Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Its Official!! I plan to stop smoking!!!

This is a new year which means new things are about to happen. At least for me that is. And yes you did read the title correct....I have decided to quit smoking. This won't be an easy task for me at all since I have been doing this for so long and I usually get pretty mean and eat like a damn pig when I have withdrawals, but hopefully I am going to be getting help through the program my work is offering. Part of my journey includes keeping a diary. I figured since I need to do that anyhow I might as well add my journey to my personal blog. To make things a little interesting I will be posting about my changes and struggles as I try to be at least one month free by June 1, 2013. That is the one and only goal I have right now.

So what made me decide to quit smoking? Well, a few months ago I agreed to signup for my company's "Tobacco-Free Program". I won't lie. I mainly did it because doing so would reduce my insurance costs big time. I know that just sounds so selfish to some or just wrong to others. So be it. I definitely didn't do it based on anyone's thoughts or opinions of me. Yeah I know there are many benefits to becoming a non-smoker and as my time to finalize my enrollment approached I have realized that many of those benefits would do me some good. However, it was mainly because of my insurance costs that helped me to make the decision to quit smoking.
Now, Me being me waited to the last possible moment to finally enroll. I thought I had enrolled on December 20th, however, after talking to a co-worker who also enrolled in the program I decided to make a desperate call yesterday to make sure. We were given until December 31st to enroll or our insurance would in increase starting January 1st, so I wanted to make sure I made the deadline.

Let me just say that enrolling in the program alone ABSOLUTELY FUCKIN SUCKS!! First of all the emails and flyers we were sent only said that we had to either call or we could signup online. Not once did it provide the benefits of each enrollment option nor did it give us step by step instructions on how to complete the online enrollment. I had to hear from my co-worker that when you enroll they have a person call you who will be your coach. I never received a call from anyone. The moment I heard this I called the service my company uses and I was told that the coach is only offered to those who choose the call-in option. Those who do the online enrollment are on our own, but there are exercises and tools for us to use to help us. Righhhhhhhhhhhht. Well, since I already signed up online (or so I thought) that meant I was on my own. Yeah you read correctly. I thought I was enrolled completely, but when I asked the young lady about receiving the free nicotine patches and/or gum II was told that when I enroll via online there is an order form to have them sent to me. Order Form? What order form? WTH!!!

Needless to say I ended up very frustrated with the website. After talking with the young lady I went to see what I had missed. I clicked on every link listed but each time I was taken to a website that had nothing to do with the program. One might come in handy later, but right now I needed to enroll. Finally I was able to find enrollment information by simply clicking on one of the main menus. This ended up being even more frustrating because I had a quiz and a ton of reading to go through just to see where I needed to start the program and order my patches (which should arrive in about a week).

One of the quizzes I had to take was on "Smoking Addiction". Basically seeing how addicted I am to smoking. Well, people I am VERY ADDICTED. I have been smoking since I was about 15 years old and I am 42 years old now. YOU THINK? Anyhow, the suggestion given?
"You have a high nicotine dependency. We strongly recommend that you consider using a nicotine replacement therapy in combination with changes in behavior to help you quit tobacco."
Well, DUH!!! Like I didn't already know this, but I understand it's a process so I continue on to my next part to preparing to quit.

Once I got through all that crap I discovered I had exercises to do. Wonderful right?! Mostly so that once I eventually get to Step 3 in the program I can begin actually not smoking. Needless to say I am not past Exercise 1 tonight. Exercise 1 was to list my trigger behavior. List all the things that trigger my cravings to smoke. Ok I can do that. My answers for "I smoke when I ..." are:
  • am stressed.
  • am bored.
  • encounter a very difficult challenge when designing a website.
  • get nervous.
  • am driving.
  • first wake up in the morning.
  • finish eating a meal.
  • take a break at work.
  • am drinking.
  • get upset/angry.

Yeah, yeah...I know that is pretty much an all day thing. Anyhow, that part seemed easy enough. Didn't mind it, but then it came to listing my Trigger Plan. Wow!!! Not going to be an easy task AT ALL!!!! See I am suppose to be listing the things that I can do when these trigger events take place daily. The problem I have absolutely no clue and the website does not even provide you with a list of possible examples. Yep!! Which means now I have to Google for quit smoking coping ideas or strategies. Lots of ideas I found. Good websites to read up on, but I won't be listing them tonight.

Which leaves me to the end of tonight's journey...at least as far as that part is concern. I am going to continue reading through all this crap that feel is important. I will think about these trigger alternatives in order to add them tomorrow so that I can go on to Exercise 3. I even plan to install a quit smoking tracking app on my cell so I can start monitoring each time I smoke. I may not have started out deciding to quit for health reasons and all those other wonderful reasons most people do, but doesn't mean I won't give this a try because of them at all. However, I will be taking this journey one day at a time. That is all I can do.
Until tomorrow night!!!