Knocking the Fags on the Head – Pt 2
You may recall (and if you don’t, scroll down a bit or click the above link) that I had decided to cease smoking. My original plan was to use methods found in the book Allen Carrâ€™s Easy Way To Stop Smoking – since the book had the magic words “easy way”, it seemed the ideal way to stop. Well, I am sorry to say that it didn’t work for me. I’d like to emphasise that last bit, it didn’t work for me. This does not (and should not) mean that it won’t work for anyone else. In fact, as I said previously, it worked well for a colleague and she has been off them for a few weeks.
I lasted the grand total of 12 hours. Noon on Saturday 20th January until midnight the same day. Throughout the day I was snappy, bad tempered, grumpy and just generally awful to be around. A real caricature of someone coming off the smokes. To be honest, it was the absolutely worst experience I have ever had giving up anything.
Time to talk about the system (though not in too much detail – I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who is wishing to try it) I think and why I think I failed at it. Firstly, I followed my usual trend and didn’t quite believe the hype. This is a bad thing in this case because, as it’s a self help book, failing to believe it fully meant that the messages didn’t sink in. I also failed because I kept very very quiet about what it was I was trying to do – this meant that I just seemed to be very bad tempered without reason. If I had shared my intentions, I would have had some emotional support as well as some space. I believe that I should have read through it in one sitting and maybe gone back over it – I went the other way, read it once over a few days. Unfortunately, I felt it working less as I progressed through the book, and that is my failing.
Having returned to smoking throughout Sunday, I was determined to give it another go. Cold turkey was obviously not the answer and so I have turned to nicotine patches. This works in an entirely different way. Obviously. It takes a 3 stage approach over 3 months. Smokers who are on 20 or more a day get to start with Stage 1 – this is the strongest patch and needs to be worn for 3-4 weeks. Not the one patch, of course, one box has a week’s worth of patches and they are to be changed daily. After 3-4 weeks, you go to Stage 2, a slightly weaker patch. And after a further 3-4 weeks, you go to Stage 3, the weakest patch of all. 3-4 weeks later, you are off both the patches and the smokes.
I have been wearing one since 7am, it is now 8pm (GMT) and so I have had it on for 13 hours. I don’t have a craving, as such, but I feel the absence. Especially now when I have eaten and would normally settle down with a book, with the computer or with a programme I wanted to watch. These are the times to watch myself. Since I have spent Â£30 on the patches, I will feel especially bad if I stop them and return to smoking. So I am likely to have them on for 2 weeks. Or a fortnight, whichever comes first.
I am also trying to change other habits: I now drink far less coffee (if you feel comfortable taking 12 hours worth of data!) and am planning to take up exercise in a gym!!Â I have even drunk green tea.Â This is how seriously I am taking it.Â Next stage of that is to drink more water to help flush my system through.
So there we have it, the ambitious all or nothing approach failed miserably and I have high hopes of this method.
Next: events and other happenings!!