I am 26 years old and I have been a smoker since the age of 17. I started out as a social smoker and gradually made my way to a one-pack-a-day smoker. This year I made the courageous decision to quick smoking cold turkey. My insurance does not cover Chantix, and I could not afford to spend almost $300 a month for the prescription. I tried the patches in the past but they would cause my skin to break out and the nicotine gum was disgusting and always made my cheeks and tongue feels like they were on fire. I wanted to quite for a while and decided the only way I was going to get rid of the impurities in my body was to just cut my body off of the source completely.
The first thing I did was set a goal date. This was the date that I would not buy another pack of cigarettes no matter how much I wanted one. I also informed my friends and family of my quit date for encouragement and support throughout my journey. The support through friends and family was a hit and miss, some thought I was wasting my time and would fall off the wagon again and others thought it was the best choice I could make for myself and my health.
The second thing I did was make a list of all the reasons why I wanted to quit smoking. I even went the extra mile and included a picture along with my list (most consisting of my young nieces and damaged lung photos). I had all my resources set for my goal date, and I decided to start my big lifestyle change.
The first 10 days were the hardest days to get through. I had all the symptoms you could possibly imagine from headaches, irritability, shaking, feeling tired, eating everything and anything I could find, and wanting to buy a pack of cigarettes. I did not cave and stood my ground. I wanted to prove to my doubters that I was a fighter and could quit, and I also did not want to let my support group down. I started to take up crafts, such as painting, crocheting, and bead work, to keep my hands and mind busy. This did help ease the nerves and keep me relaxed. It also kept my mind from thinking about cigarettes, because I was so focused on what I was doing.
I have been smoke-free for four months now. I still get the urges every now and then, but I have found that hard candies to suck on help me resist my urges. I have also taken up going to the gym, and I have noticed a huge difference in my workout performance. I can run longer, I have more energy and I don’t feel tired right when I get home. I did get the urge to put something up to my mouth, but instead of buying junk food, I made sure my refrigerator was well stocked with fruits and veggies. Carrots were the best option for me.
I know I am young and have not smoked as long as others. I would see the commercials on TV for people with serious illnesses due to smoking and always think to myself, “I don’t want to end up like that.” I know that I have come a long way on this road and have more bumps and curves to come across. My supporters are there for me, and they are getting me through as well as my strong will to defeat this addiction. I could not be more happy with the lifestyle change I made for myself and my family. I hope that anyone else out there who really wants to quit can learn from me and reach their goal as well.