06 December 2011

Stopped Smoking

I smoked my very last cigarette on 12 October 2011. After 18 years of smoking I am once again a non smoker. I had so many reasons to stop, the greatest being that I want to live as long as possible in order to see my daughter grow and have a happy life. To be a part of her life for as long as possible.

I'm sure I will come back to the many reasons and the how around stopping at a later stage, but for today I want to briefly discuss my physical reaction to nicotine withdrawal, and what you may experience, or can expect.

I'll try to avoid the obvious but the first 3 days were pretty hard. I survived on gum, stubbornness, coffee and water. I ate a lot as well.

I felt hazy unfocused, and my mind was all over the place. For three days it felt like I was walking in a dream world still half asleep, except every time someone would talk to me when it felt like I could just bite their heads off. I kept wanting to scream " LEAVE ME ALONE".

For almost the whole of 18 years I used smoking as a way to wake up in the mornings.

So I increased my caffeine consumption and chewed a lot of gum. I guess I was luckier than some that drinking coffee didn't make the craving worse but seemed to cheat my mind into believing I had a smoke with the coffee, while I didn't really.

Occasionally I just went to sit outside in my normal smoking spot and breathed deeply, this helped a bit when it got really bad.

Because I had often sat there reading while smoking it also helped to just sit there and read. It was hilarious how easily I could fool my body into thinking it was getting it's "fix"

The hardest part other than waking up without a smoke, was stopping eating. for 18 years my body thought it was only finished eating after having a smoke. Once again I was lucky that I could replace my "end of meal que" with a cup of coffee. I did myself a favour and bought decaff for the first time ever, as I didn't want to have to struggle with an unbreakable caffeine addiction later.

For anyone doing this, all I can say is take it one minute at a time. Find ways to beat your own mind games, and persevere. it gets so much easier.

Next time I will go into the connections I discovered between smoking and depression, and how I ended up back on Anti Depressants after 5 years off them.

....this is for Robin and Lynette who had their first smoke free day today 


  1. 24 hours now and counting, u right I can fool myself into thinking that I have actually smoked, like it helps just to go outside and take a few deep breaths where I would normally sit and smoke. Then the bad part of the craving goes away and I have like an hour before I get anxious again, I am taking some herbal meds for all of that and today has been weird, but ok, my stubbornness and refusal to fail will surely get me through this. Thank for your encouragement, it really helps a lot xxx*mwah*