For the purposes of relating to you, dear reader, what it is like to give up smoking (or my personal experience at least), I thought I would node the joy of quitting in a daily log. You can use this for the following:

Day 1:
Started to feel incredibly blocked up today after a weekend of endless drinking and smoking. Am on about a packet a day (not overly huge amounts, but more than I usually smoke). Time to give it a kick. Lasted until about 1:30 today then snuck out to have one. Who am I sneaking out on though - I am attempting this alone without letting anyone know at this stage. Had a second one at about 4pm. Only 2 for the day - not bad...

Day 2:
Felt a little anxious last night, but made it through without any more than the 2. Have still brought my cigarettes in today in case I can’t handle it and start climbing the walls. Starting to need to do something. Fingers keep twiddling all by themselves and every time I finish a job I stand up to go out, then remember-oh yeah. Managed the day with zero

Day 3:
Was in a bit of a grumpy last night. Had to go to bed early so the flattys didn’t have to put up with me. Start feeling anxious around lunchtime. Need to keep an eye on what I am eating as I constantly feel the need to eat, but aren’t hungry. A good way to stack on the weight. Again, no cigarettes. Still getting up every hour or so, and just generally pacing about the room.

Day 4:
Ahhhh (Relieved sigh, not blood-curdling gasp of despair). Starting to get a little better. I still have this feeling in the back of my mind that there is something I have forgotten to do, or should be doing. There are still a few things that get me started, like driving my car, or walking home from work - the times when I automatically grab a ciggy. Was extremely crabby last night, and must apologise to my girlfriend who put up with it. She didn’t have to, it was pathetic really.

Day 5:
So much better! The intense craving is gone, and I am starting to learn to keep myself busy whenever I feel like I need to get up and go "do something". Will have to see how the weekend goes. A few drinks will be the hard bit. As soon as I have another cigarette the nicotine will be back and I’ll have to go through it all again. Will node more after the weekend...

Week 1:
The weekend is now over. On Saturday (Day 6) I was drinking from about lunchtime onwards, so by about 9:30pm was about due for a cigarette. I "borrowed" one off a friend and lit up - blaaach. Thank goodness it was a menthol. One of the less pleasant experiences of the evening. Still, I forced down about half of it before stubbing it out (a sin for me a few weeks ago - smoking menthol, or stubbing out ½ a cigarette). I still have twinges of regret that I can’t just up and leave the room for a while. The harsh ‘hit’ on your throat and lungs. On the up-side: my chest is feeling less heavy in the evenings, and in the morning my breath is positively peachy (comparatively anyway). I now await the next hurdle (see: 3-days, 3-weeks, 3-months).

Week 2:
Well the pressure is off now. Still a niggling feeling in the back of my mind that I'm forgetting something. I have loads of spare time now. Still trying to watch what I eat as the feeling of needing to "do something" drives me to eating, and I have to restrain myself from heading to the snack machine or fridge. The smell of smoke is becoming less pleasant, and more than one person smoking around me at once is down-right smelly. I refuse to become one of those pain in the ass evangelistic ex-smokers though. I'm not telling people what to do with their lungs. It's their right, much as it was mine.

Week 3:
It doesn't seem like 3 weeks, it now seems like months since I gave up. I still feel like having a cigarette if I catch a quick whiff of smoke now, but more than a whiff and it is quite smelly. I know that I'd hate the taste if I had one, so don't want to even try. Still putting on the beef a bit and am watching what I eat. I suppose I should really get out from in front of my PC and get my ass to a gym Who said that? What a stupid suggestion. If nothing happens between now and then, I'll see you back here at Month 1.

Month 1:
Finally - a full month. Had a poker night with the boys over the weekend. Drank far too much and decided that I needed a puff on a cigarette. Had a few puffs - tasted damn awful, but the feeling was so familiar and comfortable. I don't care how much you try to convince yourself, you're not fooling anyone when you say that you enjoy the taste of cigatettes. They taste like shit - but I think what you really mean is the familiarity of the taste, and because your taste and smell is all fucked up you don't notice the putrid taste. Well, let's see what happens over the next couple of months then.

Month 2:
Oh, how the mighty have fallen! A couple of weeks ago I had a few drinks and had a couple of my "friend's" cigarettes. I then went on to buying a packet. Since then my cigarette intake has increased daily until I am now back on slightly less than what I was smoking before I gave up. I thank you all for your well wishes and E-hugs during this trying time. I will be giving it another go shortly - I have not failed - just temporarily lagged. Watch this space...

Well, that was three years ago now. Back in April '02 I made a concerted effort to give up, and have been off now for over a year. I'll let you in on how I did it in another node.

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