Cigarette and Nicotine Free
On Thurs 7th Oct 2010 I realised that in 6 months I would have been smoking for 20 years.. I am nearly 33 and the thought of being a smoker for that long terrified me. I had also started to have big problems with my gums, I had been gradually noticing it was getting harder and harder to breathe, and I was starting to age.
I had found my reasons to quit. So a week later 17th October I put a 21mg nicotine patch on. At the time I was smoking about 20 cigs a day. I had about 3 cigs that day, 2 cigs the next day, then a couple of puffs the 3rd day. I continued with a couple of puffs on a daily basis for 1.5 weeks, then pushed it out to every second day, then every 3rd day. Then someone said to me that I would never quit that way. So I stopped the "Sneaky puffs". I stayed on the 21 mg patches for 2 weeks longer than recommended, but I was a massive nicotine addict and was scared of withdrawal. When I decided I was brave enough to drop the Mg's I did. I had maybe 1 day of headaches and a little moodiness (that was all) It was actually a breeze to do. I decided to stay within the 12 weeks recommended nicotine program so a had 3 weeks on the 14mg patches and 3 weeks on the 7mg patches. Between the levels I did have a day of being a little grumpy, but it was easier than the initial drop in Mg's.
I was concerned about going back to smoking when I got off the patches and didn't want to shock myself into smoking so I reused a patch for a couple of days (It still gives you nicotine just less potency each day) It was a gentler weaning off the nicotine(for me anyway)
Then I just stopped. I went 3 days without nicotine then went and had drinks with a friend (she was a smoker)so to save myself from smoking I put a 6th of a 21mg patch on. Would you believe I got a massive headspin? I had to cut that 6th of a patch into half and made it through the night with a little self control.
I have not had nicotine since. I made the decision to cancel all my social plans until I
was sure that I was safe from the nicotine cravings. I am now 6 days without nicotine and I have past the worst of the withdrawal. I have planned a Juice Detox at the end of this week to clean the last of the toxins from my system and give my New Life without addiction a really good start.
Through all of this, I have been doing a lot of cardio and aerobic exercise. This has helped to curb any huge weight gain. It has also made the benfits I was receiving through quitting very obvious. Everytime I did Aerobics I could breathe a little better... Now it is at a point where I can jog for the first time in 17 years without getting short of breathe, I can swim 2 kms without getting breathless, and I can do a Body Combat class and still have energy to burn at the end of it. Also, I have visibly lost a few years in age off my face. My eyes are brighter and my skin (after some detox pimples) has now become brighter and healthier.
Also, in those moments of stress, where you always reach for a Cigarette?? Just don't, go for a walk, suck on a mint, just don't. Because after not reaching for a cig once, it becomes easier the second time. I have had 4 weeks of massive stress at work, then a close friend die within a week of that stress. Then only a few nights ago, I woke up to a thief coming into my room. Yes I thought about having a cig during all of this, but by the break in the other night, the thought was so brief that it didn't even count.
I am now 14.5 weeks since quit day, 10.5 weeks without a "sneaky drag" and 6.5 days nicotine free. And I can't see how I will ever smoke again.
Good luck on your detox journey.
PS: I did have to adjust my social times to sitting inside the pub instead of outside. I did have to ask my friends to be respectful for me quitting. And if they couldn't be, I just didn't see those friends. (They are the friends that don't have your best interests at heart anyway)Editor's Note
: Wow Jay, a big WELL DONE to you. Thanks so much for sharing your story and nicotine detox tips. All the best on staying nicotine free.