I remember picking up a pre-smoked cigarette my grand father had left in an ashtray one evening and lighting it up to see what it was really all about. I was 12 probably. I was scared and confused. Then two years later this one time curiosity got hold of me. I started to travel to my school on my own instead of using the , school bus. And I started to use this freedom to start smoking. It always starts with a friend. In my case as far as I can remember it was my friend Vivek.
I became a smoker at 14.
Last December , I lost a close family member and a friend to cancer. Though it might not have been because of his smoking habit, you never know. I saw first hand what this disease can do. There was a lesson in all this and for me it translated to changing my life style. We feel invincible until life hits you so hard you cannot ignore the idea of self-evaluation and reflection.
I decided it was time to start with getting rid of this nasty habit first. I am not super human and thus I decided that I will give myself a year to accomplish this. I was sure I would fail and so I did . Several times.
Today I am comfortable and confident to say I have unlearned this habit. Completely.
I have heard about people giving up cold-turkey . I know myself. Thus I know I will not accomplish my goal with this technique. Firstly, because I have tried doing that before.
I prepared to fail, first. And I did . I have had several , relapses in the last ten odd months. Reasons comprised of social settings, lack of self control, basically just stupid excuses to submit to this dangerous and super -super addictive habit.
I went weeks without a drag and it would go so well until this one moment when I give in and regret. This has to happen. At least for people like me . But the key is not to give in and continue to try turning the days to weeks and weeks to months and so on.
Is the addiction really of Nicotine?
For me I realized soon it was not. For me it was all about the action. The feeling. The throat hit you get from smoking and obviously the brain which has formed a pattern of releasing some certain chemicals that make you feel at ease when you indulge in this act.
This changed the entire thought pattern. If you want to find out what is vaping – google it. I decided to give it a shot and this changed my perception. Every-time I felt the urge I would vape for few minutes. I have been vaping for almost 5 months now and it has helped me realize that I am not addicted to cigarettes at all. It allowed me sort of like a half way house or provided me with ample time to erase this habit slowly. When the relapse tried to happen again now I had a refuse and it allowed me the time to realign my thoughts to tell my brain I can do without now. Eventually I will not need the vape as well. But for anyone who is struggling to give up this is now a tested method to help you quit.
Yes Quitting can have some visually distinct side affects some good ones and some bad ones. The good ones are your ablity to do physically demanding activities increase, no more smoke smell, you can taste things better. And many more.
But one distinct side affect I felt is a voracious increase in my appetite. I already love food and this was not helping. I began to eat and the result of which now has added atleast 6-7 Kilos to my body weight.
One problem solved another added. Such is life I guess. A new change is needed and now its going to be about my diet and exercise habit.
Don’t try to do it all and do it all at once. This leads to most of the time – FAILURE. Give yourself time. Remind yourself everyday why you want to make this change. If you fail don’t go back , try again. Keep trying. If you are smoking , try doing it consciously . By this I mean, be completely engaged with your actions. Look at the cigarette , take it out of the box, light it up, smell it, feel it. Repeat. This will start to make you realize how little you think before you take this action. Your brain has turned this activity into a automation, such as riding your bike or covering your mouth when sneezing. Be aware.
By sharing my experience and some techniques I hope to inspire you to also , give this idea a thought. It took me 22 years. May be the damage is done but I would rather live with the feeling that I am in charge of my life not my impulses.
There is so much more to change but you cannot achieve it all at once . One thing at a time. One thing has been proven. What can be learned can also be eventually unlearned.
I am not recommending anything here but sharing what my experience was like and what tools can be used.
This video help you get the facts straight. There is not proof yet that Vaping is safe but I can say that it does help reduce and eliminate your cravings. Meaning I can’t now go on and vape for another 22 years, you see, I feel the vaping gotta go once you feel comfortable enough. I am just about getting there.
If you have a questions , about this specific topic , please ask in the comment section.