I’m a Quitter

It’s official. As of Saturday, I will officially be a non-smoker.

I’ve been smoking on and off since I was 16, and while I’ve quit before, it’s never lasted more than few years. I think a big reason for that is because smoking becomes such a satisfying routine.

A goodness knows that I thrive on routines.

So I’ve been thinking about quitting for a while now, but I’ve been having trouble doing the actual, you know, quitting part. I’ve been slowly decreasing the number of cigarettes that I smoke a day, but I’ve hit a bit of a wall. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to quit, but I was having what I think of as motivation issues.

Until last Saturday, that is. Since then, I’ve had tons of motivation.

I’m having surgery in July, and since it involves grafts, the surgeon requires me to not smoke. Fun fact: smokers have a 20% more chance of graft rejection than nonsmokers, which is good enough motivation for me to push through the discomfort and just quit.

Back to the routines. I smoke at specific times of day, every day. The act of smoking is so closely tied with things like eating meals and leaving the house that I have trouble separating the two. These sorts of activities are transitional, and that’s an Executive Dysfunction thing that I really struggle with.

So, the struggle begins to find replacement activities! After much consulting and debating, I’ve got a plan that I think will work. I’m going to use both distraction and sensory replacement to keep myself honest. Enter my Gameboy and coffee flavored hard candy. Instead of smoking before meals, I’ll take 5-10 minutes and play a game (Mario-kart and Mario party, mostly) and suck on hard candies to fulfill the oral fixation.

I’m not sure how this is all going to go. It looks good on paper, but goodness knows that changing routines is far more difficult than it should be, at least for me.

Wish me luck, and please excuse any rant-y posts while I adjust to all the changes!

P.S. If you’ve ever quit smoking and you have any tips, please let me know!

4 thoughts on “I’m a Quitter

  1. I’m not a smoker, but I’ve had a couple of friends who are neurodivergent quit long term, and this is what helped them.

    1. An app on their phone that tells them how much money they have saved by not smoking. This really helped them get perspective.

    2. Chupa chups. I know the sugar’s not great for teeth, but it gave them something to do with their hands and their mouth, and they could carry them in their pocket or handbag.

    3. Both also used those e-cigs for a while, the ones that produce that vapour stuff.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for the tips! I’ve also found e-cigs really useful for tapering down, especially the disposable one, so I don’t feel like I’m wasting money when I stop using them.

      Also, I’m now off to download one of those apps, I’m thinking having something tangible to look at will help.

      Thanks again!

      Like

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