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Quitting smoking

I'm quitting smoking. Anyone who knows me in real life, on Facebook or any of the many online message boards where I participate know that I'm on day 10.

Stopping has been hard. Because well, it's hard. The hard parts for me are many. First, I really, really love to smoke. I love the business of popping open the box, getting situated, snapping my lighter. I especially love to smoke on cold days when it looks like I'm exhaling smoke for forever. I love that first rush of nicotine in the morning with my first cigarette. Sitting out on the front step with my coffee and my smokes, watching the world go by.

I like how it gives me something to look forward to, a little break. It's something I do that gives me time just for me, doing something only I like to do.

I like it so much I crept up to fifteen a day. And at $6 a pack I can't afford, financially or healthwise, to keep smoking.

But, oh, I miss it.

Some of the stuff I've been doing has helped. I set up all the farming games on Facebook so that I had to check every 45 minutes otherwise my crops would wither. I got a big canvas and started a new painting. I got myself into my retro housewife get-up complete with pin curls and lipstick and cleaned until rooms sparkled. When I went out I'd get on some cute outfit I didn't want to mess up with smoke. I put on lipstick.

It's scary, starting another week where I know I'm going to be in situations where I'm going to want a puff to get me through. Part of me says I'm an adult and I should be able to smoke if I want to. Another voice says I'm weak and a loser. Yet another voice tells me to tell everyone 'fuck it, I don't care what you think' and buy cigarettes.



Like I said on FB, I'm proud of you. It takes real hard work to get to 10 days.

I found that I needed to force myself to take breaks, otherwise I skipped breaks because I was afraid I'd smoke, which meant I was feeling bad because I wasn't getting any breaks, which meant I felt even more like I needed a cigarette to get that break.

Make it a point to have some special tea or a hard candy or something treat-like that you keep only in a particular room or at a place where you can sit and relax for a few minutes that you wouldn't normally go to. Make time to go there and do it. A big poufy meditation pillow with a pair of headphones, grab a Wint-O-Green Lifesaver and put on the music for a few minutes.

They say the nicotine has cleared from your system by now, the rest is the hard psychological part. 21 days sets a habit, so take it one day at a time and before you know it you'll have a different set of habits that aren't smoking.

And then, no matter what else you might tell yourself inside or whatever situations you run into, you can always look at yourself in the mirror and say, "I F**king Gave Up Smoking." Because that is a major, major accomplishment and no one can ever diminish it.

Big proud *hugs*!
Thanks Uncle Bill. :)

My mom's been really supportive as well. She's been sober for almost 22 years and says on her hard days she would say to herself "I'm not going to drink right now." because sometimes she couldn't even deal with five minutes.

I like that and it's working for me. But I've gotten to where I can say "I'm going to watch XXX on Youtube while Will is napping. I'll eat something and then see how I'm doing......"
Ten days! Awesome! Good for you -- that truly is an accomplishment!

"I'm going to want a puff to get me through. Part of me says I'm an adult and I should be able to smoke if I want to. Another voice says I'm weak and a loser. Yet another voice tells me to tell everyone 'fuck it, I don't care what you think' and buy cigarettes."

You're fighting against two things: a physical addiction and a lifetime of media messages telling you that smoking is sexy, refined, and desirable. That first comment of yours is dealing with the physical addiction part. The other comments are dealing with the media message part, associating cigarettes with maturity and independence (the Marlboro Man, the Virginia Slims lady).

Bedlamhouse has great suggestions for the physical addiction part. As a comm professor, I'll observe that media messages can be just as hard to resist, because they're so pervasive. They slip into our cultural mythology and become hard to dig out to examine objectively. You may be having a tougher time than some because you love retro looks that were, entirely for commercial reasons, tied in closely with smoking in our cultural imagery. Would it help to seek out images of fashion icons from that period when they aren't smoking, to remind yourself that you can be glamorous and sassy without a cigarette...? To look for desirable images of "I'm an adult" and of "I don't care what you think" that don't involve tobacco?
Good on you & WOW you have some great, supportive, insightful friends!!

September 2012

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