5 Months Smoke-Free and Feeling Good

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At 5 months smoke-free, Mary turned a corner and began to feel like she was going to be able to quit smoking for good.  She mentions the forum several times, the community of ex-smokers who helped her quit.  Stop in and check the forum out if you're new to cessation yourself.  You'll find plenty of help and camaraderie there!

From Mary:

I can truly hardly believe that at 8:00 AM on this momentous 23rd day of the month I have been 5 whole months without holding a cigarette between my fingers, putting it to my lips, puffing and inhaling the hot, burning, toxic fumes into my throat, esophagus, nasal passages, sinuses and lungs.

I ask myself: “How could I have been so blind? How could I have dared put my body through such abuse? How could I have had no respect for others around me?”

There is a twinge of guilt that stirs within me, a feeling I am not at all unfamiliar with. It plagued me for months, even years after I found out the truth of what terrible effects cigarette smoke, even secondhand smoke can have on a person’s body. But there is one difference now---I can forgive my stupidity because I know I was the victim of a terrible addiction to nicotine and I have taken steps to gain my freedom once and for all.

The First Smoke-Free Weeks

It has not been easy. The first few weeks without my constant companion (that I was fooled into believing I loved) was life-shattering, to say the least. I was turned into one who stumbled through the days not thinking straight and snapping at anyone who did. I blamed everything on not having a smoke.

I reached out for cigarettes over and over and when I realized they weren’t there, I would feel at a loss and empty. Only a visit to the forum could quiet my anxiety and give me hope.

As time progressed, I found I had to face many triggers, cravings and the dread of facing situations where I knew there would be more.

The other day someone told me that I do such a good job encouraging others on the forum that I must be doing very well on my quit. I have since given this some deep thought. I feel I must come clean about a few things.

Fake It 'Til You Make It

I try to think positively and I so want to convey positive thoughts to new ex-smokers, for I remember how much it helped me along the way. But, there were times when I posted that I was feeling less than positive inside--a little unsure of the security of my quit.

It has taken me four and a half months to really start to feel at ease and to know in my heart that what I’ve said all along “Smoking is not an option anymore” is an absolute truth. Someone on the forum has in their signature---”fake it ‘til you make it” and I feel that’s truly what I’ve been doing for the most part of these past few months. But that has been a good thing.

The last two weeks it has gradually dawned on me that I have a different outlook. I no longer miss smoking. I look at others and wish I could impress on them how foolish they are.

I am disgusted when I see them inhaling the toxic fumes, thinking they enjoy it. I can finally say ’how sweet it is’ not to be controlled by something that gives a false sense of pleasure while it is doing you harm.

I really am doing well. I’ve struggled, but always with gratitude that I had found the strength I needed to make it through the rough times. That strength I found right here in this wonderful place called the forum.  The names and faces of all who give of themselves here have evolved into one big happy family, each an individual caring for the other. The friendship and camaraderie is endearing and cherished.

I came up with a new version of the song “I Can See Clearly Now”, that describes my journey with smoking cessation.  (The original is sung by Anne Murray and others).

I Can See Clearly Now

I can see clearly now, the fog is gone,
There are no more obstacles in my way

Gone is the addiction that had me chained
It's gonna be a smoke-free, heal-thy
Feel good day.
It's gonna be a smoke-free, heal-thy
Feel good day.

I know I can make it now, the cravings are gone
All of the false lies have disappeared
Near is the freedom I've been prayin' for
It's gonna be a smoke-free, heal-thy
Feel good day.

Sniff all around, there's nothin' but fresh air
Sniff straight ahead, nothin' but fresh air

I can see clearly now, the fog is gone,
There are no more obstacles in my way
Gone is the addiction that had me chained
It's gonna be a smoke-free, heal-thy
Feel good day.
It's gonna be a smoke-free, heal-thy
Feel good day!

Hallelujah!

~Mary

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