This story was shared by Jeffrey.
I celebrate today my 100th day nicotine free.
It was an amazing journey, from the day I decided to quit, to the day I quit and the struggles I had to go to, before I finally quit.
I do hope I will inspire someone to quit with my humble story.
I’ve been smoking for 2 decades before I finally decided to quit.
Smoking was fun at the beginning. I could stop whenever I wanted to. But as weeks passed by, quitting became next to impossible.
I have no strong reasons to quit I guess, so I just sat on the bandwagon of smokers and did what all smokers do, I smoked, smoked and smoked.
After a decade, I transformed into something unimaginable. While staring at myself in the mirror one day, I realized something. I looked far older than myself. My skin was dry, wrinkles were appearing on my forehead and my teeth were stained dark brown.
I get tired easily and I can hardly breathe each time I use the stairs. Suddenly, smoking became a nightmare.
At this point, a normal person will get scared of this physical metamorphosis, but not me. I was a nicotine addict, and my addicted self didn’t care no matter what I turned into.
But it didn’t stop there, I tried to quit, but I couldn’t. No matter what I did, no matter what method I used, I kept on smoking.
It went on for another decade, until finally I got a severe cough that won’t go away. The phlegm in my lungs made it difficult breathing. I told myself if I don’t do anything I would die early.
Aside from my deteriorating body, the rising cost of cigarettes, anxiety, smelling bad all the time, having stained teeth, stained fingers, cigarette holes on my coach, lack of appetite, being an outcast in the community, all these brought forth the decision to quit.
I couldn’t quit during the first few months; I was totally addicted to nicotine. I could not last the day without lighting a cigarette.
I know this may sound ridiculous and psychological, because I can last 17 hours straight without a light when I am travelling.
So, I told myself, I needed to come up with a strategy. I planned my quit date, and bought a box of nicotine gum.
The night before my quit date, I threw away all my lighters and prepped myself. As much as possible, I need to avoid the things that trigger my cravings.
So, the following morning, I avoided coffee, I didn’t glance at the papers, and each time the desire starts, I popped a nicotine gum in my mouth.
The first day was like hell. I was irritated all the times. Anxiety attacks come and go, but I lasted the day without a cigarette. I couldn’t believe it as I fell asleep later that night.
The following day was easy. Same routine, no coffee, no reading the papers, no chitchat with smokers, I ate alone, I spent my breaks at my workplace and I drank a lot of water.
The third day was my aha moment. I got this craving after my boss chewed me out. I was red, angry and frustrated. I was about to step out to buy a pack of cigarettes when a realization came to me.
Now I was having second thoughts. A part of me was saying that if I was able to quit for 2 days, it won’t hurt if I smoked for the last time and quit again.
On the other hand, I heard a whisper saying that if I smoke again, I might not be able to quit again. I have achieved my freedom. Why go back to slavery?
I stood there for a couple of minutes, which seemed like an eternity. When I got out of the trance, I finally walked back to my workplace. I drank a glass of water, closed my eyes and prayed.
An hour later, my boss called me again, but this time he apologized for being rough. I felt good. I was able to remove my anger and I maintained my non-smoker self.
The following days were manageable. The side-effects of quitting smoking never bothered me. Although I was coughing out a lot of phlegm, I was breathing better.
After a month, everything changed. It was a huge transformation. It was then that I was able to call myself a non-smoker.
My appetite returned, watch this or your weight will balloon. I became athletic. I started using stairs more frequently, and I smelled good.
My dentist scraped the stain on my teeth and, for whatever reasons, my looks became younger.
Today I have saved enough money to buy myself a one-way plane ticket. I couldn’t believe I would reach my goals but with determination, perseverance and hard work I did it.
So that’s my story. I don’t know how long have you been smoking, but smoking will kill you, my friend. It will rob your hard-earned money, make you look old, and slowly, bit by bit, it will steal away your health and eventually your life if you do not quit.
I am no smarter nor better than you, so if I could do it, so can you.
Thank you Jeffrey and I am confident many readers will be inspired by your story.
Be inspired visit this page – “Thought for the day.”