They say it takes 21 days to break a habit. I’d say depending on the habit sometimes it takes longer. That said: today I have had zero cravings. I was even in the company of smokers and not once did I long for a cigarette. Nor did I long to vape nicotine laced vapor into my lungs.
It has been a long time since I’ve felt this way. No seriously. I remember longing to smoke from a very young age. A feeling that would often present itself when I was around smokers. The only smoker that couldn’t conjure this feeling in me was my father.
I don’t need to smoke to feel happy.
I don’t need to use nicotine to feel happy.
I can handle my ups and downs without nicotine.
I no longer feel like a non-smoker trapped in a smoker’s body. I am a smoker. I am a vaper. I am a nicotine fiend. I think I will always be all of these things, but I’ve realized I don’t have to be doing any of them actively to have a satisfying fulfilled life.
I found a draft called “Reasons to Quit” dated to May 2009. I never posted it, I think because I wasn’t ready to be done. Funny, I look back at my reasons to quit and they were good but I could tell I wasn’t convinced. Even though I knew they were true I hadn’t really experienced enough to not want to regular smoke, even though I knew that my reason was rational. I mean I had smoked 4 cigarettes over three days and felt one physical craving and decided to quit. Reading what I wrote and published, my ‘quit’ actually was a lesser version of what I just put myself through recently. My body is apparently sensitive enough to feel the hooks of addiction very quickly.
This time I’m armed with months of nicotine use experience to draw on and the fact that vaping actually has ruined smoking cigarettes for me.
In my old post I was pretty dramatic, wanting to have a funeral for the cigarettes, for their loss from my life. I no longer feel that sense of loss, like I’m giving up a best friend. I feel now like I got to have my good times, I had some bad times and just like growing out of something I feel as though I’ve grown out of it.
Lastly, in my 7 year old entry, I wrote about what I will miss about smoking:
1) The feeling of inhaling, exhaling- breathing fire, blowing the smoke into beautiful plumes.
2) Instant turn-on.
3) The good effects of nicotine… because let’s face it, the drug is not all bad.
I’ll be honest, these are all the things that brought me back again and again. This time, I think nicotine vaping has armed me with a solution, at least for the first two. By the end, number 2 wasn’t happening anymore anyways which is exactly what I predicted. But vaping gives me the feelings of 1) without the fire, which is okay because I’ve grown to like it better. And 9 months of using nicotine, had me build tolerance to the point of the good effects of nicotine becoming mundane to me. So while my brain sometimes tries to trick me by whispering, “But it will be good again, now that you’ve stopped using for a time.” I counter it with, yes but it isn’t worth it.
As it becomes easier and easier to live life nicotine free, I’m going to start working on my other goals.
I’m just 10 days shy of 30 days. If you are just starting, it gets easier- just take those first few days, 1 hour at a time, one day at a time. While the cravings seem practically unbearable at first, you’ll know you getting to the right place when you start to feel calm without smoking or using. After that, it becomes much easier and it literally is all in your head.