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Hi Everyone,

I lurk here from time to time and I even posted here once or twice a bit back, but I am sure know one here remembers that. Anyhow, beccapooka suggested on another board that I post here sometime. I thought since my one year anniversary was today, I would post today.

I quit smoking after having smoked for almost 18 years. I started just before I turned 21 years old and had only had one brief period of about 9 - 10 months where I had "quit". That brief period had been about 8-9 years before. About 5 years ago I got remarried to a man with two kids. My ex had been a smoker( we were married 13 years)but, my new husband was not a smoker. I didn't like smoking around him even though he had no problem with it. I was always polite and respectful and did not smoke around the children. Actually I didn't smoke anywhere but outside. I always felt so bad around the children having to take my "smoke" breaks. I knew I was showing them something that was bad. I wanted them to learn much better coping mechanism than me but, I just could not give up my smokes. I had had a lot of personal trauma and tragedy in my life and I did not want to let go of the one thing I thought I could count on to be there for me. My smokes were like my best friend. The very thought of giving them up caused me to start wringing my hands. I would almost have panic attacks just thinking about what I would do if life got stressful and I didn't have a cig. Finally last year my health began to get really bad. I was a mess with more sinus infections and allergy problems, you name it. I knew I had to quit.

I also knew I had to have a plan. Patches had not worked for me before. Nothing had. I finally was reading one day and saw where one person had been put on anti depressants to quit. I saw my doctor and talked with him. He knew I had to quit and that I was finally ready so he prescribed Wellbutrin for me. I used it for awhile and then picked a Quit Day. I don't even remember why I chose September 23, 2002. I was ready though. I had gotten rid of the cigs and all the things that go with it. I had stocked the house with all kinds of comfort stuff. You guys know the drill. I won't say it was easy. My poor husband after a few days was almost ready to go and buy me cigs! I was a mean and moody bear at times. I would cry at night for my cigs! I really missed them. I was forced for the first time in a long long time to actually feel so many emotions instead of stuffing them with a puff of smoke. I was so hungry all the time. Remember this was right before Halloween and the rest of the food laden holidays. You can guess what happened. I put on weight like crazy. I did not let that stop me. I had made the commitment to myself that I was going to quit. Everything else was secondary. I would deal with the weight gain later. I would cry all day if I needed to. I would write nasty hatefilled letters to people and get things off my chest.(No, I didn't send them...ha ha ha ha)I did whatever I needed to do, but I did not smoke. I took hour long baths and cried .....I ripped paper.........I cooked whatever I wanted. I felt things.............

The one thing that helped me the most was remembering HALT. I am sure you all have read this. We are most suseptable to bad choices when we are HUNGRY....ANGRY......LONELY.......or TIRED. When I had a bad craving for a cig, I ask myself what am I really feeling. Then I met that need, not smoke the cig. Anyway, here it is a year later. I still want one almost everyday. Saying no to the temptation is a lot easier now though. Time is the answer. In case anyone is wondering, I have been off the Wellbutrin since mid Jan. 2003. I was on it from the first of Sept. 2002 through this Jan. 2003. It really helped me stay "calmer"... ha ha ha. And yes, I am still losing weight. My stepkids are very proud of me and my husband is very proud of me. Most importantly, I am proud of me. It was one of the hardest things I ever did. I am worth it.

I wish you well.........


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