How to become smoke free: My journey, trials, failures and successes - Part 4 - My past trying to stop

Submitted by Wheezy on

So I thought this time I'd share with you how I've tried to stop in the past..... I'm going to try and not go on for pages and pages as I've made many attempts to stop with many different things, I may well miss one I've tried previously so as I remember them I'll pop them into the comments.

Don't buy any
I realised quite early on that smoking isn't a sensible idea, so I tried just not buying any. Most of the friends I was hanging out with at the time smoked and we were allowed to smoke indoors (yes I am that old!) meant I was constantly surrounded by smoke, smokers and a supply of cigarettes. So that didn't work.

Put the money you'd save in a pot
Whilst this may work for some people, what's the point of having money in a pot on view? We all know it's daft to leave keys and notes on view to the outside world as it might invite unintended people to think they could take ownership of it. So to stay safe you need to put the pot away from view, so you and others can't see it. But then you lose the impact putting money in a jar should have on helping you to stop.

Put old stubbs in a jar of water and leave it on the side
I have a former colleague who this worked for and I can kinda see why. After a few days the water goes a yukky murky brown and looks horrendous. If cigs can make water look like this, what is it doing to your insides? For me, I managed to do this for 2 hours before every time I walked past that jar I would dry heave and I realised - I know what smoking is doing to me (who doesn't?) but we still chose to smoke, so why am I rubbing my face in it?

Alan Carr's Easyway to Stop Smoking
By far my most successful attempt was when I stopped for over 9 months after reading this book. Alan doesn't do scare tactics, he doesn't cover the money you can save, or the damage your doing to your health, he takes all the reasons you smoke and clearly explains why they aren't logical. As I said reading this book helped me stop for 9Months, so why did I start again?

If I had kept the book with me, I'm pretty certain I wouldn't have started again, however you know the feeling - YES I've CRACKED IT - well that was me 9 months before I started again, so I filed the book. Then I had a massive incident at work with a colleague, that left me in tears, I ended up making a formal complaint against them, but at the instant the incident happened I was in bits. I called my line manager, who was out of the office with her line manager, explained what had happened. She knew I used to smoke, she is a former smoker and her immediate response was "Get out of the office, go home for the day and make sure you get some cigs on your walk to the train station so you'll be calmer by the time Tom get's home."

That one comment, from a former smoker about the fact cigarettes would help be calmer before Tom came home, was enough for me to believe that a cigarette was what I needed that day. The rest they say is history.

Yes I have tried to read the book again, but for some reason it isn't sinking in.

Other books
I've read (and listened to) loads of other books around stopping smoking, stopping smoking for women and how to stop smoking in X time.....
Since I am still smoking, you can see none of them have worked.

Talking to other people
This is a really interesting one to try. If you talk to people who have never smoked - they won't get why it is so hard to stop. If you talk to reformed smokers, they will try to tell you how to stop and how easy it can be. If you talk to smokers, they will normally help you work through why you smoke and then you'll end up agreeing with them that smoking is sociable, well if you weren't smoking you wouldn't be having this conversation, so that just proves the point that smoking is good for building some relationships.

Patches and nicotine replacement
Of course I've tried the NHS recommended way (or it was at the time I tried it) of nicotine replacement patches. I so don't get on with them. Not only did whichever part of my body I put them on go dead, they don't stop the "what am I doing with my hands?" thoughts. Or address the "I feel like I should be doing something" feeling.

I am sure there are many other ways I have tried in the past, but I just can't remember them all now.

What have you tried in the past? How did you find it? How did it make you feel?