I was a cigarette smoker for 15 years. I am proud to say that today is my second year anniversary of the day I decided to end the deadly habit.
I was really young when I started smoking cigarettes. It was curiosity that led me to the addiction. It evolved from trying a menthol cigarette I stole from our gardener, to buying my own pack—almost every other day. I lit a cigarette every time it was possible. I even wished I could smoke inside of the office.
|My friends and I sharing a couple of beers in cold Baguio a few years ago. We all have our own cigarette packs!|
It was only when I decided to take care of myself that I chose to give up the habit. Here is how I did it:
Quitting smoking the practical way
This involves just one big step and that is to just STOP. Quit smoking cold turkey. Electronic cigarettes can't do the quitting for you. They just prolong the addiction.
What to expect:
It will be hard. The first three months is the hardest. I suggest that you surround yourself with non-smokers during these months. My boyfriend and I decided to quit at the same time. It helped that we went through the whole adjustment period together.
- You will be very irritable. This happens on and off for six months. When you feel irritable, don’t forget to breathe. Inhale long and deep, and exhale slowly. Then scratch your head. I really did scratch my head. It is frustrating, but I knew I had to keep on fighting that urge to taste and feel another drag.
- Your self-control will be tested. Refrain or lessen activities which you usually pair with smoking—like drinking alcohol or coffee, waiting and doing nothing, or going to cold places. These are just a few examples. Smoking can be paired to almost everything.
- You will gain weight. To intensify your detoxification, it would be great if you include regular exercise during this challenging phase. Keep yourself busy by shopping, painting, writing, reading, taking care of your younger siblings or pamangkins, or doing volunteer work.
Ending a habit is a continuous battle. Just believe in yourself, stick to your decision and think of the advantages of continuing to be a non-smoker. For the most part of it you will be healthier; you may live longer, breathe easier, have more time to do good-for-you things, and even save money.
And now, let's find the (not so) hidden yosi. Yosi is the Filipino slang for cigarette stick. Some photos I got from my old social networking accounts.
|2004 in Baguio; while my friends and I waited for our tour guide.|
|2004 at Boracay's Bom Bom Bar; while my friend and I waited for our cocktails.|
|2005 in Boracay; while doing nothing, I decided to take a photo of my slippers.|
|2009 during my birthday get together. My friend, Joel, had stopped smoking cigarettes, too!|