Wednesday, September 28, 2016

SELFtember My Quit Story: If I Can Do It, You Can Too



It's hard to believe that summer is coming to a close. I've always said that it's my favorite season, so the end of summer is always kind of bittersweet for me. Part of that feeling probably has something to do with my kids going back to school - another year older and in a new grade -  I'm sure I'm not the only mom who feels a tiny tinge of sadness when packing up outgrown children's summer clothes to pass on to charity. That's the mother in me. But there's another side to the close of summer, and that's the bright promise of change. You know what they say: the only constant is change!

There's something energizing about the arrival of autumn. You can smell it in the air, and see it all around you. There's something that pushes and motivates us to change right along with the seasons. Fall is invigorating, and motivating! What better time to embrace the change and turn September into SELFtember™ - and do something important to take care of YOU? This season, choose change! One of my favorite sayings is, “sometimes you only have to change one thing, and then everything else falls into place.”

One of the biggest and most important healthy changes I've made for myself was to quit smoking. So when Nicorette® asked me to share my quit smoking story, I was eager to do so. I've never talked about it on my blog before, so this is a first.  I'm hoping my story can help motivate someone else to quit!

I smoked for a long time: over 20 years. Wow. Saying that, and seeing it in writing, it's hard to believe that I carried that bad habit for so long. I smoked about half a pack of cigarettes a day. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but that was my average.

I never smoked in my home, or around my kids, only when I was alone, outside, or out with friends in social situations. I enjoyed it and hated it at the same time. I hated the control that I felt that smoking had over my life. It felt as though parts of my life were built and arranged around the horrible habit of smoking. There were times when it was embarrassing and shameful. I smoked when I was happy. I smoked when I was sad. I smoked in the morning, as well as after every meal. I would even smoke after an hour of advanced cardio 3 to 4 times a week for years. My addiction to cigarettes had such a strong hold on me that at times it felt like it controlled much of my life. When you are a smoker you're not completely in control of your life. Your life revolves around having cigarettes, smoking cigarettes, finding other people who are smokers to smoke with, and finding places that allow smoking.


As you can imagine, it gets to be very trying, stressful, and anxiety-provoking living your life like this. I was highly addicted to cigarettes. While certain friends and family members seemed to be able to quit with ease, I struggled. At the same time, I was getting more and more tired of smoking. I was tired of the lingering bronchitis that I seemed to develop when winter rolled around. I was tired of spending so much of my hard earned money on something that was hurting me. I was tired of waking up in the morning with the wheeze. But most of all, I was sick and tired of the control that smoking had over my life.

I was determined to quit. As a matter of fact, I tried to quit four times, and each time I was very determined, and certain that that time I would be a success. There is no such thing as a person who can control their smoking and turn it on and off like it's an electronic device. Slip-ups are bound to happen. The important thing to remember is to not let one cigarette undo all the positive progress you have done. Staying both positive and realistic about quitting is the best mentality you can have.

Fast-forward another year when I found myself on the Internet, researching ways to quit smoking. I reached out to friends and family members who had quit and asked for their best advice. It was my sister-in-law, Chris, who gave me a life-changing, key piece of advice that changed the way I thought about the whole process of quitting. Chris told me that I had to see myself as a non-smoker, as opposed to seeing myself as a smoker who was trying to avoid smoking.

It wasn't until I made the conscious decision and that I was a non-smoker, that I was able to mentally separate myself from the habit of smoking. In each of my previous attempts to quit, I viewed myself as "a smoker who was trying to avoid smoking." That was probably the first real mental change that helped me beat my habit.

But I still had to deal with the other half of my struggle, the physical part, and that was finding a replacement for the nicotine that my body was so used to craving. After scouring quit smoking message boards and forums and reading how many people had success with nicotine replacement therapy (a.k.a. NRT) I decided to give it a try.

My doctor recommended that I start out with the NicoDerm® CQ® patches. I was amazed by how well NicoDerm® CQ® worked for me. I'm not going to say quitting wasn't uncomfortable, because it was. The first couple of days I really had to push through the cravings but it truly got easier every day.

I was amazed by how things changed within just a few days. The stains faded from my fingertips within a week. My hair and clothes now smelled fresh and clean. When I woke up in the morning I could take a deep breath without any wheezing. I truly felt like I was back in control of parts of my life that cigarettes had previously been in control of.

And now, as I check one of the quit smoking apps that I have on my phone, I see that I have been a non-smoker for one year, six months, 3 days. Be sure to check out and register for the Nicorette® and NicoDerm® MyQuit, which is an email support program based on where you are in your quit process and customized for your chosen product - because the support you need in your first week is different than the support you need in your last!  Remember to continue following all product directions though!

Register today for the MyQuit program, and get a $5 coupon via Quit.com website! 
BONUS – Coupons.com is offering a separate $10 coupon, available for download during September/October that can be used at any retailer that sells Nicrotte® and NicoDerm CQ® on the MyQuit website!

Do I still get cravings? On occasion, but only very rarely. I have a friend who still smokes and I can sit across from her and it doesn't bother me at all. I have no desire to go out and buy cigarettes. I will never go back to smoking again. I know all too well the struggle of the smoker who wants nothing more than to quit. I will never go down that road again. There's an amazing sense of freedom that comes from quitting. I am so happy to be a success, and I truly thank Nicorette® and NicoDerm® CQ® for the help. 

*Behavioral support program increases chances of success. Use as directed.
Visit Nicorette® on Facebook, on Twitter: @Nicorette and @NicoDermCQ and YouTube.

How did you quit smoking? Did you use NRT? Tell me in the comments for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card!

Entry Instructions:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 9/28– 10/31
Be sure to visit the Nicorette(R) brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!
Sweepstakes is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by Nicorette(R) or GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare


78 comments:

  1. Luckily I never smoked.

    willgriesmer@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. https://twitter.com/willgriesmer/status/781247514175496194

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  3. Although I was an occasional social smoker I was lucky that I did not get addicted. Now that I have kids, I haven't smoked in years.

    kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

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  4. tweet
    https://twitter.com/Kellydpa/status/781544101107867648

    kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

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  5. I tried smoking once and hated it.. no problem quitting!

    groogruxking40 @ gmail dot com

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  6. I have never been a smoker but my grandpa quit cold turkey without any help when his grandson was born. yarbr012 at gmail dot com

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  7. https://twitter.com/yarbr012/status/781607650383503362 yarbr012 at gmail dot com

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  8. I didn't have to quit but my friend did. She just finally decided not to do it, so I guess it was cold turkey.
    maddiembrubaker (at) gmail {dot} com

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  9. Tweet link: https://twitter.com/shala_darkstone/status/781641528963850240

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  10. My mom was a heavy smoker and that prevented me from ever starting. However, I watched my husband quit. He stopped cold turkey which I find absolutely amazing!
    dmarie824 at aol dot com

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  11. tweeted - https://twitter.com/dmarie824/status/781861227332980738

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  12. I quit about 6.5 years ago. I gave the gift of quitting to my wife for graduating with her PhD in Biology. Like you and many others, I tried several times to quit over the years. I started smoking when I was 16 — 44 years ago — so I smoked for about 38 years. The last time I tried to quit, I was very successful. I have been with my wife for about 22 years. She is a non-smoker. I know that smoking wasn't good for either of us or our cats, but I couldn't commit to quitting. I had used the Nicoderm patches several times. My father-in-law even paid for it one time. {I think that's the reason he didn't like me, but that's another story.} About 6 weeks before my wife graduated, I started on the strongest patch. I followed the program. I agonized over not finding something to replace the act of smoking. I never did find the replacement. While on the lowest dose patch, we had a large group of people over for the graduation party. I would slip onto the back porch and smoke about 1/3 of a cigarette. It got me through the anxiety of having so many people over. Eventually, I found myself at the point where I was smoke-free. Once I gave my wife the gift of not smoking, I couldn't {and haven't} slipped back into the old habit. We all feel better from me quitting. There is some lingering smoke small in my crafting paper, but, for the most part, the smell is gone. And, we are living happily ever after. {P.S. One should not smoke while using a nicotine patch. This method worked for me, though I will not advocate even smoking 1/3 of a cigarette while on the patch.} Thank you for your story.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I did you NRT. Took a number of tries, but it did really help.
    Thanks so much.
    rickpeggysmith(at)aol(dot)com

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  14. Tweeted: https://twitter.com/peg42/status/782002162503184384
    Thanks again.
    rickpeggysmith(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  15. I never started smoking, luckily.
    jslbrown2009 at aol dot com

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  16. I quit smoking cold turkey on my own. I did not want to quit, but my boyfriend kept bugging me about how bad it is that I gave it up. I tried to go back and smoke again, but my throat bothered me so much that I quit for good. I am so glad I did.

    jewelwood55(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  17. tweet-https://twitter.com/JewelWood/status/782549307371118592

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  18. https://twitter.com/mitadav/status/782617980622569472

    anmeet1@yahoo.com

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  19. I have never smoked. I actually am allergic to cigarette smoke! I have a few family members that do and are trying to quit. Thank you for the chance to win this.

    allisonrsdswain(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  20. Tweeted:

    https://twitter.com/allisonrswain/status/782625792576655360

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  21. I have never smoked but the only way I have seen people quit smoking is by quitting cold turkey.
    reklaw422 at Hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  22. I ending up quitting, mostly, cold turkey. A few smokes here and there before I stopped completely. :)
    anastasiafalling@gmail.com

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  23. Tweeted :) - https://twitter.com/Enter_Now/status/782817375477313541

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  24. I have never smoked so no need to quit, never had any desire try.

    prettyinhotpink6 at gmail dot com

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  25. Tweet: https://twitter.com/PrettyHotPink6/status/782959749138518017

    prettyinhotpink6 at gmail dot com

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  26. I tried several things (the patch, gum, lolly pops and Chantix) before I finally quit smoking. One morning I woke up, had a cigarette and thought it tasted so bad that I never smoked again.

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  27. https://twitter.com/RachelGriesmer/status/783133878986964995

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  28. I have never smoked. I know my grandfather quits cold turkey.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

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  29. tweet-https://twitter.com/tcarolinep/status/783137988922441728

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  30. I have never tried smoking but good to know about NRT.

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  31. Twitter entry: https://twitter.com/joti67/status/783365646784589825

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  32. I have never smoked but it's good to know there are effective aids like NRT to help people who want to stop.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Tweet
    https://twitter.com/clc408/status/785501385727025152

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  34. I am getting closer to quitting for health reasons.
    heather hgtempaddy@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. I tweeted today
    https://twitter.com/myway070/status/785994820279865345
    heather hgtempaddy@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  36. I have never smoked but both my parents did. They both quit when they started developing health problems. Their reason to quit was to get healthier. My Mom used NRT. My SIL recently quit after smoking for over 30 years.

    s2s2 at cox dot net

    ReplyDelete
  37. https://twitter.com/susan1215/status/786002559873847296

    s2s2 at cox dot net

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  38. i didn't smoke much so i quit cold turkey

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  39. https://twitter.com/raggammuffin/status/787373141559566337

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  40. I've never smoked but I think this would be a great product for smokers who want to quit.

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  41. tweet--https://twitter.com/mami2jcn/status/788030688931016704

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  42. I don't smoke but this sounds like a great option for my friend who does!

    deeg131 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  43. I tweeted for an additional entry. Thanks for the chance! https://twitter.com/DeeGee13/status/788394366163443719

    deeg131 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  44. I haven't quit yet - but I've been reading a stop smoking book to psych myself up to quit by the end of this month!

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  45. https://twitter.com/LAMusing/status/788664763832164352

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  46. I never smoked but living healthier is going to help me enjoy future grandchildren and life in general!

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  47. I quit smoking at the end of a summer, when I put out my last cigarette, got in the car, and drove back to college. That drive seemed longer than ever, because I always smoked when I was driving. But more than thirty years later, I'm still a non-smoker. It wasn't easy, but I did it!
    [notheranneother {at} gmail {dot} com]

    ReplyDelete
  48. I shared your quit story and the Nicorette giveaway on Twitter:
    https://twitter.com/NotherAnneOther/status/790259141411479552
    Thanks!
    [notheranneother {at} gmail {dot} com]

    ReplyDelete
  49. I have never smoked, but I have friends who have used Nicorette, Nicoderm, or simply quit cold turkey.

    ReplyDelete
  50. tweeted
    https://twitter.com/rubylorikeet/status/790343705961992192

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  51. 1st, congrats! I know, as a fellow addict, how hard it can be to quit an addiction. I am still eating my feelings, so I have not been able to beat my addiction yet. That said, I have never smoked. My drug of choice has always been food.
    Angie
    14earth at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  52. I tweeted here: https://twitter.com/MsTofuFairy/status/791663348454715393
    Angie
    14earth at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  53. I don't smoke.But my aunt stopped smoking because her grandson had asthma

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  54. tweet https://twitter.com/ChelleB36/status/791809538320134144

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  55. I quit just by going cold turkey & eating a lot of sunflower seeds many years ago. Thanks for an awesome giveaway!

    Andysavi.Mom@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  56. I tweeted

    https://mobile.twitter.com/saverang/status/791876411241865216

    Andysavi.Mom@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  57. I've never smoked, and I never could do it because of the negative impact on one's health.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Tweeted! https://twitter.com/pixel_berry_pie/status/792174118443495424

    ReplyDelete
  59. I'm not a smoker, but my husband was for 30 years. He quit cold turkey about 10 years ago.
    eswright18 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  60. Tweeted
    https://twitter.com/eswright18/status/792478530848235520
    eswright18 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  61. I went cold turkey to quit smoking. I know I tried a lot of things before that and I guess I just was not ready! my4boysand1@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  62. I tweeted my4boysand1@gmail.com
    https://twitter.com/my4boysand1/status/792516178614820864

    ReplyDelete
  63. i havent quit... yet
    sherricrawford70atyahoodotcom

    ReplyDelete
  64. Thankfully I have never started smoking - inspiring story you have though. truckredford(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  65. https://twitter.com/eliza_elliott/status/792751863502213120 truckredford(at)gmail(dot)com

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  66. I've never smoked but my granddaughter wanted to quit when she knew she would be having a baby. She went the route of hypnosis and it actually worked. She has been a non smoker for over a year now.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Tweet - https://twitter.com/willitara/status/792873594174910464

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  68. I never Smoked, but my husband did.. he went cold turkey and it was rough.

    ReplyDelete
  69. https://mobile.twitter.com/arress83/status/792878646730129408

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  70. I never smoked.

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  71. tweeted
    https://twitter.com/thomasmurphy40/status/792935116494499840

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  72. I'm glad this worked for you. Children are the most important reason.
    Thanks for the contest.

    slehan at juno dot com

    ReplyDelete
  73. https://twitter.com/slehan/status/793191588893593600

    ReplyDelete
  74. I quit smoking by doing it cold turkey. Nothing else worked that I had at my disposal back when I quit.

    ReplyDelete
  75. I publicly Tweeted this giveaway: https://twitter.com/versatileer/status/793192432347254784

    ReplyDelete
  76. #SweepstakesEntry- comment

    I quit smoking last year just by slowly reducing and chewing a lot of gum

    kacor7@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  77. my #SweepstakesEntry tweet:

    https://twitter.com/thrincor/status/793195242241523712

    ReplyDelete