As we find ourselves halfway through February, now is often the time that those new year’s resolutions start to slip.
So, we thought now would be a great time to share some inspiration from one of our fabulous Quit Support members, @Teeny81, to provide a bit of support and encouragement for those quitting smoking.
“As I approach my third year without a ciggie, I sit back and think. Besides raising the most amazing 19-year-old daughter, quitting is hands down the second thing I’m proud of myself for doing.
“I loved smoking, so quitting was never something I wanted to do. It was however something that I HAD to do.
“At 32 years of age, I was diagnosed with COPD. This was a real shock, especially being so young. Yet despite that, it still wasn’t enough to quit, and I continued to smoke for almost another 7 years. I now see how crazy that it.
“It was in 2020 when I finally knew I had to quit smoking. I caught a virus and ended up in hospital with pneumonia for the third time since my COPD diagnosis. It suddenly dawned on me the damage I was doing to myself and, as a single mum, I realised that she needed me fit and well way more than I needed cigarettes.
“I sat in hospital and cried for about two days thinking of all the damage I had done. I guess it was my rock bottom and from then on, I was living life smoke-free.
“Even though I knew I would never smoke again, it was the hardest thing I’ve done. I suffered many side effects – insomnia, anxiety, hay fever, and increased shortness of breath which lasted months. I was also depressed for quite some time too and would cry for no reason. At times, the side effects of quitting felt like they were never going to get better.
During the height of my side effects, I was googling everything, looking for a way to overcome them. and that’s how I came across the Quit Support group. Reading others posts about their side effects helped me tremendously. I think without them I would have been at the doctors every week worried about something.
“Another challenge I also had to overcome was food. I put on a lot of weight very quickly after quitting. Last July, I decided it was enough and started intermittent fasting along with walking every day. I’ve just hit 25 kilos (55 pounds) lost and have reached my goal weight.
Too stressed to quit
“It’s amazing how many people say ‘Oh I can’t quit! I’m too stressed at the moment’ and I do understand that thinking. I used to think that too. I couldn’t imagine going through something stressful without smoking.
“I think one of the things I’ve learnt the most is how to control my emotions without turning to cigarettes. It’s taken some time, that’s for sure but I do feel so much more in control now.
In the last three years, I have managed to go through the pandemic, leave my job of 18 years, leave an abusive relationship, move away from the town I’ve been in for 20 years, care for my grandfather as cancer took him away and, the thing that broke my heart the most, lose my dad suddenly last year – all without lighting up.
“I now try and explain that after you get over the worst of it – how ever long that might take you – life is so much less stressful when you don’t smoke! I remember being stressed about when I can have my next cigarette. I would watch the time counting down for a ciggie break or having to find somewhere to smoke. Now, I am no longer shackled to my ciggies! I am free!
Supporting each other
“I want to say a huge thank you to the admins who keep the Quit Support going, and anyone who has had encouraging words or posts that I’ve read to help me in the beginning.
“That’s why I wanted to share my experience too. Their words and advice and reassurance were so important in my success, so I wanted to try and help anyone starting their quit smoking journey. Even if it just helps one person then it’ll have done its job!”