Tuesday, October 21, 2003

One month and counting ...

It has been just over a month since I’ve decided to quit smoking and I thought that it was about time to take stock of what I have been through since then.

I decided to quit smoking partly because I had promised myself that I would quit if the price of a pack of cigarettes went above RM5 which it did after the last tax increase on tobacco. I also thought that I’ve smoked for long enough in my adult life that it would surely hit me back as health problems if I persisted with my nicotine habit. So with those reasons in mind, I choose a Friday to have my last cigarette and quit smoking cold turkey after that. I had to go though some mild withdrawal symptoms from the absence of nicotine in my system for about a week which I have to say freaked me out a bit at the time. Once I passed that hump, it was slightly smooth sailing after that.

About 2 weeks into not smoking, I began to realize that my sense of smell and taste were returning. My nose suddenly became more sensitive to scent than usual that I would often came back from work in the evening with a stuffed nose. I guess that all those cells in my nose that have been burnt off in my years of smoking are beginning to grow back. Smells were getting intense for a time until I was able to get a handle on it. On the plus side as well, my fingers don’t smell of cigarette anymore. I also lost the yellowish tinge that I had before on my finger tips from all the smoking. My sense of taste also recovered from the years of abuse and everything tastes better now. This of course becomes a problem for me as I find myself eating more since I stopped smoking. In the month that I’ve stopped, I’ve put on an additional 5 kg of body weight. My next goal is to start losing that additional weight before the end of the year.

My mother is of course ecstatic to learn that I’ve quit smoking since she has been on my case about it for ages. My dad not so much because me quitting just adds to the pressure that he gets from my mum for him to quit smoking. The people at work have been very supportive of my decision when they notice that I no longer take smoking breaks every hour on the hour as I would usually do. Some of them even go to the extent of supplying me with tidbits to help with the cravings. For a time, I would always find something left on my desk for me when I came into the office in the morning. Good thing that they have stopped that nowadays as it was fast becoming embarrassing. I do still miss my smoking buddies who I would just sit and smoke a cigarette with before. I still would see them in the halls but our conversations feel different compared to the ones we had while on a smoke break. I have only recently trusted myself enough to be able to resist the temptation to smoke at the places that I used to smoke so I might just be able to go back to the familiar smoking corner for a chat with them soon.

Well, a month has passed and I still have 2 months more to beat my old record. I hope I could do it although it is still to early for me to know for sure. A friend of mine who quit sometime back told me that if things get too hard its OK for me to have a cigarette to help tide things over. He says that it is OK as long as I know that I can control it but I’m not too sure that I can if I fall off this bandwagon. At least not yet. I still have a ways to go before I can be sure that I can smoke one cigarette and not revert back to the nicotine fiend I was.

A ways to go before I find the will power to resist, a ways to go before I sleep.

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