by: Alden I. Bula
Reviewing my Facebook update with regard to my smoking cessation activity, I was not surprised when reading between the lines, I felt that some of my friends and those who knew me well thought I could not hack this one successfully. Yes, success stories about quitting smoking are quite few and some of these are even suspicious as there was no formal documentation to attest that there were indeed efforts made to stop smoking. No, I am not offended and I don’t feel like I am challenged either. There was not even an intention to prove them wrong even in my mind only.
But, I do believe that I have to continue not for the sake of these people but for myself. I knew I can make it for a fortnight to have cigarette less days. I was confident and my only worry would be the things that will happen after two weeks. It is easy to hold on or give up to some things for less than two weeks. But holding on or trying to quit for more than a fortnight is the problem. According to some narratives from people who tried to quit smoking, the pressure becomes more intense as you add more days to your intention.
Actually, I already felt what other quitters felt; a dilemma to quit or do it gradually. The truth is, there is no such thing as being gradual. It is either you stop or you proceed. Doing it gradually is tantamount to cheating; you are just fooling yourself and make your mind believe that you are actually doing something about smoking. Yes, there were times that I have to pretend that I am actually smoking. Luckily, I threw away all possible avenues to start smoking again such as; ash trays, empty packs of cigarettes, and unopened packs.
As I accumulated more cigarette less days, the craving becomes more serious. Fortunately, I have no job right now, thus no income. The sad reality that I have no extra cash to buy cigarettes made the situation more conducive to stop smoking. The idea that telling people around you about smoking cessation really works. Initially, I thought that this idea will not work. When my neighbors learned about this motive of mine, the funny thing about is that they encouraged me to continue and hold on to it while speaking to me and puffing their favorite brand of cigarettes.
The biggest achievement that I have so far is that I tested myself with drinking beer without smoking. According to some experts, the biggest challenge in quitting is when you are able to confront the triggers that made you smoke. Drinking beer is one of the biggest triggers, and I confronted it and manage to drink two Red Horse Grande for four nights (not consecutively thought) and made it without buying a single stick of cigarette.
Yes, I do intend to continue and achieve that huge milestone; one month cigarette less days. When I achieve it, I will surely treat myself. Yes, I will test myself after another fortnight if I can drink without smoking cigarettes; this time I will do it in an environment where temptations are very hard to resist. Let us see what will happen next.