My favorite part about quitting was that my hair smelled like shampoo at the end of the day, not just at the beginning. I started buying really nice shower gels and shampoos and stuff at that point. :)
Speaking of gross yellow stuff, you should be aware that a lot of people get sick when they first quit. The two explanations I've heard are that the stress of withdrawal weakens your immune system, and that your lungs start trying to expel all the tar and other mung they've been accumulating. It'll pass, though.
The two big immediate upsides I noticed were a dramatic increase in lung capacity, and that I could smell the world again.
You think another TMI might help? How about when one sneezes or coughs, and the tissue is brown because that's what color one's lungs are? YUCK!! That's a good reason to quit right there.
See if Zyban is right for you. */end commercial advertisement* It really helps with psychological triggers too--the physical cravings go away in 2-3 days. For me it was talking on the phone, drinking tea or coffee (or especially alcohol), driving, sitting outside, in the shower, etc. (OK, I'm kidding about the shower, but just barely.) I started cutting smoking out of those activities one by one before I actually quit (e.g. got a newish car, and didn't want it to smell, so never smoked in it), so that removed several psycho. triggers off the bat, even before I quit.
As for tea, coffee, and alcohol... I ended up having to just do without them for a while. Now it doesn't make me crave cigs at all to have a beer or cuppa, but then it was my downfall many times.
Hope it helps, npydyuan! :) Keep up the good work. I wish you all the best.
Wow! Thanks for the encouragement and discussion, y'all. I'm intrigued by the idea of changing my identity to "someone who doesn't smoke." Maybe I should look into the Zyban thing--oddly, it never occured to me to use drugs to kick the drug. My biggest problem with quitting before has always been the triggers--social or personal rituals that just seem to call out for that little accoutrement, that lagniappe. After the first few days, I don't feel a craving as a physical thing so much, but the psychological pull is sometimes overwhelming. But maybe even that is attributable to the nefarious workings of the nicotine.
Actually, the point about ashmouthing is peculiarly pertinent. Just deciding to quit because I know I should has never worked; nor have reason, nor logic, nor civic responsibility. What tipped me over the edge this time was a little experience I had while washing my hands in the restroom at work. I was making faces at the mirror (of course), and stuck my tongue out hyperfar--and it was yellow. Way in the back, not where anyone else would readily notice it, but. That, I thought to myself, rather horrified, is disgusting. If I should allow that little microvision of Hellish decay to resurface any time I have a craving, I might actually stand a chance!
No offense, but people who smoke smell bad. You don't notice, but it's disgusting. There has to be a good word to describe kissing something who is a smoker, something like ashmouthing, but cooler. I don't know whether those thoughts from a non-smoker help at all, I myself can't smoke, it causes me to cough and tear up.
That's terrific, npydyuan! Don't give up giving up. Even if it doesn't take the first (or second, or third, or fourth) time, it will eventually.
It must have been about the 12th time I tried that it finally worked. Zyban helped quite a bit--I resisted taking it for a long time, finally tried it, and had very few cravings. Almost none, in fact. Nicorette was helpful too, but not by itself. Tried that about five times.
I remember someone in a pharmacy in line behind me, when I was picking up some Nicorette. "Trying to quit, eh?" she said. "That was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, was to lay my cigarettes down," she continued, unbidden. In fact I was trying to ignore her. "I've raised four boys by myself, and they're grown now, but the hardest thing I ever did was lay my cigarettes down." At the time I was really crabby and irritated by this, and figured she was insane as well as chatty. But she's right--it is a very, very hard thing. And the longer you identify yourself as a smoker, the more smoker friends you have... and the harder it is to move on.
For me, I had to decide to change my personality. I identified myself as a smoker or ex-smoker. I had to make a mental shift to be "someone who doesn't smoke" before I could actually stop. Weird but true. I also thought I'd never, ever stop craving cigarettes. On my worst days I thought I'd be shackled to the memory and the craving of it for as long as I lived. But it goes away, and soon you can smell and taste things again, and it's awesome.
Exercise helps. Even just a walk around the block or the building.
There's nothing sage here, but I thought it might help you to know you're not alone.
And this too shall pass. Don't give up giving up. You'll be so glad.