OMG, I don't want to be inside this right now.
Best I quit smoking to delay it.
The following account is a documentation of my
journey from being a smoker to becoming an ex smoker.
It spans a period of nine years.
For a number of years I kept a diary.
This diary often misses great chunks of time but that doesn't
detract from the story it tells.
My Diary begins here:
Day 1- 15th June 2004
I'm quitting smoking today.
Day 8 -
23rd June 2004
I've been far too
miserable to even consider writing anything here for the
past week. Good god, how can giving up smoking make
you feel so depressed?
Today I had cravings
almost immediately on rising. Itís awful when you wake up
and know you have another day of suffering in front of you.
I watched a documentary on people with
autistic children last night. I think of
these people with autistic
children. Crikey, giving up smoking is nothing compared
with what they are going through, day in, day out for the
rest of their lives. I tell myself I am lucky. I am only
giving up smoking and one day there will be an end. These
poor people can see no end in sight.
Iím sure their suffering is far, far worse than mine.
I run through my mind people I know who have died as the
result of smoking at an early age. George Harrison, Barry Sheen, Keith Berry,
Jim Bacon, Joy Davies, Yul Brynner and Fred Hollows. I donít want to be like
them. I want to learn a lesson from them. Each of them would love to be alive
again even if meant no cigarettes. Their loved ones would want them to
be alive again. Trouble is, once you are dead you are dead. You canít change
your mind then. So itís best to change your mind and attitude before you die. I
am doing that now.
The people listed below died
prematurely as a result of smoking.
George Harrison -
An English rock guitarist, singer-songwriter,
actor and film producer who achieved
international fame aslead
Died age 58 Barry Sheene -
racer.Died age 53
Keith Berry - My brother-in-law. Died age 56 Jim Bacon - Former Premier of Tasmania.
Died age 54
Joy XXXXX - Patient at the Medical Centre where I worked.Died age 52 Yul Brynner - Famous Actor.
Famous quote - 'Whatever you do, don't smoke'.
Died age 65 Fred Hollows - An ophthalmologist who became known for his work in restoring
eyesight of indigenous people of Australia and third world countries. It has
been estimated that more than one million people in the world can see today
because of initiatives instigated by Hollows. Died age 64
Itís not easy. I get
cravings most of the day. At times it makes me very
irritable. Sometimes I think if I just had a cigarette it
would fix it. But I know that is crap because fifteen
minutes later I would feel the same again and would need
Today at times I
could go about an hour without thinking about smoking. Other
times it was really bad and I constantly craved. I would
take deep breaths and try to ignore it.
Nicotine intake is
not zero. Today I had 3mgs using
24th June 2004
Crappy day. I had
worms in my stomach nearly all day. It just goes on and on
and on. George Harrison, Jim Bacon, Barry Sheen etc etcÖ
I think today was
just as bad as day 1. I had about 4mgs
25th June 2004
When is it going to
get easier? I woke up about 6.15 and had my first crave at
about 6.30. That kind of sudden cravecomes on frequently throughout the
morning but at work it doesnít bother me so much. The
afternoons are much worse. I take my second
about 3 o clock now. I donít reckon they are doing any good.
Itís just that Iíd be scared to stop taking them. If it is
this bad while I am on
the heck would it be like if I stopped taking them.
Sun 27th June 2004
We had a day in the
park today for Maddyís 2nd birthday. It was a really good
family day with everyone there. Most people there were
smoking. The only exceptions were: ME, Bob, Barry and Babs.
Hmmmm, Iím the only
one who doesnít start with a B!
wasnít so bad. Iíve chewed on a few nicos, but today was
pretty alright. I had my usual
wave of cravings but soon got over them. The great outdoors
must be the cure!
Sat 10th July 2004
The cravings still
keep coming. Itís funny, the cravings come but somehow I
donít associate them with having a cigarette. I seem to
associate them as being a bloody nuisance. Mind you, there
are many times when I say, oooohhh I wish I could have a
cigarette. But I know that I donít really wish that. What I
really wish is that these cravings would just go away for
ever. I am going to a hypnotherapist next Friday and I am
really hoping that he will be able to help me. I know one
hundred percent that your body can override your cravings.
When you are sick there is no way you can smoke a cigarette
and you have absolutely no cravings for one. Your body is
telling you not to put this poison into yourself. You donít
even think about it.
All you need to do
with a hypnotherapy session is to make your body go into
At work today,
(I work in a Medical Centre) A patient named
XXXX came in. He has just had a
laryngectomy. I once saw a
woman on RPA (A reality Medical TV program)
who had this procedure also. I
would not like to go down that road. A big hole in your
neck. Put your finger on the hole to talk in a burpy
voice. No way would I like that.
Day 36 Wed 21st
Well, I have mixed
views on the hypnotherapy. It cost me 200 bucks so it should
work but I canít say Iíve noticed much difference. I may
need to listen to the CD he gave me, I just havenít had any
spare time yet.
Iím not feeling much
betterÖ Still craving. Afternoons and evening are probably
It sucksÖ.but Iím
going to do it this time.
had a mini stroke and is in
hospital. He has vowed never to have another cigarette
Day 46 July
I had a puff. Now Iím
doomed to fail.
Day 48 Aug
Had a cigarette.
Day 49 Aug 32004
Had a cigarette
in two halves. Do not have one tomorrow, just to
prove I can go without.
I said I was doomed
and it was true. The reason I havenít been writing here is
because I have begun smoking again.
Day 2 Jan 11th
Well, that was a
long silence. Yup, I started smoking again, right back to
where I was. Yesterday I once again decided to quit. Well,
after I had my first one of the day. Then I had another one
when I got home from work at about 4.15. Then another at
Today I have done
worse. I didnít have one until 1pm then had four more before
the night was out. My mind has been playing the usual little
tricks on me and tonight I told myself I wonít smoke in the
daytime, only at night. The trouble is I like these little
April 4, 2005
Well that last
little episode was a bit of a farce.
Now I am about to
try again. Iíve got some nicotine patches this time. This first week
Iím not going to stop completely. This is the practice weekÖ
LOL, the tricks Old Nic (the talking nicotine demon in my
brain.) plays on me. He comes up with all manner of
scathingly brilliant ideas not to give up smoking today.
Actually Iím hanging out for one now. The one Old Nic has
told me I can have before I go to work.
Day 1 May 11,
That last little try
didnít last even one day. I couldnít go one day without a
smoke. The nicotine patches are still in the cupboardÖ.That's
CrikeyÖ day one
wasnít very frigginí easy I can tell you. Had a shit of a
day at work, very frustrating. I felt like screaming and
crying all day. Worked a long 12 hour day. Feel just the
same now I am home. Think Iíll just go and take my misery to
bed. At least when Iím asleep I wonít think about it.
the Book!) says that
I am not giving up anything. I am escaping, and he is right.
I am going to escape from Nicotine. He says I should rejoice
at the withdrawal pangs, they serve to remind me that I am
escaping from this awful addiction after all these years.
As I was writing
this I was overcome with terrible withdrawal symptoms. I
ended up crying and feeling so absolutely terrible. I went
in the bedroom and cried. What a silly thing to do when I
should be joyous about escaping. I just wanted to feel
better and old Nic kept telling me to have one so I lit one
up. Iím not silly. I know I will feel just as bad in ten
minutes time so I put it out.
Allen Carr says if
you mope about what you are giving up (which is nothing!)
then you wonít succeed. You have to be happy that you are
escaping the addiction. There, I just smiled. If I keep on
smoking I wonít be happy, because all the time I think about
giving up smoking. Best be unhappy not smoking than unhappy
smoking. NO! thatís not the right attitude. I am so HAPPY I
am escaping. It doesnít come at no cost. I have to bear some
uncomfortable feelings to achieve it.
Iíll take the book
to bed and read it some more. Thousands of people have
escaped the evils of nicotine and I shall be one of them.
I must get a walkman
and play my CD I got from the hypnotherapist when I go to
Iíll ask Bob if he
Talk again tomorrow.
Tomorrow is a public holiday and Iím looking after the kids.
Day 2 Thursday 12th
Oh joy Oh joyÖ. Iím
a non smoker. (Alan Carr tells me to remind
myself of this) I have escaped the nicotine jail. Now all I
have to do is make sure I donít fall for Old Nics tricks to
entice me back there. Iíll give him credit, he keeps trying
to get me back there by dishing out some horrible feelings.
Day two was pretty
difficult. I had Katy and Maddy here most of the day which
kind of helped me keep my mind off the big N. I had a couple
of episodes where I just couldnít moveÖ just couldnít do
anything but stand and stare straight ahead. I felt like
crying and tears did come to my eyes but I didnít have an
outburst like yesterday.
I felt very bad late
afternoon and just wanted to go to bed and finish the day
but instead I got out my hypnotherapy CD and played it.
Well, I must have been hypnotized or else I dropped off
to sleep because
I remember him saying ĎIíll count to seven and you can wake
upí When I did wake up I still felt awful so I put a movie
on, I thought that would take my mind off of things. I
watched the movie for about half and hour and then suddenly
felt better! So I hopped up and began preparing dinner.
The evening was
bearable up to a point. At about 10pm my resolve weakened
and I had 1mg of nicorette. Bugger.
Day 6 Monday 16th
Joy oh joy and all
that crap. Yes I have escaped.
Iím very very
irritable. Iím almost too irritable to write here.
today. Itís only 4.15 but I wish I could go to bed.
I feel like crying.
Iím very down at the moment. I should go and do something to
take my mind off of things but I canít get motivated.
Allan Carr said to
enjoy the withdrawal symptoms and let them serve as a
reminder that you have escaped! I havenít quite mastered
doing that yet.
Iíll take the dog
for a walk.
Day 9 Thursday 19th
Itís still early.
Day 22 June 2,
This is the day after I
am supposed to be free. The day
you are free is 3 weeks after you quit. (According to bloody
Itís a long and
lonely road, which takes you to who knows where.
Added later. I
donít know what happened to that attempt. Obviously it
I know there were
many undocumented attempts to quit smoking between 2005 and
2008 but I didnít record them. Itís obvious to me that they
were failures and were too inconsequential to add to this
Day 10September 4th
Iím reading my past
writings because once again I am quitting. You canít say I
donít keep trying. Its funny reading all the things I said
in the past because Iím saying them over again now. I thought
this diary would give me some inspiration and maybe I could
learn where I failed in the past. This time I am trying a
new drug called Champix.
When I first started
taking Champix I thought it was going to be easy this time.
In the first few days it really reduced my cravings and I
was only smoking a few a day. When you start Champix you are
supposed to continue to smoke
14 days. Well I couldnít wait because I was so
excited about finally quitting
so I stopped smoking on day 4.
I canít say that
itís been easy. Itís day ten and I donít feel any less
cravings than I did on day one. (hmmm. Iíve read that
somewhere before) Never mind, Iíll battle on.
This time I was
determined not to have any nicotine but I have to be honest
and admit that I have succumbed on four occasions. This has
been late at night and Iíve had 2mg of nicorette gum. Note
to me. NONE
TONIGHT!!! OKAY ARE YOU LISTENING?
Iíve read Allen
Carrís book again and Iím going to try to teach myself to
enjoy the cravings and recognize them for what they are.
Dianeís sister died
a couple of weeks ago. Lung cancer. I wonder if that will
inspire Diane and Richard to quit. Also I should mention that
our sister in law (Ianís wife) Ann, also died just before
Christmas last year. Lung cancer. I mentioned David Holmes
earlier in this diary. Heís dead too. Throat cancer.
daughter quit one week
before me. I think she is doing better than me, not battling
as much as I am. Well, when I say battling, Iím not really
battling because I have no intention of lighting up a
cigarette. I think I crave for nicorettes more than a
I read that the
cravings last only 3 to 5 minutes each. Thatís not how it is
with me. Today it has been one long craving. The feeling
hasnít gone away once. I just went to the shop and bought a
few different lollies (Candy, Sweets, depends where
you come from) to see if they would help.
Later: I said I
wasnít going to have a nicorette tonight but I did. 2mg.
Just before I quit
this time I had an awful pain in my chest and it felt like
it was in my lung. It was also causing a cough. I thought to
myself, yeah, thatís right, Iím quitting smoking and
got lung cancer before I even start. Well, it was
either lung cancer or an infection. The pain persisted until
yesterday when I asked Doctor David for some antibiotics. Amazing,
I have only taken two days of antibiotics and already the
pain and cough has gone so hopefully it is an infection and
I have been trying
Allen Carrís advice to embrace the cravings but
despite all the practice Iíve had I still canít quite get my
head around it. Itís just a mental thing and I will keep on
trying. ĎOh thank you for this horrible feeling I am
experiencing. I will embrace this feeling and use it to my
advantage. It will remind me that I am escaping the nicotine
prisoní Oh joy, I am free.
Day 11September 5th2008
wasnít as bad as yesterday. It wasnít terribly easy this
morning and got worse towards midday. I decided to take myself off to the movies to see Mama
Mia. It was a happy feel good movie that took my mind off
cravings. After the movie I came home and played some music
to make me feel good and my cravings were very minimal.
I see I didnít write much on my last attempt. Only up to day
11. I canít remember the details but I think I began
smoking again some time in November. The Champix really did
help but round about week 9 they started to make be feel
very nauseous. It was a weird sensation, not like normal
nausea. Very hard to describe. Anyway it got to the point
where it seemed it was only the nausea that was stopping me
smoking. You just canít smoke when you feel that ill.
Eventually I could not bear the thought of taking another
tablet because I knew how wretched I would feel for the rest
of the day.
I began smoking
again. Just one or two here and there and of course then I
So here we go again.
This is supposed to be day two but it has become day one
because yesterday, after suffering all day without a smoke I
gave in and had one or two after Bob went to bed. Anyway,
weíll just ignore that small technicality. It wonít matter
in 2 years time.
Iíve got some left
over Champix. My old ones and Wendyís. I have periodically
in the time since I last tried to quit tried to take
them again but have felt that overwhelming nausea feeling
again. I have been coughing a lot and had pains in my back
so once again I have diagnosed myself with lung cancer. I
had a chest xray and apparently from that I am not yet
afflicted with cancer although I think maybe I need a CT
scan to confirm this.
The bottom line is
once again I am concerned for my health if I continue to
smoke so I decided to try the Champix again even though
there are not enough left to finish the recommended course.
I took one yesterday and felt nauseous within 5 minutes but
fortunately the sickness only lasted an hour or two. Today,
I was reluctant to take another one but the cravings became so bad
at about 4 o clock that I bit the bullet and took one. I
was amazed that it didnít cause any nausea at all. It didnít
do much else either. The cravings were still bad and I have
had to resort to nicorettes. God knows how many milligrams
of nicotine I have consumed today. Iím not countingÖ.. just
trying to not light up a fag.
Day 5September 29th
All the miserable
memories of quitting have come flooding back to me. The
cravings that wonít leave me alone. They eat at me
relentlessly. They are rotten little bastards that eat and
eat and eat at me until I
want to scream out ĎGO AWAY Wonít you just leave me alone' Ö. But they donít
listen to me. They come back several times a day.
Day 6September 30th
Perhaps it would be
easier to consider dying of lung cancer than to go through
this crap again. Just kidding. In my sensible moments I
realise what a stupid comment that is. Today hasnít been
easy. I really canít even bring myself to think about all
the sensible things. Actually, I canít think of anything. I
am so overwhelmed at the moment with these awful cravings.
I took a Champix
today at lunch time. I probably need one now but at 10.30pm
itís probably not a good idea. I donít want bad dreams.
Iím trying to think
of George Harrison, Barry Sheen, Keith Berry, Jim Bacon, Joy
Davies, Yul Brynner and Fred Hollows but it is not working.
They are just dead people to me right now. GodÖ. How
powerful this drug nicotine is!!!!
Day 11 October 10th
10.27pm. I just had
a cigarette. Stupid I know. Waste of time really. I donít
feel any better than I did five minutes ago. I want another
one straight away.
pathetic. The need for a cigarette has been with me since
day one. Now I have done it, it hasnít made any difference.
I still want one. I think Iíll always want one.
Day 6 January 6th
Well there we goÖ a
two month break from this journal. What does that tell you?
Iíll tell you whatÖ that I have been smoking again. I tried
my hardest to limit it to just a few a day and I was
successful up to a point. The point, even if it is pathetic
is that I never did go back to full scale full on smoking.
But, it began creeping up again. It always does. Five a day
in no time turns into ten a day. Once again I had trouble
breathing and had a shocking cough. Phlegm? I could write a
book about Phlegm. So gross. LOL
I decided that New
Year was as good as time as any to make a resolution to quit
entirely. So here I am on day six of no fags. Iím taking
Champix again. It still makes me feel nauseous
but not nearly as bad it did in week 9 of my previous
attempt. More often than not I only take one dose in the
morning. I hate to feel nauseous
in the evening.
I am looking forward
to a future that is not ruled by a craving for nicotine.
Day 35February 4th
Iím into the second
month of the year without a fag. Actually Iím feeling pretty
confident this time. I still take Champix when necessary but
only half a tablet. Iíve found that half a tablet doesnít
cause the nausea. I donít take them all the time, only when
I need a little help. Last week we went on a 7 day cruise up
to North Queensland. For two days I didnít have any bad
cravings at all and I didnít take Champix and didnít chew
any gum. But then the cravings came back.
I feel I am doing a
lot better this time.
Later: I wrote that
early this morning it is now 9.30pm. I just want to say that
today has been a difficult day. Iíve had cravings nearly all
day which is quite unusual.
Day 59Monday March 1st
Most of the time I
feel OK. It has been mid morning recently that the
craving strikes. If I am busy
and doing stuff I donít give it much of a thought.
Well no thought actually until things start going wrong. One
slight feeling of stress and the cravings rise again.
Now I have to reveal
my most darkest secret. But Iím not going to do that until
Added April 5 2010
and out of sequence
What was that Ďmost darkest secretí ??? I never revealed it
the next night as promised. Now I have forgotten what it
was. Bloody hell, itís even got me intrigued and this is
Day 83 Wednesday 24th
I have almost
completed three months of the year 2010 without a cigarette.
I still have
cravings for nicotine. Often quite serious cravings.
My overall health
has improved. The smokerís cough has gone completely and Iím
pretty well down to zero phlegm. God, I hate that word. I
hate the word phlegm and everything to do with it. I can do
almost anything now without getting breathless. I will
confess here right now that for so many years while I was
smoking I had to have a ventolin puffer. I tried to keep it
hidden away and I tried not to let anyone know that I had to
have a few puffs of it most days just to breathe easy.
Just in case anyone
ever reads this diary I will mention the benefits I have
felt since escaping (notice I didnít say
I can breathe
There is noÖ oh
god.. I can hardly type the wordÖÖÖÖÖ.phlegm.
I do not cough my
guts up in the morning.
I do not have so
many thoughts about dying of smoking related diseases and
feel that I may have a future. I am actually planning for my
future instead of planning for my death which was what I did
when I smoked.
Many people who
escape the nicotine devil report that food tastes much
better. For me there is absolutely no change in the way food
Day 105April 5th
Bloody hell, I can
hardly believe it. Iíve made it into another month. Here it
is the fourth month of the year and I still havenít had a
cigarette this year.
Itís still a battle
everyday. Some days I feel bad but I tell myself that this
type of feeling bad isnít as bad as how I would feel bad if
I had lung cancer.
A note about my dad.
He is 84 now. He quit smoking when he was 80. He was
scheduled to have surgery for his cataracts a couple of
years ago and the doctor told him he had to stop smoking
three days before the surgery. He did and hasnít smoked
since. He was a very heavy smoker all his life. He smoked
about 50 a day until he was about 72 when he cut down to
about 25 a day. I asked him last night if he ever missed
smoking and he said, Ďno not at allí He also commented that
he didnít realise it would be that easy to quit.
He said that smoking
left him with a bad chest though. He has emphysema, so I
guess that qualifies as a Ďbad chestí
Day 138May 8th
OMG. Iíve made it to May.
I know I havenít
overcome the nicotine addiction yet but I really do believe I
have quit smoking for ever.
I wish I could have
done this thirty years ago. But I didnít so no use dwelling
upon it. Iíll have to take my chances as to what damage I
have done to my body.
Iíll tell you a
little story. Some time ago I was waiting in a doctorís
waiting room. Waiting with me were a couple of other people
including a very talkative woman who wanted to share her
life story. Iíd guess she was in her seventies. She told us
that she was a widow. Her husband had died 10 years
previously and she was very angry that he had died and left
her alone for all those years. She told us that he had been
a smoker and had eventually quit when he was 59 years old.
At 69 he died of lung cancer. She said for so long she had
tried to get him to quit but he left it until he was 59 and
that was too late. He had already done the damage. Hmmm..
Iím thinking now. Iím 59.
Day 188July 7th
Over six months now
without a smoke. Iím not over the nicotine addiction yet.
Iím just reading
back on my previous journals and notice that I never
mentioned that I stopped taking Champix. I canít remember
exactly when I stopped taking them. I think I only took them
for a couple of months.
Health benefits from
quitting abound. Well, to be more precise breathing benefits
abound. I never want to go back to the awful feeling of
having such difficulties of breathing.
Day 342December 8th
Havenít been here
much have I? Truth of the matter is that I have quit for
good. I will never smoke again.
Even though it has
been almost a year I still get
January 2nd 2011
Amazing. I have gone
a year without a cigarette. There is not a chance in the
world that I will ever smoke again.
I still get cravings
but I can deal with them.
One year and five
months. Good god. Is this me we are talking about? HeyÖ I
think I really have quit smoking.
wonít ever smoke a cigarette again.
As I drive past
places I see people out on the footpath smoking. Their
workplace obviously does not permit smoking within their
grounds. Itís sad that these people are ostracized by their
addiction. If their addiction was heroin they wouldnít be
sent out to the footpath.
March 14th 2013.
OMG. I quit smoking over three
You can too.
4 Years free. You can't say I
didn't keep trying.
5 Years free.
Quit now. Don't wait as long as I did. It's not
easy but if I did it anyone can.
6 years free. I wish I could
persuade everyone to quit smoking.