It was very easy to quit. Yes, in the end, it feels easy but to start was very much thoughtful.
18th January 2018 was the day when I thought let’s not buy cigarettes for today. And since then till today I’ve never smoked one.
I’ve been smoking cigarettes almost since 2008. It started when I just wanted to try it and then told a few of my friends about it. And they were like, “That is not the way to smoke. Let me show you how.” Since then I’ve hardly thought of quitting. Not thinking about the future and enjoying the present was the mind back then. I always used to start my day with a stick continue until the end of the day. I used to smoke around 10 sticks per day. I’ve had fights with a lot of my friends where they advised me not to but I always wanted to smoke. A few years later a few of my friends said, “Anybody can quit except Sandesh.” Because I never even planned to think about quitting. I even had a circle of friends where we had the same wavelength. “We’ll quit whenever we have to. But for now, let’s smoke and chill.”
I think age and self realization played a very important role in quitting. Around a year before quitting I started with alternatives for smoking. I tried my friend’s Vape for a very short period of time. But it was a very tedious process. I tried E-cigarette. Every other alternative was very limited and again jumped back to a regular habit.
Subconsciously I started thinking to quit but I never attempted to do it. I also read a few pages of this book called “Easy ways to Stop Smoking” by Allen Carr but that was also not helping me. Every day for around 5 minutes I searched for some tips or how-to or advice or something like that to quit the habit but I never tried. So I just kept giving information to my subconscious mind that I have to quit. ‘When’ was not the question, but someday I had to.
I had 2 regular habits which I used to follow no matter what. Whenever I left my house for whatever reason, I first stopped at the cigarette shop and smoked my first stick and whenever I was about to go home in the night, I smoked my last cigarette. And in between, I had no count of it. The day before I quit I smoked around 6-7 sticks.
And the day when I quit, I never planned to do it. I woke up and I was ready to leave for my work. I just thought of not buying a smoke that day not thinking about quitting but just testing myself. I had a regular day. Whenever my colleagues went on a smoke break I was just scrolling through Reddit. Few days passed and I really thought I could do it. There were a lot of people who were like “Let’s see how much can you control. Someday you will smoke.”
All type of criticism and discouragement will surround you, but you always have to filter out the words you hear. Not everything is helpful but not everything is painful. You always have to be a good listener and absorb whatever suits you. Some things might not help you but I suggest you definitely should try.
A few months later my close friends also quit. And later one of them told me that I inspired him to do it. It was a moment to cherish. After that statement from him, I told myself that I’ll never ever smoke again.
It’s been 1.5 years now. I feel a lot more clear from inside. My taste buds are now better. I love my food now. Ofcourse, it will take a few more years to feel much better but this is the start. I still go out of breath when I run, but I know it will not get worse. I never encouraged anyone to smoke but I never tell them to not do it. It’s just the right moment of self realisation. Just don’t miss that moment. Cheers.
— Sandesh Rao
Muchas Gracias Sandesh for writing this beautiful and inspiring post.