Quitting smoking is rough. No joke.
This is what I’ve learned so far in two days of being a non-smoker:
– I’m having coughing fits way more than I did when I smoked. Supposedly this is normal, but it makes people comment — “oh but I thought you quit smoking!)
– Now that I dont smoke, it seems like everyone else does. On day one I left my house to go to work and the person next to me at the light was smoking… of course. I get to work and there are FIVE people outside the building smoking.
– I (think) I can already smell better. This might all be in my mind though… but it’s a nice thought.
– I will have to learn to live (at least for now) with short fingernails. I’ve been biting them whenever I’m anxious – instead of smoking. I’ll worry about kicking the nail biting habit after I’ve beat the nicotine habit.
– Nicotine gum tastes like pepper. It’s not horrible, but I can see why most people think it tastes gross. But more importantly, it works! No cigarette cravings.
– The worst smoking trigger for me is just leaving work. I guess smoking a cig after work was like a reward. Plus the majority of my co-workers also smoke. Before I get off of work I have to furiously chew on the nicotine gum and pump myself up to just walk straight to my car. I need a better reward for finishing work for the day… ideas? (warning: I like chocolate but probably not enough to make it a suitable reward)
– Even though the nicotine gum (or patch or whatever) is curbing your need for a cigarette, you constantly think about cigarettes. But not in a I-want-one kind of way. More like a -oh-hey-this-is-the-point-in-the-day-when-I-used-to-smoke way.
– A majority of people are surprisingly bad at being supportive. Smokers feel like they are “losing ” you or are jealous because they want to quit but think they can’t. This makes sense. But non-smokers are the worst. They think they understand how hard it is to quit because they read some article about it — and then they end up saying things like, “so how long do you think you’re going to last?” Thanks for the vote of confidence, buddy! Soooo NOT what I need to hear right now.
But you know what? That is just motivation for me to prove them wrong. Whenever I want a cigarette, I think about the people who said that – the people who think I’m going to relapse – and I push through. They have no idea what I’m going through, how difficult it is to quit, what it feels like…. AND they have no idea how ridiculously stubborn I can be.
I’ll wrap this up with some advice: If someone tells you they’re quitting smoking, congratulate them and encourage them. No matter what your personal opinion is about they’re likelihood for success, please keep everything you say positive.