Sunday, August 12, 2007

A-hem

Your attention, please.

It has now been over three days since I last had a cigarette. Technically, I'm no longer supposed to be physically addicted, and what I'm feeling now is all psychological addition. The best news is that I have neither killed nor permanently maimed anybody. That has been the hard part.

I did gain weight. I'm not happy about it, but I'm not surprised, and I'm confident that I can handle it.

I really loved smoking. I know the serious health consequences for oneself and others. I know it makes your clothing and hair stink. It ages your skin terribly. And I still loved it. I loved the feel of a cigarette in my hand. I loved the little rituals of opening a new pack, tearing off the cellophane, slipping out the foil liner, inhaling that sharp tang of menthol. Then came gently tapping the cigarette to pack the tobacco more firmly in place and give you a slower burning cigarette. I never liked the tiny bit of paper that was left empty after that, so I'd gently press it down, nearly enclosing the cigarette.

After that, lighting the cigarette and the first inhale. Oh, that was always so good. When I joined a sorority in college, I was actually taught the approved way for a Chi O to smoke a cigarette. You didn't just jam the thing between your lips, and you never let it dangle You always held it. You never exhaled in the direction of someone's face. It became my habit to tilt my head back a little and exhale upwards. In fact, the way I smoked was regarded as a signature style. I was told more than once that I smoked beautifully and gracefully. Yes, I really loved smoking, and I will miss it.

I also consider starting smoking the biggest mistake in my life, and I hope the last three days, eleven hours and two minutes are just the beginning of the rest of my tobacco free life. Maybe this will be end of the yearly bouts with bronchitis and pneumonia. It would be nice if my voice didn't end up sounding like a southern Harvey Fierstein's. Maybe quitting now will take care of that.

I just need to stay busy, very, very busy. Oh, I've also found this is a great way to get over that whole too nice thing. It's amazing how free I feel to speak my mind.

10 Comments:

Blogger Wenda said...

Cynthia ~ Sounds like another great gift you are giving yourself. The last time I quit smoking was about 19 years ago and I'm proud to consider myself a non-smoker these days.

The quitting journey wasn't without many attempts and one 10-week relapse a couple of years after I thought I was done with tobacco for good.

What has saved me from further relapses is what I have learned about addiction and my acceptance that I will never be able to be a casual smoker and that one puff could reopen the gate to that smokey pathway.

I've been graced with the luck to remember that lesson at many dangerous moments.

Congratulations and good luck!

August 12, 2007 4:00 PM  
Blogger Robbie said...

Wow!!!! That is awesome. You know, I think tomorrow is my two year anniversary for quiting.

That three day thing is bullshit. I still want cigarettes from time to time. I actually had to stop reading your entry when you started talking about actual smoking and what not. It made me start to jones a little, even now as I type. Urggg...

But...I haven't smoked. I've had some really stressful things occur during the past two years. I've even gone out and been at bars where smoking was happening. I stayed with friends and family who smoked and I have yet to cave in. I really hope I never do again. But, darn it I sure do miss it like an old friend sometimes.

Keep up the good work and keep yourself busy and distracted. For the first several days, I read books like a maniac. I went through all of Janet Evanovich's stuff. It really helped. I was lost in the story and didn't think about smoking.

Remind yourself of why you quit. Health, happiness, money, aroma, and anything else that motivated you to make this step.

Yeah Cynthia!!! I think I'm going to go try and read the rest of your entry now and shut up. :-)

August 12, 2007 4:29 PM  
Anonymous Barbara said...

Wonderful for you!! I admire you, my friend. One day at a time!

August 13, 2007 8:07 AM  
Blogger Jimmy said...

Oh goood luck. I'd love to know that you're successful with this smoking cessation program! Good job on the 3 days; this is definitely a one-day-at-a-time process.

I wouldn't sweat the weight gain. You're taking on a big job, and big jobs well-done have to come with a bonus of some sort. Besides, if you lick this smoking habit, the weight control will be a stroll in the park.

Good luck!

August 13, 2007 9:38 AM  
Anonymous Tenn Gran said...

Hi Cynthia, I quit smoking on Dec 6 of last year. I still want a cigarette! I did not know that addiction was like this. I did not know that I would struggle with this for the rest of my life. I had two ways of coping with stress. I smoked and I read. A month after smoking cessation I developed an eye disease and can no longer read. Since quitting smoking my husband and I were in a horrible auto accident. My father fell and broke his neck and now requires 24 hr daily care. My father in law was put in a nursing home. I wish you the best I am really trying here.

August 13, 2007 1:53 PM  
Blogger alphawoman said...

GOod luck and you can do it! I guess i quit for good (the fifth or sixth time i have stopped over the years) in 2003. You will be amazed in time how much better you will feel.

August 13, 2007 5:24 PM  
Blogger alphawoman said...

Also...I think the sexiest smoker I ever laid eyes on was Don Johnson in that first year of Miami Vice...wow.

August 13, 2007 5:27 PM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

Robbie's comments make a lot of sense. Nice to have someone who as been there and done that give you a little advice...

As a lifelong non-smoker, I feel a little left out. I can't make much comment, except that I applaud you and hope that you can keep on keeping on.

...And you called ME an inspirational blogger...!

:-]

August 15, 2007 12:31 AM  
Blogger redsneakz said...

I AM SO SO SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!

Now, down to brass tacks.

1) The first week is the hardest, even though most relapses happen within two days. I had a week or so of addiction-induced insomnia.

2) You're almost certain to get sick with what seems like the worst cold ever, especially once your throat stops hurting.

3) You'll notice some dramatic physical improvements over the first three weeks or so; after that, the changes really do slow down. A lot. But they happen.

Some advice? If you're on anti-depressants, get a read on whether you need a new, higher dose. I fell into a pretty bad depressive episode after quitting. Drink lots of OJ, even though it's probably something that's limited in your diet. I don't know why, but I had a huge craving for OJ, which went away after about 3 weeks or so.

And definitely keep up your water intake. You're fighting two demons now; the shrinking fat cells as you lose weight are also releasing a great number of cigarette toxins into your body. And water also helps keep the mucus that's coming out of your lungs more liquidy.

I'M SO HAPPY!!!!

August 16, 2007 11:36 AM  
Blogger more cows than people said...

You go!!!!

August 17, 2007 10:34 AM  

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