Before the New Year arrives, I wanted to give an update on how I've been fairing as a non-smoker. I've successfully made it just under 50 days smoke-free now, and it feels amazing. While I struggled through the process of quitting, now that I'm over the biggest hump I've been absolutely fascinated by how little of it was actually physical, and just how much was psychological
Nowadays, it's very well known that smoking cigarettes is a highly unhealthy habit. Containing more than 4000 chemicals that you really shouldn't be inhaling into your lungs day after day, the spotlight falls on Nicotine as the party responsible for addiction in cigarette smoking. However it's not just the laundry list of 4000 chemicals that are responsible for our continued habit and cravings; much of it has to do with the "psychosocial element of smoking as opposed to the physiological effects of nicotine as an addictive chemical."
In my many failed attempts to quit, for the most part I was unable to distinguish between an actual physical need for Nicotine and a psychological craving brought on by one of my many triggers or habits. They all felt the same to me, and resulted in the same outcome. Looking back, I believe that this was a large part of the reason for my failures. The Champix allowed for me to slowly understand the difference between the two. It had me feeling differently about my need for cigarettes. I didn't crave them the same way I did prior to starting Champix. It's almost as though I could feel the physical cravings relieved, and I was able to step back and think to myself "okay hold up; is a cigarette you want or a cigarette you physically need? you always smoke after eating, but you don't need to."
It turns out that the answer to that "want or need" question was 'want' a good 85% of the time. As time passed, that percentage increased until I was past the physical need, and the answer was 'want' 100% of the time. Don't get me wrong, it takes some damn strong will power to follow through and deny that craving. It was only when I combined Champix with some serious willpower, I was able to consistently succeed in doing so, and for long enough that I can now offically call myself a non-smoker.
I am very proud to say that it has been just under 50 days since I've had any nicotine whatsoever (47 days to be exact!). No cigarettes, no nicotine gum or patches, no e-cigarettes/vaping, and no more Champix either. At this point, I still have the odd craving pop in on me from time to time. One in particular that still gets me is arriving at my Grama's for one of our morning visits. After getting in the door and saying hello, we would always sit down at the dining room table, each with a cigarette, and chat. I sometimes still find the urge for a smoke creeping into my mind when I go to sit down at the table with her, even though she no longer smokes while I'm visiting.
It feels amazing to be free of something that I thought I'd be stuck with for life. I absolutely cannot wait to start 2016 as a non-smoker!
Plus, Mr. L has been going strong with the e-cigarette, and is down to just one cigarette every few days! I'm incredibly proud.
By K. Lanktree
- Freelance Writer -
- Blog Mistress -
- Former IV Drug User -
- Methadone Patient -
- Lover of all things Harm Reduction -
Help keep 'Studio L' online by donating to help offset the costs! Thanks💋