15:14 – I’m just now getting around to writing. I woke up this morning at 8:30 as part of my new morning routine. Yesterday I didn’t accomplish nearly as much as I wanted, and obviously haven’t today either. If you follow my blog then you’ll know I write about my journey to becoming an author, and most of that journey has been more about self-improvement than improving my craft. I might focus on increasing my word count, but what I’ve been really working on is improving my self motivation and self-discipline. Which leads me to the biggest self-improvement task I’ve taken on to date, giving up smoking.
Back in November I was up to nearly a pack a day. A good day was when I only smoked half a pack. For the past week I’ve been keeping that down to five cigarettes a day or less. I just smoked my first cigarette of the day at 14:30, and for the rest of the week I’m limiting myself to two cigarettes a day. One in the middle of the day when the cravings get the better of me, and one at night before I start going to bed. I’ve had a hard time falling asleep because I’m laying in bed feening for a cigarette.
I think it’s important to explain why I’m quitting. Besides the obvious health benefits, it comes down to the fact that I no longer receive any pleasure from smoking. Which means the only reason I’ve been smoking for the past several months was stress and addiction. I should also note that I’ve smoked daily for over eleven years now. It’s high time I quit.
I thought about using the patch or gum, but I’ve heard John Green talk about his struggle with quitting, and he found himself even more addicted to the patches and gum than he had been to the cigarettes when he decided to quit. He also had started smoking in his youth, and I think smoked for almost a decade before quitting. With that in mind I decided to take the approach of drug addicts, which was to graft a new habit onto the habit of taking the drug, and then slow ween myself off cigarettes. As I mentioned I’ve gone from 20 cigarettes a day down to 5 over the course of three weeks. Now I’m going from 5 to 2 a day. I’ll stay at that level for the rest of the week, then go cold turkey.
The new habit I’ve grafted onto smoking is chewing gum. Any time I smoke I immediately chew a piece of gum. I’ve also started using the new habit as a way to fight off the cravings for a cigarette. Before I go smoke I chew gum. I’ve only been breaking down and smoking after chewing gum for 30 minutes hasn’t worked. Starting today I’m going to keep chewing until 21:00 when I can smoke my second cigarette before bed. I think allowing myself to smoke before bed will help me fall asleep without the never-ending cravings keeping me up.
(This post turned out longer than I thought it will so I’m going to post is as a stand alone post and not as my Writing Log.)
I hope this helps someone see a path to giving up any habit that they find detrimental to their life or goals, especially if it’s smoking. If you’re struggling with smoking please leave me a comment or you can shoot me a private message on twitter, I’d love to help someone else on their path to over come this horrendous addiction.
I also want to note, that one of the main incentives for me following through with quitting, is that if I can give up my addiction to smoking, I know there is nothing I won’t be able to accomplish with time and will power. This is as much about proving to myself that I’m the master of my own life, as it is about improving my health.
─ ─ ─
Nicholi A. K. Baldron
@NAKBaldron on twitter