As part of my plan to improve my health, it has come time to quit smoking. My official quit date is January 31, 2011. That is tomorrow as I write this. I quit earlier this year for my ex, then I took it back up again. We got into a fight and for some irrational reason I thought smoking a cigarette would help. Didn't help, just got me back to smoking again.
I know that the physical addiction takes 3 days to break. After that, it's the mental habit that you have to fight. I have come up with a few mind tricks to make these next few days a little more bearable.
- I have printed off a quick inspirational saying and put it in my bathroom, which is my inside smoking spot. It says "You are not TRYING to quit. You have quit. Moving forward, you are a NON-SMOKER." I'm going to put this up at work, too. I firmly believe in the power of mindhacks.
- I have a ton of different gum that's a mixture of sweet, peppermint, and spearmint flavors. The different flavors will help me with the flavor and taste of smoking.
- I cut up some plastic drinking straws to chew on and simulate the physical actions of smoking a cigarette. This should help with the oral and hand fixation that develops from smoking cigarettes.
- I've developed mental imagery that I will use to remind me why I'm going through with the withdrawals. I picture myself in a hospital cancer ward. I feel the uncomfortable bed and the crappy hospital blankets. I hear the sounds of the respirator and the heart monitor. I smell and taste the nasty tang of sterilizing chemicals. Top all that off with the image of my young daughter laying on me bawling her eyes. It makes for a compelling mental image.
The most important thing I have going for me is that I'm truly ready to quit. I'm sick of laying in bed and hearing myself wheeze. I'm tired of randomly coughing from smoking. I'm tired of losing my breath much more quickly than I should when I'm working out. I'm tired of spending $6 a pack to KILL MYSELF. I'm tired of stinking like an ashtray and always worrying if I have smoker's breath. I'm done with it and ready to get it over with.
I would love to hear any other tips or tricks for getting through quitting. There's no getting around the fact that it's going to suck. Once the sucking is all said and done, I know I'll be much better off, so it's worth it.