Thursday, 26 January 2012

Repost of my quitting smoking and discovery of running bug in me

31-08-2000
A Brief History of my Smoking career:

I started smoking at the age of 22 years (too late to fall in the trap did you say!!). I wouldn`t have got introduced to Lady Nico but for one of my friends daring me to smoke one. 

I am told that people choke on their first drag, I think I was born with this talent, I took to smoke like fish to water (I am a Piscean!!).

I graduated to 3 packs of 10 cigarettes a day within a time of one year in what would be an Olympic record, if they decide to hold an event of this type.

I made my first quit attempt five years after commencing smoking in 1989. It was an unassisted attempt and I quit cold turkey. The ill fated quit lasted exactly 7 days. After this I rushed back into Lady Nico`s arms and started to smoke and reached my pre quit level very quickly.

In between, I used to keep thinking about quitting and continued to keep postponing the decision. I also realised that every failed attempt, puts lots of pressure on the subsequent quit. In 1997, my friend from USA sent me a few packets of Nicorette Chewing Gums. With these I was able to stay away from cigarettes for exactly one month. The moment I finished my Chewing Gum, I went back to smoke.

After this failed attempt, I had convinced myself, that I didn`t have enough WILL POWER and that WILL POWER is something you are born with and cannot be acquired ( What a fantastic rationalisation!!!).

By this time like all good smokers, I had built up a solid wall of rationalisations to counter every known argument against SMOKING.

All was hunky dory between me and Lady Nico thereafter. What triggered this latest attempt at quitting is very interesting. I was reading `RUNAWAY JURY` by John Grisham and was seriously affected by all the Anti Smoking evidence piled up in the book. For the first time I also realised why my previous attempts failed. I was up against an addiction and I was all along thinking it to be a case of WILL POWER (or the lack of it!!).

I then started to read all the material on the WEB on quitting smoking. It is then I bumped into www.quitnet.org, The success stories and the unique method of dealing with this vice attracted me.

I quit smoking on August 11th 2000. I quit cold turkey. I wanted to post after one month of Quit, But I feel confident of keeping this quit, and preponed my announcement.

I would be glad to be any assistance to any fellow quitter!!!

September 4th 2000

Into the fourth week of QUIT, the novelty seems to be wearing off. The physical part of fight with the nicodemon seems to have been won. Its the emptiness and the vacuum which is taking its toll. I have done little than crowing about my Quidventures (Quit Adventures, Are Quitsters allowed to coin new Qphrases!!!). People around seem to be sick of my counting Smoke free days. My daughter (8 years) and wife are being great supporters and believe that this QUIT is different. I share all that transpires on the QNET with my wife. I don`t know what I would do w`out you all out there. Come what may, I shall not blow this Q.

September 6th 2000
Well into the 26th day not yet entitled to even a mini ramble, But here goes:
I got back to jogging after about 20 years. I used to enjoy cross country running. I think I hung my boots after befriending Nicodemon because the breathlessness always scared me and threatened my smoking career. The increase in stamina over the last two weeks is phenomenal. For this reason alone the QUIT has paid me in full. I am looking forward to a long swimming and jogging time in future. Anyway I needed all the physical after having become a inveterate hogger. The consensus on the QNET seems to be to fight the `BATTLE OF THE BULGE` after vanquishing the `NICODEMON`.

I am trying to relearn the use of my hands, used to be a nervous wreck, ate my nails to the skin at every perceivable sign of tension. For the present punching on the keyboard seems to do the trick. More in my next qvisit.


September 7th 2000
I find lot of falls from one month to 3 months of quit. I think I have said this before, I think its because the novelty of quitting wears off and the endless counting of smoke-free days doesnt remain a strong enough deterrent to the ever strong Nicodemon.

I am reasonably forewarned of the Nicodemons ploys of `One wont kill`, `Try the strength of quit with one`, `Does the cigarette taste different` and `I can become a Casual/Social smoker and have best of both worlds` by my friends on the Q.

I have now found the courage to post replies to messages on the Q-forums. If I write too much now, I may not have enough for my one month ramble just 4 days away.

September 8th 2000:

Well Day 28, I will start with a small story credited to Mahatma Gandhi on the efficacy or potency of advice:

One day a young mother brought her five year old to Mahatma Gandhi and complained that her son was addicted to sweet-meats. Gandhiji listened to her and told her that she should come with her son after a fortnight. The mother returned with her son after a fortnight, Mahatma Gandhi called her son aside and whispered in his ears.She asked her son as to what was the advice given to him by Gandhiji, son said that Gandhiji advised him to keep off sweets. After a week the ecstatic mother came back to Gandhiji and said that her son was off sweets and she wanted to know why Gandhiji could not have given this very advice a fortnight ago. Gandhiji said that he could not do so because he himself was addicted to sweets then.

MORAL of the Story:
Substitute Sickarettes for Sweets and Gandhiji for Qgurus and you know why the rambles and advice on the QNET is so potent and effective for the people in their effort to Quit.
I thought of this yesterday when I read in somebody`s profile that he couldn`t relate to his therapist since his therapist giving him advice on quitting smoking did not and had not himself smoked.

I am getting overwhelmed by the responses I am receiving from Qbuddies. As somebody said the act of putting down our dilemmas and reading others success and failures is serving to Catharise us all of all the pent up stresses we have gathered over the years of smoking. Thank you friends.


September 11th 2000:

One month completed at last. It looked a faraway dream when I joined the Q. To be frank, it doesn`t give much satisfaction. I feel like Newton who at the FAG (sic!) end of his life said `I feel like a child trying to gather seashells on the sea shore` on his quest to learn about Science and Nature. The thought of being continously on guard for the NICODEMON rest of the life looks very daunting.

I have seriously thought about people losing their QUIT between one and three months of quitting. I think it has something to do with human mind not comprehending open ended time limits. I read somewhere that most of the damages of smoking are reversed after 15 years of QUIT. I have decided to make 15 years as my target. I shall continue to post every month in my first year and every year thereafter till the 15th year. I am not writing this to brag or show off. I think I need a quantified target to keep going. So friends wish me luck.

About Qbuddies:
I am a very introvert and shy person by nature. All that changed as soon as I joined the Q. The frankness, sincerity and affection of friends on the Q really opened me up. This has helped me being frank with myself. I feel all of you around me even when I am not logged in and feel a responsibility towards you all in my QUIT.

I wouldn`t want to name people here, all of you have been a great support to me in my QUIT. THANK YOU!!!

September 19th 2000
I am breaking my promise. I was consciously trying to avoid posting and also reducing my visits to the Q. I was starting to feel addicted to this place. I wanted to update my profile only once a month from now on. Anyway here goes:

Why do some people seem to be able to quit without effort and lesser mortals like us have to literally huff and puff(sic!!!) about it. This brings me to my original hypothesis that god hasn`t been even handed while doling out WILL POWER. What the heck, so is the case with intelligence,beauty, health, wealth, shape of the nose etc.... So what do we do, sit back and mope about the lack of WILL POWER, NO!!! we make up for lack of Will Power with more hard work. As Edison said SUCCESS is 99% perspiration and only 1% inspiration. 

I am now a convert and do believe that anybody can quit, what is required is meticulous preparation, arming oneself with the cold facts of smoking and persistence. BEST OF LUCK... KTQ.

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