So I feel like I can talk about it here now. I stopped smoking two weeks ago tomorrow.
17 years of smoking a pack a day.
Two "quitting" episodes that didn't last very long
17 years of really ENJOYING smoking
17 years of using cigarettes as my way to get away from everything for 5 minutes
The first time I quit was in Israel in 2005. F., the guy I was dating and completely in love with at the time kept complaining about me smelling like smoke all the time. So I stopped smoking for him (bad idea). He moved from the kibbutz down to my aunt's moshav, and in the two weeks between him leaving and me joining him there I started again. I missed it (and him) too much. When we were reunited on the moshav he had started smoking anyway.
Morale of the story: don't stop smoking for someone, especially not for a man who is going to end up breaking your heart anyway.
The second time I quit was in London in the beginning of 2005. I was REALLY irritable at work, but made it through to the two week mark and went out drinking. And smoked about 5 cigarettes. Then jumped back on the wagon until I went out drinking again etc etc. Then I was offered the job in New York and used it as an excuse to start smoking properly again.
Morale of the story: don't stop smoking without a real plan, or without any real will to do it.
This time it's different. Meg had already decided to stop on her birthday in August. I said a few months ago that I was going to stop in September, and seeing as I said it out loud there was no going back. September 1st rolled round and I had already set myself in the mindset that I wouldn't be smoking ever again.
And it worked.
It's been a lot easier than I expected. Granted the first few days I was extremely aware of the moments I would smoke, and how much of a habit it was. After 24 hours I wanted to kill everyone in my sight, and by the 48 hour mark I was feeling fine. Meg gave me a nicotine inhaler that I have used a few times when I have been out in a bar, and it helps take the edge off of the cravings. Now it's come to a point when I don't think about cigarettes as much anymore, and, although I miss them a lot at certain moments in time, I feel OK ABOUT IT!!!
I do have an insane amount of manic energy though - and I keep need to move around all the time. I love the fact that my hair smells like my coconut conditioner all day long AND then next day and that my clothes still smell of my fabric softener when I take them off at night. I also love the fact that I am going to save approximately $3,640 a year.