days ago I started the course. I have not stopped smoking yet, the way it works is that you keep smoking until the Champix makes you not feel like it anymore. Within one to two weeks from now the Champix should make me stop wanting to have a cigarette, and even make me feel sick when I do. When that feeling arises, I will have my final cigarette, bid adieu to my former life as a smoker, and welcome my new life as a healthy, non-smoking, gym enthusiast. At least that is the plan.
So far I have had a few side effects, for a few hours after taking the drug I feel a bit out of it, kinda like I’m coming up on something. I also feel a bit testy now and then, like last night I had problems with this site, it ended up just being the host provider doing maintenance, but rather than check this out first, I went through the rigmarole of deactivating and activating loads of plugins, before getting pissed off and leaving it be. As you can tell it is now working and my frustration was for nothing. My stomach has also been a bit off, and I almost emptied its contents on the treadmill this morning, luckily for my fellow gym companions it stayed down, and I stopped running for fear of a repeat. Despite these little concerns, I do think I am already smoking a bit less, it will be interesting to see how I feel in a week or so.
How I plan to make it through
To help me reach my goal of quitting smoking, I will have the Champix, I will have the gym which already makes me smoke less, and I will have my guitar, which I am learning and which should give me something to do with my hands. On top of this I shall scour the streets of Playa del Carmen for large quantities of lifesavers (thank you Kim of So Many Places for the tip).
The hope is that all these things, along with the stress free environment which is Playa del Carmen, will help me on my way to being a healthier, longer-lived individual.
I have faith in myself this time, I know I can do it, I just have to remember that I want to do it, and once the habit is broken, remember the things which drove me to quit. As a friend of Sarah’s said “Quitting is easy, I have done it a thousand times”.
So here is to a longer, healthier, fuller life, one free of cigarettes, and full of lifesavers.