Monday, August 30, 2010

Quitting smoking

My usual cigarette brand
(Image source)
Whoever said, "You'll never know how addicted you are until you try to quit" was absolutely correct, and I've learnt that the hard way. The very hard way.

I had my first lousy attempt at a puff of a cigarette in the school bathrooms when I was about 14-years-old. I'd never tried it before and had always been curious. Little did I know that I would be starting the quitting journey about four-and-a-half years later.

Over the past few years I'd been having the occasional cigarette with a friend of mine who smoked. I did it behind my family's back. When I turned 18 last year, I thought it would be just wonderful to start buying them and smoking regularly. I got addicted, and fast. In fact, I turned into a one-every-hour smoker. I lied to my family about my habit and tried to hide it the best I could until my mum finally admitted that she knew I was smoking.

I didn't intend to quit until I had some kind of an epiphany one morning last week. It was about 7am and I hadn't gotten to sleep yet, so I just started bawling my eyes out. I cried about being unhealthy, I cried about being lonely and I cried about wasting $60 a week on cigarettes when I'm meant to be saving to move into a townhouse with my boyfriend next year.

So, I decided to quit. I had intended to quit last Friday, but I was convinced by my sister (who was getting married that weekend) and her friends to quit at the end of the weekend, as nobody wants a grumpy bridesmaid going through nicotine withdrawals. On Sunday morning, I slapped a patch on my arm and haven't touched a cigarette since Saturday night. That's a huge change for me, considering I'd been smoking every hour for 6 months.

(Image source)
You may think 6 months isn't that long for a smoker and that it should be easy for me to quit, but not really. My body's that used to the nicotine that I couldn't go half a day without nicotine continuously going into my bloodstream.

Now I'm on the 16-week Nicorette patch program. For the next 12 weeks, I need to wear a 15mg patch from when I wake up until before I go to bed. Then for the rest of the program, I'll be wearing patches with less nicotine in them. Basically, I'll be weaning myself off of nicotine for the next 16 weeks until my body is used to having none.

A week's supply of Nicorette patches is about $25, meaning it will cost less than half of the cost for me to smoke cigarettes. The side-effects that I'm currently having are mainly just depression and drowsiness. When the heck will my body get used to these patches!!?

1 comment:

  1. Hey there! I found you through my blog, thank you for following!! ^^

    I just wanted to let you know that it is a good thing you quit smoking, and I completely understand how hard it can be.
    I'd been smoking for about 15 years and only quit smoking about 18 months ago. I never used any nicotine patches nor gum, I simply went cold turkey. At the beginning it's really tough, especially if you're under stress, but you must hang in there!
    The thought that keeps me going when I get cravings (which I still do) is: "I've already gotten THIS far, and one lousy cigarette will render all this hard work useless!!"
    So, just hang in there, maybe after a while you won't even want the patches, maybe they're only making your suffering longer?
    I'm sorry if I sort of butted into your blog, but as a fellow ex-smoker, I really wanted to give you my support! ;)