Wednesday, August 3, 2011
I joined the club of smoking way back in the year 2000. At that time started for fun with one cigarette as a desert to dinner. Time past and the taste gained pace, imperfection became so perfect that it was very difficult to trace down the ethical barrier of pre 2000 era of my life. Before I broke my ethical barrier I used to believe that smoking is ill, such a strong belief that other than my dad all of the smokers in this world was demons.
During my graduation, when I was in my second year, in 1999, my childhood friend started enjoying the drag, initially I felt bad and did not join the club. But since he was my best friend at that time who can never be wrong, I started questioning my ethical barrier, was to be pedantic for a 84mm stick is right, is it so bad? Actually I was seeing few people who are not demon but still smokes. The thought of trying the stick some day was seeded by me in my mind, the food and water to the seed was a tip from my uncle way back when I was 15. One day he said to me, its nothing wrong in trying a bad habit, one should actually try everything, however, wrong is the age when you try. He suggested me to try everything after you turn 21, when you are matured enough to understand that you are only trying and not get addicted. Today when I have crossed 1year and 4months quitting smoking, I think, might he be right, but it took me 10 years to come out of the gusty smog.
I went to hostels for pursuing my MBA where I tried my first cigarette, but only at desert at dinner, believe me no bollywood style cough or feel bad factor for me. May be the only reason to get continue! May be by observation I have already learned the correct style of inhaling. My heart was throbbing, with excitement and fear, in few moments from now, I would be changing my entire belief which i was carrying from past 20 years. In few moments I was about to break my barrier of ethics. I was about to enter a new world of painkiller pills. As smoker boastly said, in tension -cig, in happiness -cig, in sadness -cig, it rains -cig, its hot -cig, its too cold - cig. Cig was associated with all moods and climate.
Goldflake kings to Navycut, and Navycut to Goldflake, from Desert to tea break then the journey just gained the pace. The club became larger, soon I started meeting people or old pals and discovering that they also smoke. Soon I found that my entire surrounding is smoker, even those, whom i used to thought were teetotalers. The nieche build up, the boasting build up and I was enjoying. In just 3years I started felt the first craving for smoke, prior to that I do not used to smoke in weekends when I was home, but offlate our group of 3 close friend switched to an inferior brand as Goldflake king became dearer. I think its that brand which caused craving of nicotine. Feeling thirsty, can't concentrate, mouth was getting dry and throught was demanding something, sleep was not going away from eyes, I had to go out and light one stick, as soon as I inhaled the smoke the pungent thick little chilly little bitter thing moves to lungs a spark of energy is felt in the body. The blood stream stated flowing, heart beat increased and mood started shifting from irritation to good.
That was the second time when I thought to quit smoking, it was a dependency and I do not like any dependency in life. With dependency you are handicapped to perform your best and fulfill your dream. First time when I tried quitting was when my mother boasted to someone that my son would never pick up any bad habit. I sank in guilt to quit smoking before they get to know. I broke all the sticks I had, threw it and thought never to pick them. I consoled myself, before buying a new cig, justify the cigs i just destroyed. The feeling of quiting the club started making a home in me.
But, like every smoker thinks I also thought after every cigerette that this was the last one. But soon you will have craving, and the craving is so damaging, you get irritated, you can fight with your spouse and friend and the loss looks bigger than continue smoking. Many a time I had a smoke table discussion to quit, most of the smoker did want to quit, some tried nicotine gums, some used will power, some were new so could stay away for couple of months but at the end all end up on smoke table conference. Over the time, i developed a cough, lost my stamina to run or walk for long, let aside foot ball or cricket, even while having meals I started sweating, sweating was not there before I used to smoke, I started snoring, I developed acidity. I was ruining my body a temple and harming the god inside. Let aside money which was spent.
Like others, I tried gum, I requested my wife to consider my ill behaviour out of irritation while I try to quit, and tried to help myself through many blogs and tips on internet. People used to say have coffee, but when I did I ran for a cig, it kicked the craving. People say stay away from smoker, thats again a hadicap situation which I never agree.
In April 2010, my wife went to my inlaws for a month, I thought this is the best time to give it a shot. If I fail she won't know, and If I succeed it would be a surprise to her. I analyzed and thought a lot and found the main reason of failure of earlier attempt. What is a Cigerette, not only it creates a nicotine dependency in body, it creates a social accociation with many friends, it creates a psycological and situational associations as described above, like, it rains we smoke, it doesn't rains we smoke, its cold we smoke etc. So, quiting cigrette is a task of paitence. What happens is, when ever you try to quit smoking, you quit it for hours, days or may be a week, supressing your craving but at last you give up and smoke. Its something like holding your breath and after 30sec you start taking double the amount of oxygen you normally breath. After that first cigerette after the break, you demoralize, and start thinking i can't quit, and your counter of those many hours, days or week is reset to zero. The tip is initially do not reset your counter, rather keep moving with stats like, one cig in last 2 days then two cigs last 5 days and keep moving. That does not at all mean you reduce your number of cigerette, that only means that, you still have quit but with a relaxation of few cigerettes when you can't at all live without it. Don't blame if you have one cig even afte qutting, rather pat your back and move on with more will power that no more cig. Within 7 to 10 days your body need of nicotine would be over, now the only craving fight is psychological and not physical. Now what will happen is, every situation in which you used to smoke, you will feel like smoking, one by one break each barrier, it rains, go out with a friend who smoke, hold your feelings, don't smoke and come back to work. Next time it rains, you will not have that urge. You need to break the accociation of cigerrette with your psychology one by one.
For initial days, start feeling the craving and start enjoy the craving with a thought that its something new and it will go away if you smoke. Start enjoying that craving. Remember, you need to make friends the enemy of your enemy at times.
Hope this reading can make you think about your habit, and wish you all the best to come out of it!!! Its bee more than a year for me now, a task which I thought is immpossible. Thanks to my wife and my friends who was there to support me and understand me when I was having a mood swing for this make over. I also thank one of my collegue, Chandan, who became my inspiration and gave daily tips of motivation to achive this milestone.
Its raining today and I am enjoying the rain without smoke, i am free, and out of my impedements!!!!