My name is Irina, I am 37 years old and I had been smoking for 20 years. My lungs were far from fine, my skin was pale and I had other health problems. So 6 months ago, I decided to quit smoking once and for all and quit drinking too.
I’m going to tell you what tricks I used and what I had to go through to get rid of my bad habits.
Why I Decided To Give Up Smoking
I smoked my first cigarette when I was 17, so today I can call myself a smoker with 20 years of experience. I barely remember a single day that I went without a cigarette.
I loved smoking, I was convinced that I would never give up, and I didn’t even try. The only time I didn’t smoke was when I had a cold.
I had heard many stories about people who simply decided to quit this bad habit and did it! I thought the stories weren’t true because I really believed that the habit was stronger and harder to break.
To get in shape, I bought a gym and after the first time I realized that I couldn’t breathe. I had a personal trainer that made me feel even weirder as I couldn’t breathe after 2 minutes on a treadmill.
So when I left the gym, I took the new pack of cigarettes out of my pocket and threw them away. Thus began my path without nicotine.
The First Challenge
The first night without cigarettes was not difficult: the gym consumed so much energy that I simply fell on the couch and fell asleep as soon as I got home.
It was my first nicotine-free Friday in 20 years. I worked a lot during the day, so I didn’t think much about smoking. But that was just the beginning.
I was used to drinking several cans of beer on Friday nights while watching movies. But in order not to increase the nicotine cravings, I decided to stop drinking as well.
I bought a bottle of Coca-Cola (equal to the amount of beer I drank) and turned on my favorite TV series. Before I used to take breaks every 30 minutes to go out to smoke and now I was going to the kitchen to eat something healthy.
But this substitution didn’t help: an hour later, I wanted to smoke so badly that I had to go to sleep.
On Sunday I didn’t want to smoke, I woke up with a very bad cold, so much so that I couldn’t even think about food, much less cigarettes.
My First Real Week Without Nicotine
On Monday I felt better, but the addiction kept reminding me of my wish. Because it became very difficult to fight it, I decided to buy an electronic cigarette.
At the end of Tuesday, the e-cigarette ran out. The effect was almost zero and I still wanted to smoke.
Soon, I couldn’t take it anymore. I hit my friend and my cat, and then I apologized to both of them. At the end of Thursday, I was ignoring messages from my friends. I went to bed at ten at night, although at that time I used to prepare dinner. I dreamed of smoking.
Despite having a bad time at the end of the week, I did not go out and did not communicate with anyone, I thought that the first week without cigarettes could be a success.
The First Month
The second week started smelling my neighbors’ cigarette smoke. Before stopping, I never realized it, but now that smell made me want to throw up.
The fourth week was a vacation week and I was going through the most difficult challenge, I had more company, 4 people who wanted to smoke every 5 minutes.
I wanted to smoke with them all the time, but the only thing that stopped me was the results I had already achieved. But the best part was how I felt in the morning: I was the only person who didn’t cough and didn’t have a hangover.
New Years Resolution: I made a list of things I would like to do during the holidays. It was the first time in 15 years that I had skated and skied. My lungs worked very well. I could breathe easily.
After 6 Months
6 months have passed. I rarely want to smoke, I drank beer only 2 times in these 6 months and only one glass at a time. And spending time with my friends became a rare occasion; Now I prefer to do something active and I started studying Spanish again.
What has changed in my life? Nothing in general. Just several things.
I started communicating with some people less often. It turns out that going to bars together was the only thing we could do.
It became more difficult to relieve stress. Many people recommend physical exercise, but right now it doesn’t work for me.
I got angrier. It may go away with time, but for now, it is what it is.
I started eating sunflower seeds, which were bad for my teeth. But I will lose this habit soon.
I drink Diet Coke instead of beer. I drink once a week, on Fridays, while I watch TV. But I will replace it with tea (I already bought a large mug).
I have no cough for 10 years. My lungs are as clean as they can be after 20 years of smoking and I am very grateful to my body, which I have been poisoning for many years.
My memory has improved. It’s probably because I stopped drinking. A friend I have not seen in 1.5 years told me that my face color has improved and that I have fewer wrinkles.
I spent less money and used the money I saved to buy a bike – I used to spend around $ 100 a month on cigarettes and alcohol.
Now I can easily climb 9 floors without getting out of breath. Maybe it’s not just because I stopped smoking, but also because I do more physical activities.
Of course, quitting smoking and drinking will not solve all the problems in your life. But it will definitely make you healthier and help you live longer. So join me!
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