Finally Time to Quit Smoking
First a little background. I started smoking some 15 years ago. I grew up in a family of smokers, my dad, and both my sisters smoked. I remember being in the basement of our house and seeing a layer of blue-gray smoke hanging in the air, it was beautiful. By dad quit smoking after he quit drinking, I was in my early teens. During high school, I was a bit of a partyer, but I didn’t start smoking until I was 18. My girlfriend (now my wife) and I were hanging out, and we both wanted to try it. So we bought a couple packs of Marlboro Reds (cowboy killers as I affectionately call them), and proceeded to smoke them. When all was said and done, she had had enough, but I was hooked.
My first attempt at quitting was in 2001 when we moved from Washington State to Texas. We loaded up our truck full of junk, and headed out on the highway. I decided that I would try some nicotine patches. They worked pretty well at relieving the desire to smoke, but after about an hour or so, I developed a severe itch localized to where the patch was placed. About half way through our week long trip, I decided that I had had enough of the damn itching. I stopped using the patch. I also didn’t smoke…for about two weeks. Then for some unseen reason (there will be a lot of that), I had a smoke, and all that effort was lost.
Over the next several years I quit for varying amounts of time, sometimes a few days, sometimes a few weeks, even a month one time. But I always ended up smoking again.
My greatest “success” came with the help of the prescription medicine Chantix. If you are unfamiliar with Chantix I suggest you ask your Doctor about it. It really does work well, but there can be some side effects. During the first week you are on Chantix, you can smoke, but about half way through that time I started noticing that I no longer enjoyed the “taste” of cigarettes. By the time the second week came around I had no desire to smoke. Cool. It was during this second week that I started noticing something else. We were on vacation in beautiful Breckenridge Colorado, and I had no desire to do anything. I just wasn’t happy. Turns out one of the side effects can be depression. I wasn’t about to let some little pill ruin my vacation, so I stopped taking them. Overnight I started feeling better, like a darkness was being lifted. Luckily for me (and my wife) I still didn’t really want to smoke. We got back home, and everything was good. This lasted 6 months. Then for whatever reason I had a smoke. That ruined everything again.
Again over the last few years I’ve tried to quit smoking, with very little “success”. And it donned on me, I like to smoke (or so my brain tells me). I don’t think it’s a matter of being “cool”, I just like the private time I get when I smoke. I don’t smoke in my house, despite my love for the layers of smoke drifting through a room. So I go outside. Outside, I get to step away from my life for a brief few minutes, and just get lost in my thoughts, or not have any thoughts at all. I like the dramatic pause while having a conversation with someone that smoking allows. I don’t know how to explain it, I just enjoy the hell out of it. But it has to stop.
I hate smelling like smoke. I hate that my wife doesn’t like kissing me because I smoke. I hate coughing for 15 minutes in the morning; the green globs of crap that come up are particularly interesting. I hate getting breathless after doing what seems like a simple task. I hate that it costs me way too much money just make my life shorter. Yay! I’m paying to kill myself, way to go!
I know it is my addiction that tells me after a few days of not smoking that it would be ok to have one, you know as a reward! How does that make sense? I’ll tell you that the human brain is a complicated thing, especially when it comes to nicotine withdrawals. It’s my addiction that tells me it’s ok to smoke as long as I hide it from my wife. I know it’s my addiction that tells me I enjoy smoking. It is time to stop. For more information regarding nicotine addiction check out whyquit’s page about it. Actually it would have been nice to find that website 10 years ago, heck even last year would have been great, oh well.
Most recently I tried using nicotine lozenges. While they seem to work well at cutting the craving, they don’t really help break the habit. It was too easy to smoke. I think the only way I’m going to do this is by doing it the old-fashioned way COLD TURKEY.
The other day my sister was in town and we went out for a night of drinking, we ended up going home at 3:30 in the morning, and I smoked a pack and a half in 8 hours. To some that may not seem like much, but it was triple what I normally smoke. The next day, I wasn’t hung-over in the normal sense, but man my chest hurt and I had no desire to smoke. This lasted two days.
I’ve finally made up my mind to quit smoking, my plan is to update this as the days go by. We have another trip planned in July, and I don’t want to smoke during that trip. So I’ve got one month to get over the worst of it.
Update: June 16th 2011.
Well I all ready messed it up, that didn’t take long. Had crap at work and broke down and bought a pack. Stupid. Ok when this one is gone. No more stupid excuses.