This is a personal daily diary that I wrote when I decided to quit smoking. I hope it may give you an inspiration to quit if you have not made that choice yet and are still thinking about it. I copied it below as it was written at the time.
December 15, 2008
I’ve finally decided to take the plunge and quit smoking. It was a difficult decision. I really do want to quit for health reasons, but as I am sure most people feel, I’m nervous and a little scared that I will fail. I must admit, I’ve been discouraged by reading that most people are not successful the first time they try.
I’ve been smoking for 40 years, I’m at about 1 1/2 packs a day, and I have never tried to quit before, so I am sure this will be difficult. But I will never know if I don’t try, so here goes ….. wish me luck!
My reasons to quit smoking
In 2008 I had the start of some very serious health problems, so obviously this is the main reason.
There are so many other reasons, but I’m definitely getting tired of my smokers cough, this past year it’s gotten so much worse. I won’t even write what I “sound like”, it’s rather rude! LOL
And of course, there is the cost too. I’m sure I can find much better things to spend my money on. Even though I only spend $28 per carton, by quitting smoking, I will be saving over $2,000 per year.
Do I regret that I started to smoke? Absolutely, wish I never started. Awww, the foolish things we do as teenagers!
How much will it cost?
We are very fortunate, we have an excellent health care/drug plan, but wasn’t sure if they would cover the smoking cessation drugs available, as many plans don’t. I never understood this because the medical community, and society in general, wants us smokers to quit.
I spoke with my pharmacist and priced out the cost of this new and very sucessful medication, Champrix. It will cost $362.75 for 12 weeks. I made the decision that even if my drug plan didn’t cover it, I know I will spend more in cigarettes in 12 weeks, it wouldn’t matter. Either way was not a problem, but I was curious as to the cost.
Yahoo, I just got off the phone with insurance company and they will cover it under our plan! See me ……
* doing the happy dance *
I had to chuckle though, they said there was a lifetime limit of $1000. I guess if you can’t quit after three attempts, they aren’t going to keep paying for it LOL. Can’t say I blame them.
The Three Things I am worried about most
- not being successful
- gaining weight
- being “bitchy” (this one is more for my husband LOL)
Three benefits I am looking forward to
- better health
- having extra money to save
- my sense of taste and smell will improve
As with any medication, there is always a risk and I am quite aware of recent health warnings. I will speak to my doctor about this medication and the risks. If I do take this, both my husband and I will keep a very close eye on me and any negative reactions or symptoms.
I promise to do my very best
to stop smoking on
December 22, 2008
Day One – December 22, 2008
I had my doctor’s appointment today, and let me tell you, was he surprised when I told him that I wanted to quit smoking. I left that little bombshell till the end of my appointment.
We had other things to go over first, but then we discussed it briefly, as I had already talked with the pharmacist last week. He agreed that Champix was my best option. So after our holiday wishes, I left with prescription in hand.
Well, he must have been totally shocked at my news, because when I handed the prescription in to my pharmacy to be filled, they handed it back saying he forgot to sign it LOL Good thing they are located beside my doctor’s office, I didn’t have far to go back.
The pharmacist talks with you after filling a new prescription, she went over my concerns and questions, the possible side effects, how it all worked, it’s a gradual 12 week program. I should be on this medication a week before I actually quit smoking. I did recall her mentioning that last week, so not sure what to do at this point.
I asked her if I smoked over the next week while taking the first set of pills, would that not be whimping out and being a weenie. LOL She replied then why not quit after 3 days of the pills. I think I will try not to smoke and see how it goes. I’ll write more on this later.
So it’s been 9 hours so far that I have been cigarette free! Go Kathy Go! LOL
Day Two – December 23, 2008
Ok, I made it to Day Two! ~ Woot Woot ~
I can’t believe I have made it this far. My husband is so proud of me, and me, well I’m still sitting on the fence to see how I do.
I know it is only the first full day being cigarette free, and I was sure the first morning would be really tough, but I have to admit, I don’t feel too bad. Sure, I would love a cigarette, but I honestly thought I would feel much, much worse.
I realize I have a few tough weeks ahead, so I shall continue with trying to get through each hour, read my e-book sent to me by an online friend, when I feel weak.
I must say, I always thought those “informational and inspirational e-book guides” were silly and most likely a scam. Well I can’t tell you how often I have read the one Michelle sent, and I truly do find it motivational. The days working up to my official “quit date”, reading it actually made me feel more confident when I was actually feeling so unsure of myself. I am so thankful to have it, thank you Michelle, I found it reassuring, motivating, and positive, while still being realistic and informative!
I find I am chewing lots of (sugarless) gum, I definitely have to buy more LOL and think I will pick up some sunflower seeds. I’m drinking lots of water, which I usually do, but think I am probably drinking a little more than usual.
I’m eating more too, no surprise there, but trying to stay away from the sweets, although I did have a few chocolates. Hey, they were Belgium chocolates and it’s Christmas LOL
I’ve had snacks throughout the day of celery and carrots, bit of ham, few slices of old cheddar cheese, rye multigrain crackers. All my snacks throughout the day I am keeping to very small quantities and healthy food. I had a very small serving of pasta for supper.
I find when I am at the computer I feel the need for a cigarette far more, so I have been trying to stay away as much as possible today. It’s hard when one’s business is “online”, but thankfully it is getting quieter with the holidays fast approaching. I took it pretty easy today, watched TV stretched out on the couch most of the day, talked with one of my good friends on the phone, and had a short nap.
So, Day 2 went really good, I’m happy to report, let’s see how tomorrow goes.
Day Three – December 24, 2008
I can’t believe it’s Day Three already and it is still going very well. I keep wondering when this is gonna get bad. Could I be that lucky? Could I be that stubborn? Could I be that determined?
My husband said from the beginning that knowing me and my personality, I’m one of those A-Types, that when I put my mind to something not much gets in my way and that this wouldn’t be as bad as I expected.
Going back to when I got the medication on Monday, when the instructions said that you should take the medication for a week before you quit smoking, I was thinking of doing that. Sure, I was a little nervous of stopping, but I also wanted to do exactly what the instructions said to ensure my chance at successfully quitting. Hubby didn’t think I needed to do that, he said just start the medication and just quit smoking. He knew I could do it. You know, I don’t know how often I say to myself that he knows me so well! I know, I know, of course he should, we’ve been married 30 years! And yes, we even know what each other is thinking and often finish each other’s sentences or say things at the exact same time.
Did I have cravings today, of course, and they might have been a little bit more than yesterday, but I was also doing things during most of the day that trigger my smoking urges. I had quite a few orders to do today, so had to spend more time on the computer than compared to yesterday, and I also starting to prepare a lot of my “sides” for our Christmas dinner tomorrow. Besides working on the computer, I find that cooking is another huge trigger for me. I pretty much smoke non-stop when doing either. So considering what I have been up to today, I think I have done excellent!
But I think I am pretty much done for the day, so plan a nap and then tonight will watch some TV with my honey.
Day Four – December 25, 2008
First of all….. Merry Christmas everyone!
So here we are at Day Four, and still smooth sailing. We had a absolutely yummy Christmas dinner! We had a friend of ours over as he is single with no family up here. Everyone is stuffed! We had him over at Thanksgiving and he loved my turkey dinner, so when hubby invited him over for Christmas dinner, he asked if it would be the same thing. After he replied yes, our friend said “oh ya, I’m there!” LOL
Again, I find that when I am cooking I feel like I should be grabbing for a smoke, but today wasn’t as bad as yesterday. And I have noticed I’m not chewing as much gum as the past few days either.
I just can’t say often enough how surprised I am that this has been so easy. For that I am so thankful. And I am more sure than ever that this is all my willpower and my determination, because the medication hasn’t even had the time yet to get in my system. I went back and re-read the insert and it takes a minimum of 8 days up to several weeks to build up enough in our system. And why they say you can smoke the first week.
I’m so happy and relieved right now, as I have easily got through what I thought would be the most difficult 3 days of my life. I think if things remain the same over the next few days, I will reduce my daily logs to weekly.
Day Five – December 26, 2008
It’s Day Five and things are still going fantastic. I tell you, I am so happy right now. I just can’t get over or believe how easy this has been. I’m sure I am repeating myself, but I am just so amazed! I can’t believe how nervous I was just last week, worried so much at how difficult this would be.
I think now that the first week is (almost) over, I can concentrate on other things and not focus so much on not smoking. I know there will probably always be times where the craving comes back, but I can deal with that. There is no way I will ever go back to smoking, I don’t care how bad the craving is. I know my health is far more important.
I am considering not taking the medication any more, I mean what is the point. It has been fairly easy for me and the medication hasn’t even had time to kick in. I don’t want to take any medication unnecessarily. I’ll give the pharmacist a call tomorrow to see what she says (they offer support service to their customers for this).
I hope everyone had a great Christmas and now we can look forward to 2009!
Day Six – December 27, 2008
Today is another typical day, figured I better get my orders packed, didn’t want them piling up for Monday’s outgoing mail.
Both of us are exhausted (from the busy holiday season), so we are getting lots of rest.
Still very happy with my progress and find I am not chewing much gum any more and reduced drinking all that water. Tired of all those trips to the bathroom! LOL yes, yes, TMI.
So things are pretty much back to normal. I still have cravings, sometimes they are stronger than others, but I just ignore them. I think I was so determined to quit, as hubby said, that I find this fairly easy to do.
Unless something earthshattering comes up, I will post a few entries over the next few weeks and then I will be able to put this baby to bed! LOL
Thank you again to all my friends for all their support and encouragement!
Day Eight- End of Week One! (medication – not needed)
So my first week being smoke free is officially over. What’s new? Ok, so it’s only been a few days since my last post LOL
But, I’m no longer taking the medication, none yesterday or today. I am not one to take something that is not needed. If I find I do run into problems, I will go back on it, but I honestly don’t think it had anything to do with my determination and ability to quit.
Editors note: I ended up donating the medication to our local medical clinic, as it was the full 12 program and there was only a few pills taken. I figured the doctor could give this to someone in town who couldn’t afford this expensive medication and could use it to help them.
Do I crave a cigarette? Of course, I still getting cravings, but it’s no problem thinking of something else.
Have I gained weight? I’ll let you know, I’m too scared to weigh myself LOL
I’m off the gum too, which is good because I was getting tired of chewing gum all the time! LOL I must have gone through around 10 packs of gum.
I’m still drinking water, but I always have been a big water drinker. At least I’m not drinking all that extra water I was for the first four days of quitting.
So life is good (as usual), and for the first time in my life, I consider myself a non-smoker. How cool is that!
Week Two Under My Belt
I couldn’t believe that today was week two already!
Hubby was at his council meeting tonight and was telling everyone about me quitting smoking and that I was doing it all on my own. I asked him….. don’t you guys have more important things to discuss at council? LOL He’s just so proud of me.
Still haven’t weighed myself yet, might try and get the nerve this week. Of course, even if I do, not sure I will post what I weigh here LOL
So everything is still going well! I’m a happy camper!
Week Three – Another one bites the dust!
So week three has come and gone, and I am still smoke free – woohoo!
I’m still so happy that this has been going so easy, and yes, had I known this, I definitely would have quit years ago! Go figure, I would have never guessed I had the willpower for this!
So I’m starting to notice a few subtle changes with my taste. Don’t laugh, but with what I have noticed, I prefer my taste to when I was smoking LOL My favorite coffee (swiss chocolate almond) is no longer my favorite. I buy this every few months (I’m not a big coffee drinker) and we picked some up a few days ago. When I had my first cup, I almost thought we had bought the wrong one!
So the jury is out on my taste buds and will have to probably wait until things settle down in that department. I guess after 40 years of smoking it will take time and some getting used to my taste changes.
Hubby is still bragging to everyone he sees, how I have quit smoking, and most of them who know me, are totally shocked that I actually even tried to quit! …….Week Four here I come!
One Month Smoke Free – Jan 21, 2009
So this past Monday was four weeks and tomorrow will be one month that I have not had a cig! I just can’t stop saying “wow, I’ve done it”.
….. for those of you who may not know me who after reading that are saying “don’t fool yourself, it isn’t over yet” (I heard ya LOL), I can only say that no, I’m not that naive, but you don’t know how stubborn I am or how determined I am.
I still get cravings, and I know I will get those for a long time, but to be honest I’m not worried about it, I just ignore them.
What is so funny is that this diary is not what I thought it would be, I figured it would be a log full of all my daily struggles and pleas for help along with advice and support from my friends. But it seems that I just keep posting that it’s been so easy.
I would never tell anyone they can expect the same result or that this is typical, or that if they try to quit they will have it as easy as I have. As a matter of fact, from everything I read before I tried to quit (from credible sources and organizations) they all said that those who try quitting for the first time will most likely be unsuccessful. Well I sure showed them! LOL and that is so me!
And let me say again, I was a 1 1/2 pack a day smoker for 40 years. So I was definitely a hard core smoker. I really believe I knew deep down that I had to quit and I really wanted to. So that’s it for now, I’ll update again next month!
Two Months Smoke Free – February 22, 2009
It’s two months already, although technically it has been 9 weeks or 63 days since I quit smoking. LOL, yes I’m still counting like this. Maybe when I get past the first six months or year, it won’t seem so important * grin *
I’m still feeling really good, and really do consider myself a non-smoker. I actually did from day one. I was talking to a pal last night and we agreed that you can only be successful to quit if you really want to. You take take any product or program you want, but if you really don’t have it in your heart to quit, you probably won’t be successful.
I never tried quitting before because I really did not think I could do it, and what was funny is that if I even thought about quitting, I smoked twice as much, no kidding LOL. But after really thinking about it, especially since it has been so easy for me, I really do believe that I was only successful because I was having serious health problems and I really wanted to quit.
Another benefit I was thinking of the other week is that I don’t have to keep everything wrapped in plastic in our shipping and stock room. As we do sell to the public, and I know how sensitive non-smokers can be, I had to keep everything wrapped; from our products of course, to simple things like instructions printed on paper, bubble envelopes, business cards, etc, anything and everything that easily picked up the smoke in the air. Our shotgun shell lights were wrapped in plastic bags, but before I shipped, I had to clean off the plastic bags, because that too picked up the smoke! I know it isn’t a health benefit, but it sure has made things simplier in the shipping/stock room. Now I can have a lot more things out and within easy access. So that’s it for now, thanks for following my updates, and see you next month!
Five Months Smoke Free – May 22, 2009
It’s now been 5 months! Woot Woot! Just thinking that next month will be six months, that is just so cool. “I dun good” LOL
Six Months Smoke Free! – June 22, 2009
~ Woot ~ Woot ~ Time is just flying by, it seems like only yesterday I quit smoking.
ONE YEAR Smoke Free! – December 22, 2009
Well I did it, I can’t believe it’s been an entire year that I haven’t had a cigarette. When I think back over the years where I was too chicken to even think about quitting, let alone try it. What a waste!
And you know what? I haven’t missed them in the slightest! And the money I have saved, I bought two of those huge comfy recliner chairs for us, and the retirement savings account doesn’t look to bad either!
In my own words ……. “you dun good girl! Here’s to the rest of my smoke free life!
1 1/2 Years Smoke Free! – June 2010
It’s funny that I rarely think of about this any longer when I used to be so worried to even think about quitting. How things change. With the money I’ve been saving recently not paying for cigs, this summer we also purchased a 42″ HD LCD Television and paid for the vinyl siding for our new garage.
2nd Year Anniversary – December 22, 2010
I totally rock! (that’s all I have to say LOL) ….. Ok, and maybe that I am so proud I did this!
3rd Year Anniversary – December 22, 2011
….Time sure flies. Yes, I am now at 3 years smoke free!
4rth Anniversary – December 22, 2012
Well, it’s been another year and I am still smoke free. Funny, I still get a craving once in awhile, but the amazing feeling I get when I realize, yes, I actually did quit smoking, when I didn’t think I could, will always prevent me from taking that puff.
5th Anniversary – December 22, 2013
So, it’s now been five years, I kicked ass, and my last post on this article!