Delay the First Cig of the Day for Smoking Addiction

5 star (1) 

Non-smoker! (Bristol) on 02/11/2018:
5 out of 5 stars

I've given up smoking many times - I used Alan Carr's books very successfully, stopping first for 3 months (1989) then 3 years (1996 - 9), but went back's a strong addiction! Then, using much of the same mental processing"you're killing yourself to make someone else rich?! " I did a cold turkey job (2005 - 2015) which meant not going out, not being around my smoking friends or smoking places for a month, running every day, and just sticking to that. After 6 weeks my smoking cough had gone and I could breathe more easily.

But....7 years later, 2012, and I'm working with a lot of smokers and for some reason started smoking shisha - using molasses rather than tobacco but it gave me a bit of a hit, so I got back into smoking through the back door, as it were. Two years of a daily shisha and then I'm on holiday with smokers, 2015, and just started joining in with the odd cigarette - this is what pulled me right back in. It's a funny thing that after that holiday I could go for a week without but I knew I'd be meeting a smoking friend every Friday for a while and would 'blag' a fag off them. I'd spend the rest of the week 'waiting' for the next hit. So I ended up buying my own tobacco and you can guess I got back into it. However, it wasn't as full-blown as formerly - so I'd have up to 5 fags a day, and even fewer on other days. Still, I tried stopping after a year of this and couldn't so I realised that it was a thing for me. Another year passed and I just decided that the smokers cough was untenable and I had to stop.

So this was how I did it. I had a couple of tiny cigars, a few cigarettes and about 1/4 bag of rolling tobacco. I decided that I would eke these out but buy no more afterwards. I set a date and a protocol - to delay the first smoke of the day for an hour every day - beginning at 9.0 am on day 1,10 on day 2,11 on day 3 etc. I had an electronic cigarette for 'emergencies', and I was 'allowed' to use this whenever I wanted, although, as it turned out, I didn't use it very much, it was just good to have it there 'in case'. I was also allowed to smoke as much as I liked after the start time, although I was mindful that I only had so much tobacco so couldn't go crazy.

Well the cravings were quite mad - especially when I'd be waiting til 11,12,1 or 2 to smoke - those were the hard days of really doing battle with the addiction - mental madness (! ) and I just had to fill my time - I got SO much done! Cleaning, cooking, walking, all the work that had been waiting for me to get around to it...anyway by the 8 pm start I was suddenly 'off' the flavour of cigarettes - yuk, the last couple of cigarettes were SO DISGUSTING it was as much as I could do to finish them - I did finish them just to teach myself how awful they were. I kept the last one in a jar (a la Alan Carr) and then had a little funeral of my smoking paraphernalia.

Smoking is a mental thing as well as physical, and it acts as a kind of 'friend' - so my 'funeral' was to acknowledge all the good things about it - a little obituary for the friendships I'd made through chatting with smokers, blagging lights, the support it had given me when I'd reached for it when things weren't going well etc etc. I think it is important to acknowledge that smoking is a multi-dimensional thing, it has associations and 'meanings' - like we probably all started smoking to be cool with our peers, or to rebel a bit, and with hindsight we wish we had chosen another route, but in my funeral I was just tipping my hat to the past, the fun I had and the trouble it got me into.

So now I can happily say that I have completed my smoking journey - I haven't had many cravings since the 'funeral' - I use the e-cig if I'm with other smokers (and as they are a dying breed, this isn't very often). However, maybe its because I'm getting older now, this time I had an unexpected side effect of constipation. Apparently, when we stop smoking we stop swallowing so much mucus and the bowel dries out a bit. This has taken me on another healing journey, and I am so grateful to Earth Clinic for all the information about this, that has helped me get onto a healthy path again.

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