I swear my breathing feels worse. Not short of breath in the 'gasping for breath' sense... but like I can't quite fill my lungs with oxygen.
Damn this is uncomfortable.
Edited to add: The squeamish should not read on (you've been warned) - just coughed up something that looked like chewed up Weetabix. Christ. How much more of that in my lungs?!
The funny thing is, the more scared I am about the physical effects of smoking, the more I want to smoke. Read the whole 'the difference between a slip-up and a relapse' thing. The nicotine monkey on my back is telling me I could have a 'planned' slip up this evening when Boyfriend comes over. We'll probably go to the pub for a couple of drinks since he's been revising hard all day. The thought of sitting in a pub garden puffing away is so damn tempting. Ergh. Must be strong!
23 Hours, 38 Minutes and Counting
I nearly started this entry with 'Made it through the night!' Which would have been a wee bit melodramatic. I think quitting yesterday morning was a good shout - it meant I slept (sort of) through the worst of the 24 hour craves. Kind of coughed less this morning too - still hacked up some lovely crap though.
I think half the problem is my lungs sound better when I'm smoking 20 a day than they do when I smoke 4. 4-a-day means my lungs have long periods of time when they start to waft out all the tar, mucus and other smoking related lovelies. But when I smoke 20, the cilia (or whatnot) die off completely and until I get one of my bi-monthly chest infections, my chest is pretty OK.
The cravings have been pretty strong but not unbearable. Mostly because I'm slightly dosed up on anti-anxiety meds, but I like to think a bit of willpower crept in there somewhere.
'Keeping busy' yesterday was a total and utter failure. Spent most of the day in bed. Have some work experience geared up soon which will be good. I need something to do with my days or I get depressed - regardless of whether or not I'm smoking.
I did manage to meet my Mum for a few drinks. 3 'Vodka-and-Diet-Coke-Please's later (one, I'm a lightweight and two, I was with my Mum, you judge-y people!) I was sorely tempted. It pissed with rain all day, but by the evening it was all nice and fresh and sunny and I had this lovely image of sitting on the roof terrace savouring just one cigarette. I did well to resist. Pats on both shoulders, thank you very much. Two things stopped me:
1) You can't just buy one cigarette. And once you buy even a ten deck, you still have the other nine to contend with. I know from previous experience I cannot just have nine cigarettes lurking in my handbag or drawers. I suppose I could have bummed one off one of the teenagers that sit outside my building smoking... Anyway, I didn't. Go me.
2) The number of times I've done well during the day only to have a ah... 'herbal' concoction in the evening (mixed with tobacco) has been my undoing over the last few months. It sparks the cravings.
Right now it's a sunny morning. There is a good chunk of me that would love to nip downstairs (I live above a small supermarket) buy a ten deck and stare at the city view. I realise I could just do it without the cigarettes, but the ritual's not the same. And I do know deep down that regardless of how pleasant that cigarette was, next time I coughed or wheezed or forced myself to exhale to check my wheezing, I'd feel awful. Guilt is bad for your lungs!
In 24 minutes I'll have done 24 hours. Cold Turkey. I'm a tiny bit proud and a big bit irritable. Time to get dressed.
And we're off
Smoked my last cig. I'm conscious of not saying 'fag' since I've heard that offends Americans ;) It was kind of revolting, really. I feel like every time I smoke I can feel my chest closing up and crying out for o2. Here's to a better me.
Plus it's satisfying getting to press the 'level up' button.
Cough, cough, go away...
According to the countdown, I'll be smoking my last cigarette in 15 minutes. OK technically, half a cigarette. Then that's it. The end. Bye bye nicotine. In some ways I'm so excited to be 'free' (yes, I've been reading Allen Carr.) In another, I'm terrified. Of what, I'm not exactly sure. Perhaps it's those warm summer evenings in the pub where everyone sits outside and puffs away. I'll miss that.
I mean, obviously I'll still be able to sit outside, but there's something about the nature of smoking itself (as opposed to a simple nicotine crutch) that makes you honestly believe nothing could ever be as enjoyable without a cigarette as it would be with one.
But the pay off is that wheeze, the constant infections. I've always had a weak, chest - ever since I was little. And I think something in my body (some things - my lungs) have just had enough. I don't know if I've just become more paranoid about my chest and every little rattle or cough - or if it's genuinely become worse, but I'm scared. I'm 22. I'm too young to have COPD or lung cancer or...
I should probably mention I suffer from severe anxiety. I take Sertraline (Zoloft for anyone in the US) but more recently, a preoccupation with my health has been the prime manifestation of my constant panic. To smoke therefore seems ridiculous - I know the minute I spark up a cigarette, I'm letting myself in for a day of constant forced breathing (to check if the wheeze is worse) and spitting phlegm into tissues then examining it for blood. Not attractive. Despite 2 clear chest X rays and a normal lung function test, when I'm smoking I'm constantly convinced I have some terrible chronic disease and that it's all my fault.
It's also difficult because (do you get the impression I'm making excuses?) my boyfriend of 3 years is still smoking. Last time I quit, in 2011, it was for him. Therefore the petulant child in me now things 'So why can't you quit for me now?'
Unfortunately the poor bastard's still in the middle of his first year law school exams, so he's unbelievably stressed out. It's been a difficult year for both of us - not in terms of our relationship, more just life in general - and after tears and arguments we decided together that he would tackle the big quit after his exams.
Hm. Looks like it's time to go and smoke that half-cig. Don't even want it that much to be honest. Afterwards, I think the most important thing is to keep busy. I've got a list of things I need to do today - make several admin-y phone calls, do a grocery shop, meet my Mum in the evening. So all of those things should distract me, providing I can muster up the courage to climb out of bed.
So here goes nothing. I have gum and a chest that sounds like I'm 90. No more excuses, it's time to start living.