Flavia’s Stop Smoking Journey, Entry 4, It's OK to Stumble
Published at 10 October, 2017.
It is week two of Stoptober and, although I have been trying my best, things haven’t been going so smoothly.
I haven’t had one single cigarette since October started (Yay me!) and I am quite pleased about this. The e-cigarette, on the other hand, is another story; it has been quite hard to resist the urge to vape and quite honestly I wanted to quit both.
My husband uses an e-cigarette as well, and having him vaping near me hasn’t helped me resist the temptation. He is having a stressful time at work, so I don’t want to rob him of his comfort. It was my choice to quit, not his, and people will keep vaping around me whether I like it or not; better get used to it. Besides the constant temptation, I am finding to be much more emotionally dependent of the vaporiser than I had thought. And this, to be fair, is the most significant problem.
Having these issues to deal with, I contacted my advisor and talked with her. I confess I was a bit ashamed because I ended up giving in to temptation, now and then. But Katie was very understanding of my “failures”. She not only acknowledge they may happen from time to time but also said people tend to feel embarrassed to meet their advisor after a little misstep, although they shouldn’t. According to Katie (and I am inclined to agree with her, now), no one is going to judge us, and not going to the meetings because you smoked once will only make you hinder the whole process.
Having placated my shame, I was able to devise a strategy with Katie’s help. We agreed I will observe my vaping habits for a week and will write it all down on a spreadsheet. Afterwards, I will send the spreadsheet to Katie by email, and she will try to come up with suggestions to substitute vaping for another habit, based on my routine.
On my part, I will look at my results and strategically try to cut down my usage. For instance: I can already tell now that I am more likely to vape in the morning while waiting for the train. I could, then, try to reduce my morning vape - maybe do it every other day? I will also write down how many times I refill my tank and will attempt to have a longer interval between fillings. As you can see, the spreadsheet will work as a roadmap and, as I will update it frequently, will be useful to track my progress.
In the meantime, I will continue to use the quit aid products I were prescribed to me. They haven’t been worthless, as I am practically going through the whole day without a puff on my e-cig and have been successful in avoiding cigs.
Hopefully, by using my spreadsheet and the products in tandem, I will, in time, get rid of the e-cigarette for good. I just need to keep in mind that if during my journey I stumble and fall, I don't need to fret or feel shame; the right thing to do is get up, clean the dust and keep going.