So I’ve officially quit smoking! And the first week of not smoking, well, it's tough.
Smoking had become part of my routine – it was the first thing I did when I woke up in the morning – that I had sometimes had to remind myself that I don’t smoke anymore. In those moments, it's like I've forgotten I quit. I'll even reach for my cigarettes on the table, without thinking about it, only to realize that nothing was there.
The urges are the hardest part. They mostly come when I am stressed about something or when I am bored. To beat them, I've been reaching for a snack or I start cleaning, something to keep my hands occupied until the craving is gone. When I have the urge to have a cigarette, I think how easy it would be to go down the street to the store and just buy a pack. It's so tempting knowing that this craving could be filled in just a few minutes, but I remember how expensive they are and how terrible it would make me feel. Throwing out my cigarettes before my Quit Day has helped keep me on track.
Not smoking has made me slightly agitated, though I've been told it's only temporary. I tend to snap at my husband, daughter and grandkids without realizing it. They know I don't mean it, that it's just the desire for a cigarette talking, but still I feel bad and it's something I'm going to work on.
One thing that has made this much easier is that there is no smoking in my house or car. Since both my husband and I are quitting, we've decided to make our living environment smokefree. We don't smoke in the house anymore and I washed all the pillows and drapes to remove any leftover smoke. I also made my car a no-smoking zone, which is good because I share it with my 17-year-old granddaughter who has asthma. It's also great bars and restaurants are smokefree, because of the Illinois law.
The best part, though, is that I have started to notice an improvement in my health. I used to have a terrible cough that kept me up at night. Since I quit smoking, my cough has gotten much better. I wake up each morning, and instead of hacking, I can take a deep, easy breath.
My main reason for quitting stays the same: be healthier. I am already starting to feel it. And, even though the first few days have been tough, I know that quitting is something I must do. I will keep going.