Today is Sunday June 5, 2016. I start on a new quit program officially today. This first post will be my history. Subsequent posts will be my weekly goals and progress. I'm choosing to do this in tandem with LC because it doesn't make sense to heal my body from bad food, and kill my body by smoking.
I am 61 years old. I started smoking at age 20 in college. I grew up in a smoking family. My dad died of lung cancer in 1993. My mom had a smoking related stroke in 1987. My husband smokes, and has smoked all his life. He has no formal plans to quit with me.
Most of my life I have smoked 1 1/2 packs a day. I have tried to quit numerous times, with successes of 1 month, 2 months, 3 months and 4 months. My last success was this winter, when I was off for 4 months. I used the pill called Chantix. It is a magical chemical concoction that worked, but the worry of potential very nasty side affects sat on my shoulder like a nag for the whole 3 months I was on it. I don't want that again.
I have tried cold turkey, acupuncture, gradual withdrawal, homeopathic tintures, Chantix, Zyban, Wellbutrin, patches, lozenges, gum, mists, inhalers and electronic cigarettes.
A member here has a signature that says something like "It takes 39 days to learn a new habit" I've heard similar things during my working career. Googling that thought nets results spreading from 21 days to 66 days. I'm arbitrarily choosing 60 days as a goal to learn a new habit, with my own behavioral patterns and twisted logic behind that.
The worst time of day for me smoking is first thing in the morning. I sit in our lounging area in the garage (we don't smoke in the house or in MY car), drink 2 black coffees and chain smoke 8-10 cigarettes. It's a learned behavior that started when we were no longer able to smoke at work. My twisted mind rationalized this as "get as much nic in as you can before work cuz you can't smoke during your commute and have limited smoking opportunities at work". I've been retired for 13 months. That argument no longer holds.
One of my biggest challenges is that I am one of those people that really enjoys smoking. I like the break. I like the taste of menthol cigarettes. I like the quiet time. I like the reward.
The good news is that all of those likes have non-nic replacements. It just takes a change in behavior.
The success I had in the winter was due to 2 factors - the Chantix, and refusal to freeze my butt off in the garage over the winter. I knew that once warm weather hit I would be reaching a weak zone.
I enjoy retirement so much. I want it to last as long as possible. I know I have already done damage to my body. Some of that will never repair. Some of it will, like getting out of breath, and coughing from the irritation of the chemicals in the smoke.