I started smoking during the Covid lockdowns. Funny thing, eh? The world comes to a stop, everyone’s worried about the zombie killer virus that makes people in China suddenly drop death in videos we’ve all seen online, and I picked up smoking. I thought it was just a temporal thing.
I’ve had my bouts of smoking before. The occasional smoking started at age 13, then between kind of 16-20 I was at a pack a day. But when you’re young your body is indestructible. I gave up smoking, except for the occasional few cigarettes when being out with friends and drinking. Between age of 25-38, I’ve probably smoked 10 packs of cigarettes. Basically nothing.
But for those past 3 years, I’ve been at a pack a day. Too much. And I feel the effects. I’ve also decided to quit for more than 1,5 years now. Each time, I think it’s going to be different. Each time, I find myself back at square one, lighter in hand, flicking away another promise I made to myself.
The Struggle is Real
You know what’s worse than the smoke, the smell, and the nagging cough? The mental gymnastics. The justifications. The “I’ll quit next week,” or “just one more pack,” or my personal favorite, “One more doesn’t make a difference.” Yeah, right. The mind can be your worst enemy, cooking up all sorts of brilliant excuses for why lighting up another cigarette is totally okay. And let’s not forget the power of triggers—seeing someone else smoke, having a drink, or just feeling stressed. Yeah, stress. I’ve had a lot of that in recent years.
Facing the Ugly Truth
I’ve tried the gums, the patches, and even the occasional e-cigarette. Spoiler alert: None of them worked. Why? I don’t know. If I had figured that out, I’d probably have stopped smoking already.
I could probably come up with some sophisticated explanation: “Because all these patches treat the symptoms, not the cause. My smoking habit wasn’t just about nicotine; it was about the emotional crutch it provided. It’s like putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. Sure, it might stop the bleeding for a bit, but it’s not going to fix the problem.”
But fuck that BS. The undeniable truth is that what I’ve tried so far didn’t work.
Time for Something Different
I’ve launched my podcast, if you even want to call it that.
Every time I fight off a craving or, let’s be honest, give into one, I’ll hit the record button. I’ll share my thoughts, my triggers, my small wins, and my shameful fails. Expect mostly icoherent, boring ramblings I ugess.
Join the Pain Train
If you’re going through the same crap, or if you’re just curious to hear what it’s like to try and kick one of the toughest habits out there, tune in. This isn’t a feel-good, inspirational saga; it’s a gritty, in-your-face confrontation with my own weaknesses. And who knows, maybe along the way, we’ll all learn something valuable.
So, go ahead and subscribe to “Unfiltered Thoughts: A Quitter’s Diary.” Let’s embrace the suck, and maybe—just maybe—come out the other side a little bit stronger.
I’m a believer in the power of self-talk. It’s what helped me when I was really down. Literally giving myself pump up talks. So this is a bit along that line: Talking to myself, keeping it real, but also giving myself the words I need to hear.