I have totally made it a month without any nicotine! It’s been a little bit easier,
since pretty much no one around me smokes. So I actually haven’t even smelled it for a month. I did have help, I used Smoke Away. The program says to not tell anyone until after a month. I told a few people, but not too many. I have a friend who quit after 30 or so years with Smoke Away back in 2003. He still swears by it, so I decided
to give it a try put all my faith in it. Cigs are $10 something a pack here, so I always ordered them from the outside. On October 7, I was out of cigs, so Smoke Away had to work. Luckily, it did! No one told me what it was like to stop. For all I knew, I was going to wake up the next day feeling like a million bucks… not so much. So what’s it like to quit smoking? It’s like a lot of things:
1. Honestly, it was kinda like losing my best friend. Before you go all, “Krystal! Cigarettes are not your friend!” on me, keep reading. I smoked for pretty much almost exactly twelve years. That means high school. College. You name it. I lost friends (not because of smoking) and boyfriends, but cigarettes were always there for me. If I made a bad grade,
there was always a cigarette waiting to make it a little better. When I felt like no one cared, a cigarette was there to comfort me. When I was happy or celebrating, the cigarette celebrated with me. It was always there, just a lighter flick away!
Losing your best friend is tragic. It would almost make sense to smoke a cigarette after quitting just to feel comforted over the difficulties of stopping. I cried. I cried for many days in a row. If Joey looked at me a little different than usual, I would cry. When Mason started begging for his din din an hour early, I cried. Everything was really difficult to handle. After day three I stopped physically wanting one. There were still many days where I kept wanting to go outside because I was bored or wanted something else to do.
Taking deep breaths and puffing/chewing on straws helped the first couple of days. I could have continued with the straws, but I did not want to get hooked on straws. Hey, I actually read something about people being hooked on toothpicks or straws. I’m good. No straws for me, please. Except in my glass. 😉
2. Stopping smoking gave me FREEDOM. Like, I can do anything whenever-I-want-to-freedom. If I have a Master’s class at 4:10, I can stay at school until 4:05. I am in no hurry to get home. All I have to do is grab my computer and the phone. I can stay at school and work after hours for as long as I want, there is nothing requiring my time anywhere else!
I also have the freedom of not hiding. I don’t have to hide from anyone: students, parents, bosses, future employers, because there is nothing to hide! This was a big one for me, I was such a closet smoker. I told a very few of my coworkers that I was quitting. One of them responded by saying, “Oh, wow, I didn’t even know you were a smoker.” I guess I did a good job hiding it. Well, not anymore! Nicotine free, that’s me!
3. I was plagued for the first 2.5 weeks with little sleep. It was awful. I would wake up at all hours of the night. I would sleep two hours and be awake for one. That went on and on and on… Night sweats have also been a problem. I remember one night waking up covered in sweat. Like drenched. It was pretty nasty. I am so glad to be out of the sleepless/sweaty stage. I still sweat a little, but not like that. Now it’s just a
challenge to fall asleep most nights.
4. ***TMI WARNING*** This one is a little gross. The phlegm I coughed up was the grossest! I should have sold it to a lab or something. It looked and had the consistency of gak, and was slimy green colored, too. The atrocious smell made me want to throw up. I haven’t called Ralph since October 21, 2008, so you know how serious this situation could have been.
I am so glad that this phase only lasted a couple of days. The normal phlegm is enough. This nasty junk is just uncalled for!
5. Since I quit I have said that it seems like time has just flown by. I can’t believe it’s been a month already! You would think that time would go slower, since I gained a couple of extra minutes or hours a day, but that was not the case. Time just flies by! Maybe it’s because I’m not longer wanting to smoke and watching the clock to see if Joey would say something about me smoking so often…
6. I don’t have to wear perfume all the time anymore! The only time I’ve worn perfume was a time I was on the elliptical and did not have time to shower before a group dinner. Eww, I know, but isn’t that what perfume is for anyway?
7. Mason smelled of my hands and me for the first week. It was actually awkward. I probably cried.
8. Speaking of smelling, I never thought I really lost my sense of smell. Perhaps I did a little. Now some things are so overpowering it’s disgusting! Sometimes I’ll tell Joey how awful or strong something is… he doesn’t notice.
9. It’s amazing the things I can do now! I’m like a regular Super Woman! I can go over 2 miles on a treadmill in 30 minutes. I can run up the stairs really fast. Why, I can even play games in the gym with my students. Yes ma’am I can! And I can do it all without huffing and puffing. What’s better is that I can do it all without feeling like I am going to die because breathing is so difficult. I know as the days and months continue to pass the breathing will just get easier and easier.
10. I have not come to re-appreciate the great outdoors yet. Not that there is much exploring to do here, really. It is just difficult to be outside, because that is where I went to smoke. I’m sure in time I will be able to sit outside or stand outside for a while, but for now, I will stay inside, it’s less of a trigger. 🙂
Thanks for reading my incredible journey.