• When asked "How did you quit smoking?"... (UPDATED)

    So...over the last month, you all have walked with me as I began a new chapter of my life smoke/cigarette free. I wasn't a heavy smoker but smoked enough where quitting was easier said than done. I enjoyed smoking. When stressed...when needing to walk away and take a breather...when out with friends having a good time...driving in my car...writing...filming...I smoked. I also enjoy playing basketball and hiking. I enjoy kissing and having a great smile. I enjoy having clear skin and clothes that doesn't smell like a chimney. Since quitting, I feel better, I don't think about smoking and I have $60 in my No Cigs Piggy Bank. I also have a lot...A LOT...of people inboxing me here, as well as hitting me up on Twitter and Instagram on how I did...or as I'd like to think of it, "as I'm CONTINUING to do it."  Here's my answer...my path...it will be different for everyone but I hope it helps!

    Regarding quitting smoking:

    Don't Buy. Don't Bum.
    Well...the first thing was when I ran out, I ran out. Don't Buy and Don't Bum. If I don't have them, I can't smoke them. One thing I would always think when I'd buy a new pack, "This is the last one." Then I'd get down to about 6 cigarettes in the pack and think, "Yeah, it's time to stop." But I didn't want to waste money and it'd be a shame to throw away these 6 cigarettes so, I'd smoke them. I'd get down to the last one and think, "Yep, hang on to this one for when I need it. The "in case of emergency or when sh!t happens" cigarette.   That never worked because an hour later, no matter what, sh!t always seem to happen. And it's not that sh!t really happened, but I firmly believe, we can manifest anything to happen to fit our needs...or addictions. So...I first had to commit to not buying anymore and not asking anyone for one. We love to "bum" smokes off each other, but I had became the bum that never had none because I called myself quitting by not buying any but I still wanted to smoke. SO...the NEXT thing after not buying any was no bummin'...and who wants to be a bum?! Not I!!

    List Your Triggers.
    The next thing I did was list all my triggers...times and things that made me want to smoke: after meals, when I get into my car, out at bar/club. Then I gave myself things to do in those trigger times in the place of smoking: grabbing a bottle of water (curbed the craving), eat pistachio nuts (gave me something to do with my hands and they're just tasty as all hell) or Twizzlers (satisfies a similar oral fixation and act). I serious thought after eating my way through a big ole bucket of Twizzlers, I'd need to start a new 28 Day Quit Twizzlers campaign. The mind is the most powerful in this whole addiction thing. Our bodies are far more resilient and will forgive our wrong doings once we stop. It's our MINDS that rationalizes the addiction and makes it difficult to quit. We tell ourselves, "I'm stressed. I need a cigarette." No. You're stressed and you WANT a cigarette. You NEED water, air, food. Your body NEED those things. All other things are wants...strong wants...but optional wants nonetheless. Once I convinced my mind of that, I gave my body new options for my triggers (water and nuts) and worked to trick my mind (twizzlers). My family and friends suggested the electric cigarette. I know that's work for a lot of people. For me, it's just too close. If I can't enjoy a cigarette...like a real one...I don't need to be doing it at all.

    Build A Support System!
    Finally, use social networking as a personal coach. I had my iCoach, Cassandra L. Hanslip, in particular! Thank you for texting me every day to make sure I was on my path! Most days, Cassandra would text me...often before sunrise...*side eye...but she was always there, asking, "What 'day' is it?"...and suddenly I had someone I didn't want to let down. It meant something to have a cheering section over the first 28 days. So, thank you ALL!

    It's 28 Days. It's 4 Weeks.
    So...was it hard? HECK YEAH!!

    The first week was the hardest. It's the complete "I will turn over every chair and table in this house if I don't get a cigarette!" I have a headache. My mouth is dry. I NEED a cigarette.  The body is HOLLERING at you for a smoke!! Gotta push through.

    The second week was easier but I wasn't completely out of the woods. This is the time when you think, "Ok, this has gone on long enough. You enjoy smoking and have one to WEEN yourself off. Cold turkey is some bull shit and scientific studies show that cold turkey doesn't work...blah blah blah blah blah! See...that's the mind taking over because the body is done asking for it!

    The third week I was able to move through my days and not think about them...so at this point it's less about the addiction and more about the habit...the ACT of smoking...the ROUTINE of smoking. Time to truly identify your triggers and shut them out.

    The fourth week I had to remind myself to post an update because I simply wasn't thinking about smoking anymore. And that's it.

    That worked for me but I can't say that's the secret to quitting. Hopefully some modified version can lead you on a path to quitting too. ;-)

    UPDATE:  Today is November 5th and it is Day 687. Since this post, I met a woman...and married her. When I met my wife, Michelle, she was a smoker. December 20, 2014 will be my 2nd Anniversary Living Smoke Free...and it will be Michelle's 1st Anniversary Living Smoke Free. Congrats baby! I love you. I'm so happy we can make this journey together.

    1. Wow! Thanks for sharing Diva Blue. All the best as you continue on your smoke free, cigarette free journey.

    2. Just another confirmation of a change that I need to make! Thanks Diva Blue!


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