I initially posted this in October 2015, but since as request from Doctor Nair at Stanford Heath Care, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine asked me to post as often as possible here it is.
I am happy to report that today marks 1 year 9 months since I last smoked a cigarette. An accomplishment I am very proud of and I am going to share with others who are attempting to quit smoking but struggling with the task. So if you are a non-smoker you might move on to another site, but then again you might wish to share this site to someone you know that is attempting to quit smoking.
I found that when I decided to quit, created the intention to quit smoking and focused on the task at hand the solutions came my way quickly.
I was smoking one pack a day at the time, and I was going though a severe chest cold which seemed to a fairly regular event at back then. I also had been smoking for over five decades, yes folks, more than fifty years without ever seriously attempting to quit. So here is my solution to quitting which turned out to be easier than expected.
First I met a doctor that had organized a group of folks that under her supervision had quit smoking using a medication named Wellbutrin. The instructions were one pill a day for three days and then start with two pills a day and continue to smoke. When the third day arrived I had already cut down from 20 to 15 cigarettes a day. I found that I had a reaction to taking the second pill and the doctor said to just stay with the one a day. Within 10 days I was at 3 cigarettes a day and seemed to get stuck at three.
Then one day I was on my Facebook page when I saw a symbol on the right side that was a cigarette with a red crossed “X” over it. I stared at the symbol because I never click on those “pages you need to visit” symbols, but I went with a gut feeling and clicked on it. I then went to a page about quitting smoking by Alan Carr and it led me to a PDF download of a book named “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking” written by Alan Carr in 1985. I downloaded the file and read the book in one sitting. I have not smoked a cigarette since completing the book. (Thank you Allen)
What this book did for me was to point out that all the thoughts about why I liked smoking or why that cigarette with a cup of coffee first thing in the morning tasted so good, or yeah there is a chance of getting cancer, but not me, etc. The answer is those thoughts are coming from your ADDICTION! Yes your addiction is pointing out how much you enjoy smoking and how special you are for smoking without any issues and of course you are so special that cancer is not an option.
So the actual quitting was easy. I found the tough part was about 2-3 weeks later when I felt an urge for a cigarette when a situation occurred that when I was smoking, would smoke a cigarette. I have talked with other people who said this was the part that when they felt some stress, they automatically went back to smoking thinking they would attempt to quit at a later date. My though was “I did not quit smoking to go right back to it!” So what I did was I immediately noticed the situation that was causing the urge and then stopped what I was doing. I sat down and started a simple meditation where I focused on my in and out breath knowing that the urge would pass in about 20 seconds. Sure enough, it did and the next time the same situation came up the urge was non-existent. I did this ever time I had the smoking urge and eventually it was a rare event.
These days focusing on your breathing during a meditation is called “Mindfulness Meditation” and classes on how to do Mindfulness Mediation are being offered by most hospitals across the country (For a fee). If you are luck enough to live in or near Redwood City California the Insight Meditation Center offers classes for free (Donations are accepted). Check their web site for more information
If you are interested in on-line classes here is a link to the Google Mindfulness online course, yes folks, Goggle has a course on mindfulness and from what we understand they support their employees in using this method to meditate. You even get a certificate when you complete the course.
We have nothing else to talk about at this time, but we invite you to post a comment if you would like more information or have a question or two. Be sure to include your email address and we will be sure to get back to you as soon as we can. Also if you don’t want your comment made public, please include a “NOT”.
“NOTHING is better than a smoke free environment!”