Am I really a quitter?

On the 10th of September I stopped smoking. I had wanted to for ages, had tried several times before and ultimately failed. But, more than anything I wanted the control back in my life on my terms, rather than being bound by when and where I could smoke. I also hated the smell and the effects it had on my health both short and long term. Most of our cigarettes were duty free – but the equivalent of buying 20 a day in the UK would have been just over £210 a month (over double that when you include my hubby’s 20 a day habit also!). So the financial incentives were massive. Holidays or smoking basically.

I am not one of those people who can smoke occassionally, or socially. I so wish that I was. I envy those who can just have the odd cigarette. Me, its nothing or 20 a day – there is no in between. It was a planned quit attempt and this time I used a drug called Champix to help. I had previously managed to quit for 3 years using a drug called Zyban so was optimistic. Champix is apparently a newer drug and more effective and I was commited. Within a week of taking the champix I couldnt smoke. Literally couldnt bear the thought of it. It was like a miracle. The miracle lasted about 2 weeks. Champix, whilst being really effective on the smoking front made me sick. Within minutes of taking the tablet I was wiped out with chills and nausea for a good couple of hours. I tried everything – eating, not eating, a pint of water before and after, taking it early, taking it later – nothing helped. So after a few weeks I cut down from the recommended 2 tablets a day to just one tablet – taken last thing at night so that I could just climb into bed and hopefully sleep through the side effects. I was torn between recognising how effective it was in stopping me smoking, and not wanting the side effects. After a few more weeks though, even the night time tablet was being evil to me so 2 weeks ago, I decided to stop taking the Champix all together.

I am now at almost 8 weeks of not smoking. No cheating, no odd puffs, nothing. I am effectively clean and have hit the UK governments target for being a non smoker. I’m not celebrating yet though. I am amazed that I have lasted so long, really pleased that I have and love being a “non smoker.” But, it is hard. Every single day I battle, it is not yet getting any easier. I thought that by now the cravings would have eased but in honesty, all I really want to do is sit outside and enjoy a smoke. I have incentives – which involve travel with long flights. How much nicer the whole airport and flight experience will be without the cigarettes. Enjoying a meal without going outside to smoke. Not have to go out in the bitter cold of the English winter to smoke. My stop smoking App, which tells me daily how much I have saved by not smoking so far (£402), How much I have extended my life by so far (3.5 days), how much my circulation has improved so far (58%) and so on. The list of pro’s is endless, my motivation hasn’t changed and hey – i’m not smoking. But I sure as hell miss it – most of the day, every day. Surely it will get easier soon?!!

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17 Responses to Am I really a quitter?

  1. Marg says:

    Your a really good writer Kelly and i also gave up smoking about 8 years ago with Zyban too. Unfortunately i took it up again when my dad passed away stupidly really cos he just couldnt breathe anymore. Anyway i did give it up again without any help but still have the urge and still have to stop myself buying any. But when you think of the money and your health it is worth trying to persevere. (hard though when you still have a smoker in the house and his fags are lying around – too much temptation) i dont have that problem good luck though 🙂

    • Thank you 🙂
      Smoking just has such a hold on us – but 8 years is a long time and I am glad that you are back on track. You have my sympathy though – I cant imagine having to get through those first few weeks on will power alone! Fortunately, Steve (my hubby) gave up at the same time and has done brilliantly – it’s me that has struggled!! The girls both smoke so it is really hard when they are around but, to be honest, every where I go people are smoking! I hate the smell so that helps. Its odd, I hate everything about it but want it so much!! It’s good to know I am not alone so thanks for the support – keep me posted with how you get on and I hope that you are doing ok since losing your Dad. Am thinking of you xxx

      • marg says:

        Thanks Kelly, well if Steves given up too and the girls dont live with you anymore you are laughing, except for your mum ofcourse, she will never give up!!! just resist the urge to buy a packet thats what i have found, i pass a shop and think i could just go and buy a packet so many times but i just dont stop the car and go home lol xx

  2. ceejayblue says:

    Don’t give up!!!! You will feel so much better for it in money and in health. I’m supposed to be on a diet, I’m always on one but now I’m diabetic its so much more important but I’m going through a tough stage at the moment and finding it hard so I know how you are feeling. Just keep telling yourself you will get through it, but I know that some smokers (my husband for one) still hanker after a cigarette – after a meal for example, sometimes. My husband gave up using Nicorette gum and was then addicted to that for 4 years, and then additicted to ordinary chewing gum for another year! Addictions of any kind are hard but you will get there.

    The pros far outweigh the cons on this one. Keep strong!


    • Thank you! Ceejayblue – I can’t even think about diet at the moment – the hand movements are the same but I have substituted the ciggies for food and happily graze for 16 hours a day!! But I guess its the same principle – our health has to come first and we each struggle in a similar way to keep it – albeit in different ways. Keep going with the diet – every little helps and I bet you do much better than you give yourself credit for. Keep sharing, and we can all keep supporting. It helps. Take care xxx

  3. Connie Keck says:

    Kelly, don’t look back, look forward. How awesome you are doing. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! 3.5 days already…wow that’s an incentive. So many more days for you to enjoy your family. I hope that you have taken that 402.00 and put it in a nice beautiful jar marked “KELLY IS SPECIAL” Use it for something that is important to you! Enjoy…… are getting healthy!!! xxxooo

  4. You are doing really well. Keep at it and think of all the things you will spend the money on!

  5. Well done Kelly !! I have a friend and a brother who have tried so many times to give up the ciggies but have never gone without longer than a week . So fair play to you for getting to eight weeks ! I wish you the very best in your attempt to stay off them and I will keep my fingers crossed for you .

  6. OyiaBrown says:

    Reblogged this on Oyia Brown and commented:
    I am surprised the cravings have not abated by now – but they shortly will! After 25 years on the weed (and enjoying every minute) I went cold turkey some (long) time ago – after a few weeks it was really no great problem. The main danger was the temptation to cave in as I thought statistically I would fail, so why put myself though continued misery. I always carried some around so I would not think I was only succeeding as I did not have any available. It is all psychological! Keep up the good work as you have invested so much time and effort which must not now be wasted.

  7. edgeledge says:

    Good luck and hang in there, it is so worth it. I smoked for twenty odd years, and like you attempted to give up many times, with little success. Then when I seriously chose to give up I did, and haven’t looked back for 13 years. I exercised more afterwards to combat the weight gain and had the added bonus of breathing better and feeling better. Resist the urge and the craving, think of the health and financial benefits whenever the little buggers get in your head. Try and avoid situations that you felt comfortable smoking in, do something different when they happen. Hang in there.

  8. Thank you for stopping by! And, well done to you! I am determined so fingers crossed I can get to 13 years also! will keep you posted 🙂

  9. krystal says:

    You are about one month ahead of me! Way to go! I used Smoke Away to help me a month ago. I just try to forget about it. Using an app would make me focus on smoking too much that i would probably want to start again. I can totally relate to wishing you could have a random cig every now and then. I know that would never work for me. Good luck, and keep up the progress!

    • Congratulations to you! It is hard but worth it. This week has been much better and easier for me which is a relief. keep me posted with how you go – its easier knowing that you are not alone! xxx

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