According to North Carolina Quit Coach, that is how long it has been since I’ve had a cigarette. And it should be fairly accurate. I smoked my last cigarette and logged in to say that was it, I am done.
It hasn’t been an easy forty-two days, I’m not going to lie. There have been a couple of times I wanted to scream out in frustration at the top of my lungs then run to the gas station and buy a pack, just so I could chain smoke all twenty cigarettes. (I smoked a little over a pack a day, so chain smoking twenty at once would be extreme, even for me.)
I have had some help though, and I think that’s the only reason I have made it this far. My doctor put me on a low dose of Wellbutrin (an anti-depressant that has been shown to be an effective anti-smoking aide) and recommended I use nicotine gum in addition to help me fight the cravings. (Nothing against the other nicotine aides, but the patches fell off while I was working out and the lozenges took way too long to dissolve in my mouth.)
I actually only used the nicotine gum the first two weeks and have since switched to chewing a piece of sugarless gum once or twice a day, so I haven’t had any nicotine at all for a month! I’m continuing the Wellbutrin for a few more months at my doctor’s recommendation, just to get me over the hump and make sure I don’t fall back on old habits. If you are reading this and thinking about taking steps to quit yourself, I really recommend asking your doctor about using Wellbutrin as a cessation aide. I had tried unsuccessfully twice last year, but this seems to be making the difference. It takes just enough of the edge off to get me through the worst of the cravings without having a cigarette.
The thing I’m noticing now though, I’m not craving cigarettes while I’m awake so much, but I’m smoking in my dreams. In the dream I realize that I’m breaking my streak and I’ll have to stop all over again, but continue to take drags as I think, why couldn’t I have just not lit the cigarette? And you know how sometimes you will realize that you are in a dream? Not during these dreams, I think it’s completely real.
When I wake up, I’m grateful that it was just a dream, but what exactly is it saying about my subconscious? Am I always going to have the part of me that never really wants to quit? Or is it just some lingering nostalgia for something that has been a part of my life for so long, but will eventually fade away?
Whatever the answer, I’m going to continue to take it one day at a time and try to remember that dreams are just dreams.