Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Six Months Smoke-Free - After Switching To e-Cigs!

Six months ago today I smoked my last cigarette. 5:30PM on March 3rd, I inhaled my last puff of smoke. I cannot believe that it has been six months already. I really cannot express my shock. And my feeling of pride. I just cannot say how thankful I am to have found eCigs. From the very first time I picked up an eCig - I never looked back. After 30 years of smoking - after trying all of the other nicotine replacement methods - the gum, the patches, the pills, the inhalers ... none of which worked for me. I have found a way to kick that disgusting habit!

The best thing I have ever done!!!

I am not going to make this post about all of the stats - if you are new to my blog, or if this is the first time you are reading about my having switched to eCigs, please visit the e-Cigs link in the index to read my journey postings, which are extremely descriptive.

This posting is about where I am today. And today, I feel fabulous. I hardly use my asthma puffers anymore. Really just on humid days - which is to be expected when you have asthma. My coughing is nearly gone. I do still have to clear my throat in the mornings, but I am not hacking throughout my day. I feel my lungs becoming ever stronger with each passing day. I am not huffing and puffing by doing the most simple of tasks. I am sleeping better. My home does not smell of smoke. I, my clothes, my hair, do not smell of smoke. In fact, the smell of smoke really disgusts me and I just cannot even believe that I smoked for as long as I did!

What I have dubbed as my phantom-cigarette-syndrome has reduced dramatically. It is a very rare occasion when I find myself reaching for 'the pack'. Although it does still happen. In my first posting, I mentioned that my mother - who has been a non-smoker since 1988, still has the urge to flick a cigarette, and will find her fingers doing the motion. It does not happen often - but it does happen. So, considering that I am just six months in recovery, I am really not surprised by my physical movements to 'the pack'.

I have noticed that I am craving the 'feel' of a cigarette. The feel of a brand new pack, the firmness of the pack. Peeling away the wrapping, removing the foil, sliding that first cigarette out of the pack. The feel of the cigarette in my fingers.  I have had the urge to "try one".  To see if I still like it.  But I haven't. And I won't.

I imagine that just like any addiction, these thoughts will creep into my mind from time to time. The temptation will rear its ugly head, and it is up to me to be strong enough to smack it down just as quickly as it pops up!

I am still using the 24mg of nicotine in the eCigs, and plan to do so until my one-year mark. Partially to give myself a full year of recovery from all of the smoke and the other 4000 chemicals. But also, with my surgery coming up at the end of the week, I don't think it is a good time to shock my body with a reduction of nicotine. So, I plan to go through my surgical recovery and then make the decrease from 24mg to 16 mg.

Because some companies have a 20mg - and the one I use does not, this is another reason for my delay. I do not want to risk being set back. And lets face it, 24 to 16mg is a BIG drop.  To be quite honest, I am feeling very well accomplished right now and really don't feel the need to push myself.  So, in March, I will make the drop to 16mg, whether I do it straight or do a mix, I am unsure at this point. But either way, my plan all along has been to eventually wean myself off of nicotine entirely. So, once I am on 16mg, I will probably stay at that level for another year. And then reduce again - I believe the next level is 12mg. And then 6mg.  And then 0mg.

It may take me a few years to wean myself completely off of nicotine. But that is okay! I will not give myself permission to feel badly about that! I am a firm believer of celebrating the accomplishments I have made, rather than focusing on the hurdles, which are still before me. So, today I am going to do just that. Focus on the fact that I no longer have rat poison in my system. I no longer am ingesting carcinogens. I am not longer ingesting formaldehyde. My lungs are healing. The cilia are functioning once again. I no longer have tar and other crap sitting on my lungs. My breathing is better.

I am stronger today than I was six months ago.

And I will be even stronger six months from now!

As always, I will end by saying that if you are a smoker, and you are wanting to quit. PLEASE do your own research into e-cigarettes and see if they are the right choice for you!