Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Not smoking: A collaborative effort

Five days ago, I quit smoking. It is one part of my step towards better personal development as I have realised that I am doing a lot of talking about the things I want to do and not a lot of actually doing.

On my first day of being a non-smoker, I posted this on my Google+ profile  publicly and was amazed at the level of support I was offered by complete strangers. In particular, the support from +Ian Russell and +Mark Wray, who have been posting daily encouraging messages, has been pretty mind-blowing. I believe their support has been part of the reason it has been a lot easier for me to give up this time. I have smoked daily for about 11 years and have tried giving up about four times. The longest I have managed prior to this is four months.

Yesterday, +Ian Russell asked me what was it that made me start up again the other times and this got me thinking. It is an important question as knowing the answer will mean that I am able to avoid that factor this time. However, I couldn't answer it. I couldn't remember what it was that sent me off the edge. One thing I have recognised though, is that this is the first time I have given up and felt this committed and dedicated to never giving up again.

There are many reasons that I don't want to smoke anymore: I'm nearing my thirties, soon I'll be thinking about having children, my health, financial reasons; the list goes on but primarily, I just don't want it to be part of my life anymore.

I have managed to get through through these five days without relying on any substitutes. Whenever I have a craving, I think about what I feel after submitting to a craving. I know I would be annoyed and frustrated at having to start at Day 1 again. Also, importantly, I know I would be ashamed at having to tell friends, my fiance and all the other people who have been supporting me that I have set myself back.

I was initially annoyed with myself for having even started smoking in the first couple of days of giving up but I am now starting to be grateful for the journey that it is setting me on. I am proud that I've gotten this far. Every time I ignore a craving and distract myself with something, I mentally give myself a bonus point. I am seeing this as a competition between Mel the Smoker and Mel the Non-Smoker. I am rooting for Mel the Non-Smoker and I know that I'm not the only one.

P.S Thanks to all the Google Plussers who have been so lovely to me especially +Mark Wray and +Ian Russell