Breaking the Habit
At the time of writing is has been 48 hours since my last cigarette. I picked up smoking – for the second time – during a particularly stressful period in my life. My relationship had just ended, my dad was on his death bed, and my view of my future seemed unclear. At first it was “just a social thing” and I didn’t actually buy any cigarettes until a month or two later. Of course that was a big mistake.
I wound up going from an occasional smoke to twenty cigarettes or more per day in a matter of months. It had a direct impact on my physical health and cost me a ton of money. In the beginning I ‘needed’ it due to all the stress-related problems but once those ended I still didn’t quit. By then it had become such a big habit that it was hard to let go off it.
Eventually I managed to get it down to six cigarettes a day, then four, then three, then one or two. I was stuck at that point for several months. One or two cigarettes isn’t a whole lot yet I could not seem to stop it altogether either. More recently it went up again. Three, then four, and sometimes more. Obviously cutting down wasn’t working so I made the decision to quit entirely from that point on. I smoked my last cigarette around noon on August 26th, 2014.
“Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.” – Mark Twain
Smoking is bad for your health, everybody knows that. Hell, it’s printed in big black letters on every pack you buy. My dad died from lung cancer. Well, that was the primary cause anyway. Smoking while on HRT is not recommended as HRT already comes with its own risks that overlap the risks of smoking such as cardiovascular problems, heart disease, and deep vein thrombosis. To put it another way, I was pretty fucking stupid to pick it up again.
So now comes the fun part: Withdrawal symptoms. Supposedly it’s the worst at around 48 hours after quitting. Which is… right now actually. Then I have to deal with annoyances such headaches, nausea, anxiety, irritability, and so on for the next couple of months. Luckily those symptoms will get less and less each time and after about two weeks it should get a lot easier.
Hopefully that also means that I will be able to walk up the stairs to our apartment again without getting out of breath halfway through. Though honestly, I just need to work out more. Or at all.