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title: "This is how i quit smoking"
date: 2018-01-19T22:04:00+00:00
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- Health

This is a story about how and why i became a smoker. It also documents how i found my way out of it. I hope it inspires some of you who are trying to get rid of this unhealthy hobby. As this is my first "real" blogpost, i would be very happy about some honest feedback. :)

### Why did i even begin with this
Somewhen, in the early summer of 2009, when i was 15 years old,
i became curious about smoking — people mentioned how bad it was but they also mentioned it very often in general—his maybe was one reason — another possible reason was how social the smoker “community” appeared to be and i was just a lonely, unwelcome schoolboy who tried to be a part of...someone…somehow.
Okey, so i went to my temporally friends (most time they prefered teasing me) and asked them what the best way was to start with in case i wanna try it.

### My preferences of smoking
So far so good, i got useful informations and bought my first menthol cigarettes. To my own and my "friends" surprise i so far consumed almost the whole package this day — it flashed me, it was fun and new.
From this day on, i kinda was a smoker, and not a small one — later i switched to better tasting cigarillo’s, later to regular cigarettes with unparfumed tobacco, a bit later again, i began making the cigarettes myself with stuffing.
Somewhen in mid/late 2010, i discovered wrapping— and i was quite skilled after some time. Also it was very nice in price-performance and general quality.
*My production self-made cigarette setup. (CC-BY-SA).*

### Smoking helped my self-confidence
Well, i surely didn’t continued with smoking just because it was new and flashy, no, the reason was more that it slowly began recovering/unvailing my self-confidence. It was like an anchor and medicine — i was able to start conversations with people i was always afraid of before — smoking became my most powerful and maybe very first anchor ever and it was kinda the best and also the worst thing i ever started to do. Okey to be honest, i also was addicted to it and used it as timefiller too and this not always conscious.

While i actually got rid of it which i am quite proud of, i don’t really regret it because without it, i maybe, just maybe would still be very weak and would still have fear of many people and situations. Sure, there are other anchor’s you can get but this was mine (if you are searching for an anchor, please search a different one for you). I surely wasn't really aware of this anchor thing at this time but i noticed that i made it more easy for me to get in touch with people.
I simply felt safer.

### First attempt to replace smoking
I guess it was 2012 when i read about vaping (you know, electric cigarettes).
Unfortunally, my first try was a “Kiwi” with finish liquid’s with various nicotine and PG/VG/H2O measures, sold by not-vaping tobacco traders who didn't know anything about the product they we're selling. I didn't know enough about it either. Sadly.
*My first e-cigarette. (CC-BY-SA)*

Well… it was fun but there was not much steam produced this thingie and i also got headache (possibly by too much PG in the liquids) and a ponderous lung from it. Smoking after vaping didn’t felt nice, yes, but vaping itself wasn’t that nice either. I didn’t even mention the poor battery life and the expensive tiny liquid bottles, even.

So i some day just stopped this and went back to smoking.

### First attempt to seriously quit smoking
Okey, we landed in the year 2015 — i slowly realized how smoking stole my body’s energy…again, i had this feeling often but mainly ignored it because i felt not ready to stop, i didn't want to lose this association and wasn't even able to imagine what i could do with the free'd up time.
But this time, i began thinking about actually getting rid of it and as you maybe already assume, i never really made it. I forced myself to do it some day and had success about barely two months. Well, this was a bad idea because i forced it which means that something in me actually didn’t want to quit. And human brains tend to wanting stuff back that was "stolen".
I heavily enjoyed those months because i got more and more energy back. It was like a wonder. I felt so powerful and sometimes i just stopped breathing, just for fun because i suddenly got so much air in my lungs that i wasn't used to ... well ... use.
But some time later i was invited to a party. I was pulled out of my personal comfort zone and needed an anchor to stay stable. Surprise, the first thing i did after a twenty kilometer bicyle ride to the town was buying tobacco, extra-fine papes and extra-slim filters to be covered for the night. And i smoked like the whole night. The next morning, the pouch was almost empty. After a week of not smoking after this event, i failed to keep it up and got me some new tobacco.

### Second attempt to quit smoking
Okey, so i was a smoker again — how sad.
Well this stayed few months until i decided again to make a cut.
This was somewhen in the spring 2016 and i made it more than five freakin' months this time. It was different, it felt right and i had the luck to not being invited to anything (and if, i had a reason to dismiss), except one time where i was by a friend for one weekend. I got myself some tobacco as an anchor because many more people were there. Luckily, i stopped smoking completly after this weekend again.

On a trip to a town at the other side of germany. Again, the reason was that i needed an anchor. After i was back home, i stopped smoking again completly without any feel of the need for getting new tobacco. This trip was about nine hours and i emptied one tobacco pouch at it.

The trigger to really start smoking again was a mix out of two things:

We had an inspector here as a guest (we do organic chickens).
He smoked all day and i started to have the wish to do some relax-break’s with cigarettes also some weeks before (If you are reading this as a smoker, you probably know what i mean). So this was such a day with this feeling and as a plus, we had this guest there. I jumped on my bycicle to get some tobacco — on the half way (around seven kilometers), my hose broke and this ride turned into a longer hike back home.
About a week later, i somehow made it to buy myself new tobacco — i guess from Ebay.
So, another fail this time — in the mid fall of 2016.

### Second attempt to replace smoking
About/Almost two month’s after this fail, i felt bad about it again.
It made me wasting money and my body was losing more and more energy. I got reminded about vaping again and started to do some more serious research about it.
I also asked many people in the internet as i learned to use social media over the time and i wasn’t quite this lonely guy anymore — well, at least in some way as i was still living in a small village in the nowhere but i had internet and so on... .
At some point, i ordered me a new e-cigarette, liquid base and flavour bottles.
This was pretty much around late december 2016.
*My first real e-cigarette (CC-BY-SA)*

This time, it was somewhat a game-changer. Yes, really, it brought me so much fun and since day one, i didn’t miss “real” smoking a second. Awesome. This was my new full-replacement for smoking. I now became a vaper and never thought back. My body found back to it’s energy and health quite quickly, just like on previous attempt’s to quit smoking — i felt so good again, except of some micro-cold’s when i vaped too much ... lol.

Mixing the liquid’s by myself was quite okey — it was not too expensive, it tasted well and it was simple.
Sometimes it was a bit disturbing when the battery went empty but i figured out when i have to charge quickly and got a feel for this. Sadly, about six weeks later, it began to taste bad. I cleaned it as good as possible and it was okey for about two more days.
After that it began to taste bad once again and produced way less steam.

I opened it again and had a closer look. I realized that something was like burned in it, since it smelled like burned wood, so i assumed it was a splinter from shashlik stick i used as a helptool for cleaning previously and i was confused where the heck it could be. It turned out that this wasn’t the case, the cotton was burned.

I searched the web for informations to this and even consulted forums without TLS encryption. I figured out that i somehow missed on my research that the cotton always burns in around five weeks so i had two options:

Like most of the vapers, i could buy whole new “atomizers”. This means the whole thing in the middle with the metal, rubber, plastic and the piece cotton which...seemed to be made out of wood regarding the smell.
I could find a self-wrap-atomizer and learn the whole thing
Okey, option one was not an option due to the environment footprint. It is so horrible, vaping is also advertised as being healthy for the nature and now this kind of like monthly trash? Shame on you manufracturers and vaping community.
I disassembled my atomizer and had to learn that it indeed wasn’t built for that — i mean i was able to take apart but it would be almost impossible to reassemble it later again.
*The disassembled atomizer with the burned cotton. (CC-BY)*

This was a bad day and my mood wasn’t better.
I had no tobacco left and my old Kiwi from above was still unable to satisfy me, even with my new liquids.
My next mission was figuring out what self-wrap atomizer i should buy and for some reason, i hadn’t had nice search results…actually what i found was expensive and somehow didn’t describe itself to be made for self-wrap. It was confusing because i previously read about it this way. Also it was really too expensive and i wouldn’t be able to buy it and yea, the price was way more than for a set of new one-way-atomizers (shame on you again) or tobacco.
Well, both was not an option for me…the e-cigarette made me not wanting to taste “real smoke” ever again (really, like never before) and new regular atomizers were not an option because the environment footprint.

### Quitting smoking
What now happened was actually interesting, i was angry about people in a german vaping forum who made fun on me because i didn’t agree with buying one-way atomizers and didn’t know about this cotton wear — also they prefered to use shortcuts for many technical terms i often didn’t understand. And i sure was angry and stressed due the missing nicotine as well. Actually my anger was more powerful than my frustration and (virtual) addiction in this case so i smashed my e-cigarette in a drawer and continued my everyday life.

Less than one week later, i realized that there were none, just, really, no situations i wanted my nicotine or vaping for habit. My brain somehow forgot about how nice it was and the only thought i still had in mind was how i got little cold’s when i vaped too much (surely from winter time+steam). Also any addiction and association to smoking (as smoking) was missing:
Since the healing effect i had when i started vaping was already mainly done so far, and the steam is way less offensive than the cigarette smoke, there was only one difference:
The tiny ups due the nicotine were missing — but since i didn’t use much nicotine in my liquid’s anyway, i haven't had to miss big “high’s”. In fact, i didn’t even miss them, the effect was like drinking a beer or so, i somehow lost the addiction and many associations due the vaping —like sitting somewhere for doing the holy ritual, you know... .

It became more like a “nice to have” thing instead and i just continued my life.
About two weeks later, i completly forgot about smoking and vaping.
I had some reasons to travel in towns again, i met friends in other villages, i talked with smokers while they were actually smoking in front of me and until today, i never ever felt the need or “would like to” for smoking or vaping. I don’t have to fight against it, i use zero energy to keep it up, it’s just away.

There is surprisingly no anchor of this kind i need anymore, i got stabilized.
After all this time —well to be honest also around the time many smokers do begin again after trying, it is like i never smoked in my whole life.

### Comparing this quit with previous attempts
The last times i sometimes had the wish to smoke in stress situations, at least, to relax. To use nicotine as a tool and i had this wish very often because there are many of those situations each week here.
This stressy situations are still present, the wish actually is not.

In the meantime i did the following to kinda stabilize my mind:
I became more active in social media, like doing microblogging at Mastodon, posting photographic experiments at Instagram, also i was finally be able to get a better camera and started sharing goodies to 500px after i figured that i feel not at home at Flickr.
Mastodon really kinda helped me, i never expressed myself anywhere like this.
I was even able to stand a shitstorm against me and my server after a little disagreement.

I was meeting my best friend multible times. Often many other people were around, it is always nice and actually each time in the past, i had about two day’s to habituate and was so unsteady and stressed — i each time smoked a bunch to stabilize (like the mentioned weekend obove). This times, i didn’t think about smoking or vaping a second, even while many smokers are present. Totally new. Totally amazing.

Also to note, even when i was writing all this, i didn’t feel any need for nicotine for any second. Nothing has changed. This is a very impressing feeling. I am free. My mind is so much more stable. I feel finally cured.

In the meantime, about a half year ago, i began working on a new, very powerful kind of ... well ... i guess we can call it anchor 'cause it also helps to stabilize myself more in terms of brain and body in the first place. I put myself regulary out of my comfort zones for running. And i get better and better each time. When i feel unhappy/unsatisfied and what ever reasons a smoker has, i know that i have to run - and i freakin' will run. Actually to be honest, my recent runs prevented those situations entirely. Running may be the most awesome thing i ever started. I am very sure that this should have been what took place when i started smoking. Actually it feels like an even stronger addiction than smoking.

If you are mindly unstable and searching for an anchor to cure, get a girlfriend or start with running...best thing you can do is both - running will possible help with the girlfriend part. ;)