Quitting Smoking, Part Deux

So -- remember that time my awesome friend Haley wrote a blog post about her quitting cigarettes for good? I joined the club. We used to smoke together, and now we're quitting together. It's not something I like to admit in public, even if I do it in public (the irony!), but I'm a habitual smoker. Not even just a social smoker -- just kidding, even having one smoke makes you a smoker, period. But I really was a habitual smoker. At my peak, I smoked just over half a large pack a day; a pack every other day. It was kind of gross. Why did I start smoking? Well, I started for very similar reasons as Haley did. I started smoking at the end of my first year, because I was stressed. On top of the difficulty I had adjusting to university (assignments, extracurricular activities, new friends, you know the dealio), it was during my first year that my depression really kicked in. Just like Haley, I thought smoking would help alleviate my symptoms. I thought smoking would help prevent me from harming myself in other ways. And for a while, I was right. The allure of smoking for me, much like many other individuals, was the ability to exit out of life, even if it's for just a few minutes. In that moment, nothing mattered, and I had no responsibilities. I could stand around alone, plug in both earphones, and just listen to music. It was a very pleasant experience.
Me sitting on a ledge in the Trinity College quad. It's a very sunny day, and the picture is blurry. It almost looks euphoric.
Ah, the Trinity College quad. I was totally smoking in this picture.
But it's just not worth it. I started smoking cigarettes not because I enjoyed it, but because I needed to smoke. It got to the point where I couldn't last more than half an hour without thinking about when I can make time for my next smoke break. The anxiety I had from not smoking was pretty intense. Health-wise, cigarettes were obviously detrimental to my my body. Just doing the regular things in life were draining for me. For the first time in my life, I had to deal with things like bronchitis and strep throat. Not fun at all. Especially since I continued to smoke while being sick -- because I once again needed to do it. All that, and I was paying inglorious amounts of money to support this expensive, life draining habit. $14 every other day quickly adds up, especially when you're a student. So, that's why I decided to quit.
I made a Facebook status warning everybody that I was quitting smoking, and was going to be catty. Almost 200 likes!
At least I have great friends!
I won't sugar-coat it; the first few days were horrendous. I constantly had a headache, never-ending dizzy spells, and couldn't focus on anything other than trying not to smoke. On top of that, I was literally cattier than an actual cat. But, after those first few days things got better and my physical symptoms went away. I still get urges from time to time, but I'm so proud of the new healthier me. I don't regret my decision to quit at all, and things are only going to get better from now on.
Me posing for a picture with my friends on Halloween. I have a Dollarama cow hat on as my costume; I literally have a denim button up, and black skinny jeans on. I am in the middle with of the picture, and I am holding a picture of my friend's crying face. I am making my squinty laughing face!
More than a week, and I'm still going!
UofT, if you can quit smoking, then you can pretty much do anything. 

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