A Day in the Life of an Ex-Smoker: Two Weeks Smoke-Free

A Fictional Account of Two Weeks Smoke-Free

close up of coffee at breakfast table
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The fictional account below, written in the first person, describes what a new ex-smoker might be feeling at two weeks smoke-free, both physically and emotionally.


I don't know where I got this idea, but in the past I always thought that if I could just quit smoking for 10 days, I would have it licked. Today marks 14 days since my last cigarette, and I have learned so much about recovery from nicotine addiction in that time. I now understand that healing comes gradually. Just as I learned to associate every activity in my life with cigarettes, I understand that I have to practice doing those activities without a cigarette in order to re-train my brain.

Take mornings, for instance. The first thing I think of when I wake up is coffee...and a cigarette. At two weeks, I'm still feeling strong urges to smoke first thing in the morning (and other times during the day), but the craving is not quite as sharp as it was during the first week.

Changing My Routine

I've changed my morning routine, which does seem to help. Instead of waiting for the coffee to brew, I now get the coffee started and head for the shower. As soon as I towel off, I slap on a nicotine patch. By the time I drink my coffee, the edginess has eased up and I can finish preparing for my day with little to no discomfort.

I've been browsing the internet looking for information on smoking cessation and have come upon a forum community for people who are quitting tobacco. I am not a group support kind of person, but I have to say that reading (and posting) there has bolstered my resolve about a thousand percent. Knowing that others are feeling the same way I am, not to mention all of education and practical tips about how to deal with nicotine withdrawal has me thinking I just might be able to quit for good.

Smoking cessation is a process, not an event.

Reading the statement above on the forum board was a real light bulb moment for me. Instead of feeling defeated because I still crave cigarettes at two week smoke-free, I've learned that it is normal to feel this way and every smoke-free day is a big step toward permanent healing.

That new knowledge has allowed me to relax and take things one simple day at a time. And speaking of time, I am spending a lot of it at the forum, but I look at it as a productive investment in my recovery. Connecting with other people who are quitting is really helping me right now.

Some of the changes I've noticed in 14 days smoke-free are:

  • I can smell again. It amazes me how much I was missing, in fact. The world is a smelly place...mostly in a good way, but not always. I discovered, for instance, that most of my clothing/coats smelled like stale cigarette smoke. Horrible. I've washed and dry-cleaned most of it.
  • My taste buds are back. It has been interesting to rediscover the subtle flavors of foods like avocado and couscous. Some foods just seemed to lack flavor when I smoked. Now I know it's just that they were masked by the smokescreen tobacco put between me and the world.
  • Pride in myself. I cannot express how proud I am that I have quit smoking. I have wanted to do this for so long and it is finally happening. I still feel fragile and scared when I think about never smoking again, but people at the forum tell me to just keep my focus on today and the rest will fall into place, so that is what I'm doing. It's working so far.

Tonight I am going out to dinner to celebrate the two week mark. I'm not going to drink any wine with my meal because it's a big trigger to smoke for me, and I don't want to push it with alcohol this soon. I am going to have whatever I want to eat though, and might even splurge on dessert.

I know I'm not out of the woods yet, but I am beginning to realize that I'm not weak-willed. I'm addicted to a powerful drug (nicotine).

Recovery requires patience to learn to change the relationship I had with smoking and practice living without it. If I do that for as long as it takes for me to heal, I'll be free. That is my goal, and I am beginning to believe I can achieve it!

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