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Jan 15, 2009 12:48AM
Hey there. Just stopping by to give you all some encouragement from a former smoker to let you know that you CAN do it. I did, and although it took some work and some physical and mental gymnastics, you can do it too. FWIW, here are some tips that helped me kick the habit 15 years ago now...
1: Focus on ridding your body of nicotine. Realize that the cravings you'll feel are your body's reaction to the drop in nicotine and, while they can be intense at first, they DO pass and they DO become less intense over time. Once the nicotine is out of your body (3-7 days??? can't remember now), cravings become less frequent and less intense until, gradually, they go away completely.
2. Mentally separate your mind from your body. Let your mind become the "parent", and your body the "child" that must be told "no, you can't have that, even though I know you really really want it and will throw a temper tantrum to try to get it." Then, let your mind wait out your body's "temper tantrum" and, like a child, your body will eventually realize it's not going to get what it wants and will quit throwing those "tantrums"... It worked for me, anyway!
3. SLOW DEEP BREATHING! It truly works both mentailly and physically to get through a "craving".
4. EXERCISE! It too really helped, both mentally and physically. At times you may feel like your heart rate is high (cravings? anxiety?) and I found that by exercising up to the level I felt my heart rate was at already helped "match" my level of activity to what I was "feeling", and then was able to bring BOTH back down gradually and together. (I was lucky to have a health club/treadmill in my office building).
5. THINK and ACT like a non-smoker. Hang around with non-smokers. Ask for the "non-smoking" section in restaurants (where they still have them). It may sound cruel, but ditch your still smoking friends, at least for a while until you get through and feel you can manage.
6. Don't get discouraged if you fall off the wagon. Most everyone does, but just remember that if you do, it doesn't mean you've become a "smoker" again (unless you want to be, of course).
7. Eventually, I PROMISE, you'll get to a place where you'll feel better, breathe better, smell better (to others, that is!) and won't be tempted to smoke again because the taste does become quite "distasteful". (Yeah, I've had a couple in weak moments (my SIL still smokes), but they've each been really nasty!)
You're doing a good thing for yourself and those around you, those who care for you, and those who'd like to be around you but can't. Hang in there. Carry on. Don't give up. It's worth it! Good luck all.
DX 10/15/2008, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- OncotypDX=26(17%) BiLat DIEP (1-delayed, 1-immediate) 12/8/09, Stage 2 10/22/10 w/Craigie/Charleston COURAGE IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF FEAR, IT'S ACTING IN SPITE OF IT!