200 Days!

I quit smoking 200 days and $3000 ago, according to my Quit Smoking app.

For me, it was time. For any smoker, it has to be in THEIR time- there is nothing you, as a non-smoker, can say or do to motivate a smoker to quit. Quitting is bloody tough and it takes courage.

For me, planning was the key to the entire process. I knew I was going to give up so I planned the date and wrote it on the calendar and in my diary. My partner was going away for a month and I planned to  use that time on my own to give up, without the risk of arguments or tantrums.

I set the date and made some lists – Reasons why I wanted to give up, How smoking made me feel, Things I would buy with an extra thousand dollars and then I put the lists away in  a note-book. I didn’t read them again until Q-Day.

I kept the date in my mind, told everybody I was giving up on that date – some said “That’s awesome” and some said “We’ll see” but I knew I meant it.

I downloaded and set up a couple of Quit Smoking apps on my phone – I suggest you get a couple, because you may like one more than the other. I deleted all but my favourite after a week. The apps certainly help motivate you. Mine sent me a message every morning telling me how awesome I am.

On Q-Day I had about 5 smokes left and I gave up some time in the morning. I read through my lists again and kept busy. I started a scrapbook journal and spent the next few days decorating the pages. I took several showers, rubbing my arms and legs vigorously in an attempt to release the toxins. On the third day, I had a massage which was a help and a great reward.

I made myself accountable – I told everyone I knew, on Facebook and in real life. I created a Facebook Page called “Roz Can Do It” and people posted comments of support there for me. I wanted to feel that if I went out and bought a packed of smokes, someone would recognise me and ask me what the hell I was doing.

It worked. People were stopping me in the street asking me how it was going. (I live in a fairly small town). I felt that if I cheated, I would be cheating everyone, not just myself.

There are some tips you can put into practice:
*Move your chair etc from your regular smoking spot
*Drink bucket loads of water to flush out the toxins
*Don’t worry if you get the shakes or cry a lot, it will pass
*Fill a coffee jar with cigarette butts and a bit of water. When you feel a craving, stick your face in the jar and take a good sniff.
*Keep busy – make lists of things to do around the house if you need to.
*Try and avoid smokers for the first week at least. Take time of work if you can afford to.

My strategy seems to have worked – I am 200 days smoke-free and feeling great.

I have been snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef since quitting, something I would never have been able to do had I been smoking. It’s very important to reward yourself – save some of the money and treat yourself.

You deserve it!

At Mackay Reef, March 2013.


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