I sat for a good five minutes trying to figure out a title for my blog post. Couldn’t get anymore literal than that though. So, there you have it. After 8 years as a smoker, I’m PROUD to admit that I’ve finally kicked the habit. Don’t get me wrong, it was super hard, and sometimes I’m so tempted beyond control. But it got easier as the days, weeks and months ticked by.
As I read my previous blog post, I’m stoked at how far I’ve come, and the belief and confidence I’ve built in myself. I also realize the weak mentality that smoking had reduced me to. But now, I can literally achieve anything with the right mindset and tools. In saying that, I completely understand smokers, smoking, and the habit that can grip you, and refuse to let go- it’s not easy!
So I thought to put a few tips and tricks together, from a former smokers perspective. This will be of interest to anyone stuck in a rut about giving up, sitting on the fence, or who have thoughts about it but don’t know where to start. This will also be handy for family who don’t understand the internal challenges that smokers trying to give up are facing. It’s one of the most difficult roads to walk at times, but with the right support, mindset and tools, you can beat this.
It might take you one attempt or 12542424 attempts. The key is to continue trying
Ain’t that the damn truth. It took me 10 months of trying 1254243 times, before I finally got the swing of things. Every Sunday I would say, “nah, that’s it, this is my Monday to give up.” By Wednesday I was pretending like that conversation never happened with my inner self, and was back smoking up a storm. Every Sunday I would smoke whatever I had left in my packet. If I had nothing left I would buy a fresh packet and smoke the whole thing by midnight. I was saying farewell to my “last puff” over and over [and over] again. Every Monday was a “new day.” And if the first of the month fell on a Monday, ooooh best believe I was gonna be a new man that day and turn a new leaf in life!
Trying and trying again got tiring though. I had to go through the 3 day detox period over again, every week. This became part of my routine and I was getting hoha with myself. However that all changed when a loved one noticed my million attempts and had a mock of my situation, which put my ass into gear.
We were driving home one day, and I was going on and on about giving up again. “Yeah nah, last time for reals now. I didn’t have the right food this week and so-and-so stressed me out, that’s why I failed blah blah blah.” He turned around and says, “You know you? You know what your nickname is? Your name is StartAgainMonday. Coz every Sunday we have the same conversation about you starting again on Monday!”
We laughed about it, and I had comebacks for days, but for some reason that moment kept replaying in my head. Wow! I am actually full of shit. I think I’m doing myself a favour by “trying” every week, but never once have I conquered what I set out to do!
7 months later, here I am. No longer StartAgainMonday.
“It helps me to de-stress”
Funnily enough, smoking actually causes and/or enhances the stress. Which means you are de-stressing from the stress that smoking is piling onto the existing stress. [that’s far too much stress man]. You can choose to believe me, or not. But once you kick it, you will definitely understand what I mean. Don’t believe the hype- it’s the habit sucking you in!
Tbh- I am less stressed now than I have ever been. Smoking is filling your head with fake stress that you don’t need cuz, trust.
“I’m gonna put on weight”
THIS WAS ME. For a loooooong time I didn’t want to face the fear of packing on the pounds. But this is just another smoke screen excuse holding us back from improving our health! If you start putting on them kilos, it’s simple really- do something about it! So you don’t mind putting yourself at risk of health problems like cancer, but as long as you are skinny, right? Yep, your metabolism is a lot lower without smoking, but like anything your body gets used to its’ new digs- your body will adjust to your new lifestyle.
I’ve put on a total of 1 kilo- you might actually surprise yourself and put on next to nothing.
What works for others, won’t necessarily work for you
Trust me when I say I have tried every single method of madness created to curb smoking. I got the stop smoking book, the champix pills, nicotine patches, zyban pill, chewing gum, vapor. EVERYTHING. Sometimes a combination of stuff, sometimes one by one. I’ve been part of smoking support groups, research groups, gave up with a mate, gave up with a cousin. Been there, done the lot. What did I use in the end to give up?
None of them. Cold turkey.
But what I appreciated the most was the book “Easy Way to Stop Smoking” by Allan Carr. It gave me the tools and mentality to overcome the habit. It helped me understand that its all in your head. It helped me understand that nicotine is a drug. And lastly it helped me figure out how to overcome cravings and develop a routine that suited me. Not you, or my mum [who gave up after 30 years when she got the flu?!].
I will address the methods and processes in part two of this series, if you can call it a series. I’m basically just vomiting thoughts on the page.
My last tip
Judging us doesn’t help. Your remarks don’t help either.
I know that sounds harsh, but one type of person I cant STAND, is a judgmental person who has no empathy, compassion or patience. Most of my friends don’t fit in this category, but hey – if the shoe fits, cuz. Js.
Here’s a list of some remarks that get the Jonaan eyeroll -_-
“Oh I thought you gave up ages ago.”
“You still smoking?”
“Hasn’t the price gone up? How can you afford that?”
“Poo, you stink.”
“You just had a smoke aye.”
While writing this, I wanted to add my sarky, patronizing answer backs that I would usually say in my head. Answer backs like, shaaaarduuuupp!
The point is, these are harmful, not thoughtful, judgmental and quite frankly unhelpful. If you ain’t got anything constructive to say then it’s best to just be quiet.
Well, there you have it folks. My top five tips/insights into the world of a smoker.