Quitting Smoking: A quitter’s journey from smoking to smoke-free
My naive way of thinking
Quitting smoking is undoubtedly, one of the best things I have ever done.
No doubt you’ve heard that statement so many times before. I myself, had read and heard this statement from ex-smokers that I knew, but it didn’t really resonate or seem as significant as it perhaps should have done to me. But it’s true – I didn’t realise just how much of a positive impact stopping smoking would have on me.
Where it all went wrong for me
In my early education days, the thought of smoking was so far from my mind, I was confident I would never pick up the bad habit. However, it all started going wrong at University because smoking to me, began as, ‘I’ll smoke when I go on a night out’, then onto ‘I’ll just have this cigarette when sober’. At the time I thought cigarettes made me feel good, both as a relaxing tool and I thought I looked ‘cool’.
When something would go wrong, I turned to cigarettes to try and claw back that ‘good’ feeling. So when it didn’t work, I spiralled by gradually smoking more and more.
So how did I stop?
Before fully quitting, I had ‘quit’ many times before. I would say, ‘this is my last cigarette’ and stop for a couple of days. Then some university work would go wrong, and I would snap straight back to my smoking habit again.
I finished my third year of University, moved back to the family home and had to hide my smoking. I eventually thought the effort I was expending to hide it, wasn’t worth it. So I went cold turkey. I had gone from 20-a-day to 0-a-day.
My best bit of advice
There are many great services out there that can help you quit smoking, some of which I have heard great things about, although at the time I wasn’t aware of just how many great options there are. I gave going cold-turkey a go, and the best bit of advice I can give for this is: quit around friends who don’t smoke and are there to support.
Tell a group of friends that you are planning to quit smoking. Apologise in advance because you’re most likely going to be a bit snappy with them, without your cigarettes.
You might find some days harder than others, but try to stick with it, because, from personal experience, quitting smoking will be the best decision you’ll ever make.
My journey now
I look back on my journey so far, and I honestly cannot believe I used to smoke 20-a-day. Now that I have been free of the bad habit for a couple of years now, I feel so much better, it’s incredible! You hear ex-smokers all the time saying stuff like, ‘I can breathe again! It’s amazing!’ but for me it’s the mental health benefits. Stopping smoking meant I had rid myself of so much self-guilt, it was like a weight of my shoulders!
I now have a great job and a good social life, so I have no complaints really. However, one thing I can say with absolute certainty is, I will never snap back to my smoking ways, not now I know how good it feels to have stopped smoking completely.
If you would like to learn more about how you can start your own quit journey, visit the ‘Be SmokeFree’ pages on the JustBe website.