Monday, June 30, 2008

Last day

Here it is, my last day as a smoker. I feel it's important to go public with it because one needs every motivation possible. The shame of public failure is a big motivator. There are other motivating factors too, a few of which I wrote down and posted on the wall. Because you love your lungs. Because you don't want cigarettes to control your life - you are in control. Because it costs a lot. This is going to be difficult because spouse is not joining me in quitting. We have quit together before but spouse usually doesn't get too far (the most was 30 days) and I even remember contemplating breaking up with him because he was smoking and I wasn't. That makes me laugh now. "So why did you guys break up?" "Well, I quit smoking and he had the audacity to continue smoking." This time is different. But it will be hard with cigarettes in the house. (Although, starting today, smoking is only to be done outside.)

One nice thing is that the law changed here while we were on vacation, and now cigarettes cannot be displayed in stores. They must all be hidden now. And they are. So I won't be seeing them except in the hands of those smoking.

I went through this before on the blog. March of 2006. I lasted until my birthday at the end of July when I gave myself permission to have a birthday cigarette. As Christie said then and again yesterday, if you have even one cigarette, that's it - you're a smoker. Or as I like to put it, once you give yourself permission, quantity is not an issue.

Anyway, I only have one goal on my list this year. This one. Usually I have 10. But this has to be the year for this. I don't know why, but "I quit when I was 42" sounds exactly right to me. Feels right. Is right.

If posting is spotty this week, it's only because smoking and blogging have become too intertwined. Fear not, I'll be back.

45 comments:

Lemuel said...

You know I am *SO* rooting for you!! I have observed how hard it can be, so I have an inkling of the challenge before you. I have also observed what can happen when you don't. I am sending you *every* positive vibe that you will be successful!

Cuidado said...

I quit a million times and quit for good at 52. Something that helped me came from the book How to Quit Smoking: I used to look at a person smoking and feel sorry for ME thinking the person smoking was lucky and I was not. I turned it around in my head and looked at ME as lucky I no longer smoke and felt sorry for the other person as they were still smoking.

I made a decision! I was never again - ever - going to put a cigarette in my mouth. It helped immensely as before I thought I might have a drag or one cigarette just to get over the craving. After making the decision I never had to even think , should I have a drag . I had already made that decision and there was no thinking about it.

Also, the nicotine patch. Vital for me but I used it only a short time. I've quit two and a half years now and will NEVER smoke again.

Best of luck.

Anonymous said...

I quit smoking several years ago but could pick it back up at any time. The desire never leaves. I just told myself it will not happen. I'm bigger than the giant tobacco companies who are out to get rich by killing me.
Good luck, Torn. I know you can do it and hope Serge will follow suit soon. Ed

em said...

Blessings.

BentonQuest said...

Good Luck!

(This is meant to help inspire you!) A friend of mine was going through a major depression and decided to quit because she wanted to have some control of SOMETHING in her life. She has now been four years without smoking.

Again, Good Luck!

RJ March said...

I quit years ago. If I can quit, anyone can quit (you know what an addictive personality I have, Torn...).

don said...

You can do this! All of us in you blogoshpere are behind you on this one!

David said...

I sincerely wish you all the best with this. As we say in yoga, "if you begin to lose concentration, focus on the breath and return to your intention."

Polt said...

Good luck man! My dad smoked like a chimney for 40 some years and died last year of lung cancer. I'm not gonna preach atcha or anything, but I really hope you succeed this time!

HUGS....

Jen said...

Unless you start using quitting smoking as a metaphor for your affair with Mr. Big, you'll get only support from this corner of the peanut gallery (sorry, Sex and the City DVDs bought recently...).

If it's any help at all, in a study of smoking cessation (I can't find the ref, but will if you are interested) using Prochaska's Stages of Change model, smokers who had quit once before and then resumed had a much higher rate of quitting for good on the second go.
I.e: having tried and failed once makes it very likely that you will succeed this time. I am sure you will.

Paul said...

Change that ignores the heart will seldom transform the life.

Patricia said...

Ah, there's my answer. You're going this alone in the house, but we're all behind you. Which I know does diddly squat (did I just write that?) when you get that scent of someone lighting up.

Be strong. Your worth is always going to be bigger than any craving you might have. Always.

Fatinah said...

I so hope you do this! I'm an x-smoker - I still struggle every day, but every day I get healthier. They say your body will have benefits even after a day. Best of luck!!

Laverne said...

You can do it! Think of all the money you will have! The scents you will be able to smell again... the coughing that no longer happens...

And, think of your very happy friend in Vegas at the beginning of August!

(because, after all, it's all about me)

GayProf said...

You should set aside the money that you would spend on cigarettes and buy something really great for yourself. Make the cost tangible in your mind rather than abstracted.

Good Luck! I wish for you good health, which usually requires an end to smoking.

Anonymous said...

Some day, you'll look back on this post and you'll be all "I can't believe I was ever a smoker!" And we'll be all "Yeah dude, it's like you never smoked at all!" and you'll be all like "Yeah man"

Or not.

Either way, you can do it. It's like leaving a bad relationship...you gotta when you know you gotta. And you gotta. ((((BIG HUGS)))) You can do this.
-Rox

Greg said...

Having quietly failed at this recently myself, I like your idea of going fully public. I offer you my full support in your attempt...and plan to get back on the Quitting Horse shortly, myself!

Be strong, be brave. Breathe deep. You'll be fine.

Birdie said...

Hubby says it was five years before he didn't crave a cigarette every day. But his lungs are clear, he will live longer and healthier, and he's much sweeter to kiss.

I wish all the same for you! Love note for your quit box: We want you with us for a long, long time.

Lacey said...

It's probably one of the most difficult things you will do. I wish you the best best best of luck. Please don't give up, or give in. I quit for 13 years and then decided that I could have a puff or two on very special occasions or whatever. Yeah, well, THAT didn't work out so well, and then I had to go thru the freeking agony of quitting AGAIN. So, as someone above mentioned, your odds of being succcessful this time are probably way better cause you've been thru it before and you know how tough it is and blah blah blah blah. Really...we're total strangers but I really wish you the best of luck and best wishes. It's a great thing to do for yourself and those who love you.

Butch said...

The best of luck to you Torn. It never is easy, especially since the tobacco companies admitted they put in more nicotine in the cigarettes than when I smoked. You have a great support group here on the blog. Use them, and I hope this time will be the one!!

Java said...

Good luck!!

TJ said...

Best of Luck! I know how hard it is and was when I stoped. It's too bad the other half is not joining you but he is an dult who has every right to make up his own mind. It's not up to either of you to tell the other what they should or shoudn't do but you will hopefully support each other in you decisions. Again, Best of Luck!

TJ said...

"an adult" damn typos!!!

Lewis said...

I don't think there is any doubt about the power of those of us behind you. And each of us is on a different journey. I have faith in you, in the power of wanting to be better, in the attitude of wanting to succeed. Be good. Be great.

VatoDiablo said...

Add me to the "been there done that" chorus rooting for you to join us! When the going gets rough, just remember others have trod this path and lived to tell; you can too!

Colleen said...

I successfully quit smoking for the last time about 15 years ago...and I hope that statement in itself is encouragement - cigarettes hold no control on my life to the extent that I don't remember my quit date.

If you're open to suggestions of help for quitting - I too quit while living with (2) smoking roommates. And they continued to smoke in the apartment. I made and drank decaf coffee by the BUCKET. Kept my hands busy and was low calorie...and I could still sleep.

Good luck to you.

Patrick said...

Kudos to you, Torn. I got your back too. I'm just about to turn 42, and am thinking it's time for some changes in my life as well.

bob said...

You'll do great. And just think of all the knitting you'll get done. Just don't stab spouse with the needle.

Will said...

Best of luck with this--it's the best thing you can do for yourself. Hugs and support from me.

LSL said...

Good for you! Very inspirational; it encourages me to face my fears. There's a lot of people behind you.

Summer said...

Best of luck to you with stopping smoking. Here in NY the cigarette tax just went up. A pack of cigs are over 7 bucks!! Plus you can't smoke in restaurants, bowling alleys, bars etc. any more

publius100 said...

Quit. don't look back. I quit fourteen years ago this month. Yeah, I've sneaked maybe four over that time period, but I'm through. Do whatever it takes--WHATEVER it takes--to kick the habit. And don't look back.

anabel said...

I'm sending you good thoughts. AKA prayers. Couldn't hurt, eh?

johnny368 said...

"It is easier to stay out than get out." said Mark Twain. Now that you have got out, all you need to do is to stay out!!!

Smoking areas in the restaurants or any public places are like peeing areas in swimming pools...Your wisdom and self-control are good for everyone! You're beautiful......:)

dykewife said...

first off, congratulations on quitting. picking a target date is a great way to get ready to quit. moving the smoking outside is excellent (and i bet your dog will appreciate it too).

we did a similar thing when we quit too (me and bran) only we quit the same day. we'd already tried the separate quitting thing and that so didn't work for us. we also used the nicotine gum to keep us from killing each other. it worked fairly well. we're both alive and been smoke free since april 26, 1999.

i hope that serge is able to quit sometime soon. it'll happen when he's ready.

jeremy said...

You can do it!
I know that you know all the reasons to quit so I won't bore you with them.
I've been smoke free one year and two months. Every time I pass a smoker, my first thought is "I'm so glad I don't do that anymore."
I hope you get to that point soon.

"Just David!" said...

You might want to try Quitnet.com, it keeps a running tally for you about how long you've quit, how much you've saved and how much time you've added to your life. It's pretty cool. It's like anything else, it's a conscious decision. I quit 4 months before the ex did but it was about me quitting, not him. He finally did. Anyway, best of luck. Everytime I see someone with a cigarette now, it really just reaffirms what a nasty habit it is. In a few months, your tastebuds will be on overdrive and your sense of smell will get keener, it's amazing. Not to mention what health benefits you'll reap!! I'm sure you can do it and I'm behind you 100%!!!

Brice said...

Good luck TornWordo!
I hit a year cig-free next weekend. One thing to remember is to not even have ONE DRAG. That puts everything back to '0' again as the chemicals have returned... i know you know that, I just think the absolute abstinence is what helped me most. And I think the strict smoking laws help too.

lattégirl said...

I can only suggest one thing: that you do as we do in AA and take it one day at a time. I wake up each day and say "today I will not drink" and you can repeat that little mantra for yourself each morning. Good luck - you're doing yourself a massive favour. :)

afod said...

Good luck in your quest. The State of Illinois now prohibits smoking in ALL public places, including bars. You should see the cigarette butts that now line the streets and sidewalks because of this legislation.

Mark in DE said...

Congrats and good luck, Richard! I'm proud of you.

Mark :-)

*~*Cece*~* said...

Last March I quit, for a few months. I started again and enjoy it. I'm turning 35 this month & I think its time to try the quitting again.

I've got my fingers crossed for you.

David said...

Torn, you brought tears to my eyes. Really. Got to say, I'm proud of you. Like Yoda once said, there is no try: you either do or do not.

Smoking is not something you try to quit. It takes courage and it takes wisdom to know that they've been controlling your life way too long.

Having Serge smoke outside is a good step, and maybe when the cold winds of winter return, and he's forced to smoke outside, then maybe he'll take the leap.

Peace with you and everyone who comes here -and who's a nonsmoker, anyways - will support you, help you.

I have faith in you. Faith.

Sh@ney said...

Ahh good for you handsome. My Nate stopped on July 1 (yesterday for us) as well, so now I have two people to inspire me to stop as well.
I hope you do well this time around. I know how difficult it is to stop. I have tried once and only lasted 5 weeks.

I will let Nate know he is not the only one giving it another go. He has a blog too. Not that he write to it much. LOL

P.s 42, I don't believe it.
P.s What is a stickler...LOL

mainja said...

must be something in the water. John's last day with cigarettes is Sunday July 6. The 7th will be his first smoke-free day.

He's been smoking for the last 22+ years. He's tried to quit a couple times before. Usually lasts 6 months.

There are a couple things. First, 6 months not smoking is better than 6 months smoking I figure. And second, they say that it can take several times of 'quitting' to finally stop smoking, so it will happen eventually as long as he keeps trying.

I send you many positive self-will vibes.

oxoxoxoxooxoxox