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the smoking rant I promised you earlier

I'm quitting smoking again. I know you're probably fed up with hearing it already. I know I'm getting pretty annoyed with myself for doing this again and again.

I've been feeling very much the way that I felt in the final days of my cocaine years. I'm playing all the same games. Rationing out cigarettes so I'll have enough for the night. Quitting, then picking up, then quitting again. It's not who I want to be. It's not what I want to be doing with my brain.

So in the interest of remembering what the fuck this all means, I wanted to write a list of the shit that SUCKS about smoking.

Let's start with ... oh, geez, so many choices ... where to start? Well, I certainly don't love handing over my hard-earned money to gargantuan corporations whose only contribution to the world is making and distributing a product that kills millions of people. Then there's the way that I stink after smoking. The near-constant sore throat. The chest pains, which are twice as brutal when the weather's cold.

I know that smoking fucks with my already-iffy blood pressure. I remember how much more cash I have in my pockets when I'm not smoking. I also remember that I feel calmer and just generally happier when I'm a non-smoker. It makes me feel proud of myself when I've got some smoke-free time under my belt, and it makes me feel crappy, now, to look at all of those fucking quitmeters that I've posted in the past and think about how much time I would have if I hadn't been stupid enough to start up again.

So, yea, I'm giving it yet another try.

QuitMeter Counter courtesy of www.quitmeter.com.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 27th, 2005 04:56 am (UTC)

Dec. 27th, 2005 02:27 pm (UTC)
We're not fed up. We're proud of you for keeping at it.
Dec. 27th, 2005 06:23 pm (UTC)
Good for you
I've been quitting for about ten weeks now. Someone else did this for me, so I'm paying it forward, as it were. Here's some things that have helped me:
- visiting at least one quitting-smoking website a day for the first week. There are a lot of websites out there, and they all kinda say the same thing, but they allowed me to focus on why I was quitting,
and reminded me of things that would help me quit. The tips they suggest really do help - picking a quit date, not keeping any cigs around, getting rid of (or hiding - I think hiding is better) all smoking paraphernalia.
- I used the patch, and it worked really, really well. Because the patch is so expensive, I used a generic brand and started on the second step by weaning myself down to half a pack a day. I only did the system for five weeks - half of the time alloted for the program. But it still worked really well. I highly recommend the patch.
- I realized that the necessary will-power is not a rigidity to break any desire for a cigarette, but a flexibility that allowed me to recognize that I wanted to smoke, allowed me to say that it's OK that I want to smoke, and decide that for that moment I wasn't going to. Commiting to quitting for my whole life was terrifying (I still haven't made that committment). I just have to decide for one moment not to go out and buy a pack of cigarettes. That moment-to-moment commitment is a lot easier to deal with.

When I've thought of quitting over the years, I'd say "I'll quit after my senior project is finished," then "I'll quit once I find a job and life is a lot less stressful," then "I'll quit when I move to a new apartment." Then I realized that life will never not be stressful, and really focused on how smoking increased the physical effects of stress. I thought about how many 40 year olds die of cancer, and how I'd really like to live longer that that. All those timeposts passed without me quitting, and it occurred to me that there'd never, ever ever be a GOOD time to do it because it's freaking-addiction. It's like, there's never a GOOD time to get out of your really warm bed on a very cold morning, but you have to sometime, or you'll be late to work, or sleep all day, and really mess your life up over time. So you have to get out of bed, you have to quit smoking. Neither is any fun to do at the time, but you'll never, ever regret doing either, whereas you would regret not getting out of bed, and you would definitely regret not quitting smoking when you had the chance to do so and still live a long and happy life.
Mostly what made me quit was the realization that all those very expensive moments of sort-of pleasure would never be worth me dying of cancer at age 42. Or emphysema. Those reasons are my life-raft in the quitting ocean.
Hope this is helpful.
Dec. 27th, 2005 06:27 pm (UTC)
Try replacing the post-meal cig with a piece of candy. Worked really well for me.
Dec. 27th, 2005 09:29 pm (UTC)
Re: PS
I quit for a few months over the summer and found that popsicles (and banana popsicles, in particular) were just the thing. Same phallic-ness. Took about as long to finish as a smoke.

Unfortunately, my desire for banana popsicles is not as strong in (almost-) January as it was in June.

But candy sounds like a solid choice.
Dec. 28th, 2005 03:19 pm (UTC)
Re: PS
Candy Canes are cheap this time of year. There's also those candy sticks you can get at Candy-Rama downtown, or that cute little shop on Forbes in Squirrel Hill
Dec. 28th, 2005 03:32 pm (UTC)
Hi there! Remember me from the "Quitnet Extention" thing on LJ. Hope you don't mind, but I'd like to add you to my friends list. I, too, have fallen off the quitting wagon and am on my way to another quit attempt. (Ugh... getting real fucking sick of it.) Anyway.... you're on my friends list now.

I'd say 2 out of 3 people smoke in Pgh. EVERYBODY smokes. I think I MIGHT know 5 non-smokers. Amazing.
Dec. 29th, 2005 04:45 am (UTC)
As an ex-smoker and a server, I'm suprised at the number of restaurants that are 100% non-smoking for their indoor seating. I'm really happy not to have to work around it.

Good luck to both of you. I smoked for 24 years before I finally quit 22 months ago (please don't do the math, hopita. yes, I was 11 1/2 when I started). Hells, I STILL want one. The patch helped take the edge off (except that first day), but what really helped was the support of my wife, kids and my mother-in-law (believe it or not). Good, solid support is the key to successful quitting.

Part of what helped me was that in a lot of the places I worked, I was surrounded by non-smokers. I was 'the slacker' because I took smoke breaks.
Dec. 28th, 2005 03:33 pm (UTC)
Oh, and good luck on this quit. I'll be right along with you so if you feel like bitching for a while drop me a line and we can bitch together!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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