so i’ve quit smoking. or at least i have for the last eight days. on april 14, finished my last pack of cigarettes. i threw away my ash tray and lighters. on april 15 i official began to stop smoking. it seems like a strange phrase, but it is nonetheless accurate. there’s no doubt this is a process and while i’ve done remarkably well so far, i’ve still got a long way to go in the eight week program.
the quit smoking hotline, the assistance program i’ve signed up with for regular check-ins, free nicotine gum and reference material has suggested a combination of nicotine gum and gradually smaller dosages of nicotine patches. i can’t say i’ve followed the program exactly as they laid out, though i imagine many of you aren’t surprised. still, despite modifying their suggested program, i’ve had just two cigarettes in eight days. i haven’t bought a pack in even longer. so far so good.
when i have a craving, i use the gum, basically just to take the edge off. though they suggest a regular schedule for using the gum, i’ve found that to be difficult. during the week, my work days have gotten hectic and it’s hard to keep a regular schedule. today, for example, i arrived at the office a little before 7am and the next time i looked at the time it was nearly noon. and my days are going to be more and more like that for the next couple of months. still, it’s been good too, since i didn’t have so much as a craving until well into the afternoon. the same is true for yesterday.
they suggested using patches as well, which i wasn’t keen on originally because i just find the idea… creepy, but to do my best to stick to the program, i bought a pack of the patches. i used them for the first two days, then stopped. not because i still think they’re creepy, but because by around noon the patch was basically falling off of me. when i asked them about it, the solution (which i find a bit amusing) they gave me was to use an ace bandage, or medical tape to keep the patch on me. i might try the ace bandage, but i don’t think i’ll be using the medical tape.
i don’t really have any marks or scars from my time in the hospital, with the exception of patches of slowing regrowing hair where they had to shave me for the iv’s and scarred skin from where the medical tape which held the iv’s in place ripped off parts of my skin. i don’t think i’ll be using medical tape to keep nicotine patches on me if it means regularly torn skin, thanks. i still have the pack and if things get harder, i’ll try them with an ace bandage, but for now it all seems to be going fine without it.
all in all, so long as i stick to my mantra, “i will not buy a pack,” i think i’ll continue to do well. admittedly, that’s not to say i won’t have a cigarette here and there, especially if i’m around other smokers, but if i can prove to myself that i don’t need one regularly, it’ll make it a lot easier to stay quit.
i’ve done much better than i really thought i’d do and i’ll try to update you all again sometime in the next week, or so.
thanks everyone for all your wonderful support!