Not smoking in the office

It’s odd how those little habitual things dig at you. A day back working in the office today. Lots of my colleagues smoke and normally I would be joining them outside, regardless of the weather. Today, I’m not.

Most of the time this is no big hardship. I even joined them a couple of times just for the chat and standing there, not smoking, as they puffed away, seemed easy, almost natural. I half expected me to be watching them take a drag with “envious eyes”, it really wasnt like that.

The post lunch smoke was a different matter altogether. Damn. Blast. Bugger.

Three minute cravings? B****cks. More like fifteen.

Yet it passed, I’m fine and feel better for resisting.

Today is…

…a big day. For many reasons, personal and professional.

From a personal perspective, I’ve passed the three week watershed of giving up smoking. Sometimes it is a total piece of cake, other times, well, let’s skim over those, they don’t last very long anyway.

It’s also just under two weeks since being admitted to hospital with a burst blood vessel in my neck – did I mention that giving up smoking must be bad for your health. As it stands, I have one eye which is normal, the other one opens about 75% as much as the normal one and the pupil is about half the size. There has frequently been exchanges at home where my wife and family have said “What’s wrong? What was that look for?”. Then I remind them, this is just how I look now!

I checked it out in the mirror and tried to convince myself it was improving, even to the point where I said to my wife “Hmmm, I think it’s getting better”. She disagreed. Always the realist she is. Thanks darling, a little encouragement goes a long way. I am working on the premise that the power of positive thinking can help my eye repair itself. Okay, I know, I’m f*ked, but I am not ready to admit that just yet. Apparently the headaches will ease over time and the doc says it might repair itself. So there.

Workwise I’ve got alot on. I’m working on two projects, one software related, the other, more structural. The next two weeks are going to be really pivotal and there has been a fair amount of stress around them. The doc did say to take it easy. So I am. Kind of. I am working sensible, normal hours and not burning the midnight oil.

And I am exercising. Nothing earth shattering, but it can be a good way of maintaining a calmer outlook and approach.

That’s my rambling for the day. Now to go do some actual work.

Three weeks…almost

Tonight, at just after 11pm, I will have been off the cigarettes for three weeks – wow – 21 days. That is pretty amazing.

It isn’t that I never thought I would make it this far, I just didn’t allow myself to think this far ahead. There is merit in the saying “stop smoking one cigarette” at a time.

I was the sort of person who would become anxious when my pack was running low, though most of the time I would have a spare second pack sitting in my coat pocket or laptop bag. The thought of running out would freak me out a little.

Some things I have discovered:

  • Cigarettes are not my friend, they are life sucking little b*****ds
  • Cravings for a cigarette don’t really last very long, they come, they go, whether you smoke one or not
  • Preparing a list of distractions and treats help when trying to get past those cravings
  • The cravings don’t ever seem to disappear completely, I still find myself hankering after a smoke several times a day
  • I can smell and taste things I was oblivious before
  • I can breath more easily (which makes me thing of “Tunes….make you breath more easily, but I digress)
  • There are some amazing people on here, willing to share their thoughts and feelings about giving up – not just those who have given up, but also those thinking about it
  • There are just as many prejudiced, judgemental people who have no idea of how it feels to be a smoker
  • And finally… is worth it, well worth it, to give up, but it is a question of motivation and you have to have the right reasons to successfully stop smoking.

So all of you good people who are battling with giving up, good luck and hang on in there.

What’s your strategy?

At the start of this, I spent several weeks building myself up mentally to not smoking. Thoughts on health and wealth, things I could do to distract myself and all such things.

I am a week and a half in and sometimes it is easy, other times it isnt.

My strategies and distractions are not working like they did. I find myself wondering whether there will always be this urge to smoke and am coming to the conclusion that probably, yes, though the occurrences may become less frequent.

I need some ideas on new things to take my mind away from it. If you have some thoughts on this, feel free to share them with me.

Dirty filthy things, those cigarettes!