I've been a smoker for 11 years, since I was 14 years old. I started smoking because all my friends smoked and I thought it was cool. Weak reasoning, no? Anyway.
My dad smoked for 59 years and died of heart disease and other health complications when I was 17. He was a crappy mean bastard while he was alive and for years I convinced myself that I didn't need to quit smoking, even while watching him ruin his body and his life with cigarettes and liquor.
I've always told myself that when I was ready to quit I just would. I'm the kind of person that can do what I want - but ONLY when I really want it. I've never tried to quit smoking before but I'm certain that I'm able to.
I've not had a smoke in nearly three days. I've been getting over a bad bout of the flu and the bronchitis was just killing me. Last year, at about this time, I got some hideous strain of Flubonic Plague and ended up coughing myself into a nasty case of winter Pneumonia. Surely not helped by the smoking. I coughed all bloody winter and part way into the spring. That's what decided me. I don't want to do that again.
So, three days ago I took advantage of the fact that smoking felt awful when I was coughing like I was and stopped. I hadn't slept in days because the hacking was keeping me awake. I went into the drug store intending to buy a pack of smokes and came out with nicotine gum instead. It was a split second decision. I almost turned around and bought a pack of cigarettes right then and there. But the dog was waiting in the car and I was in a hurry to get her out for a walk before she ripped the living S%^&T outta my car interior. I kept walking.
Chewing the gum sucked. My wisdom teeth have been bothering me for months and I popped the skin off the top of one of them the other day and my mouth has been a bit of a nightmare ever since. This morning I went to the store on my coffee break and bought a package of nicotine patches. Never having used them before, I had no idea what to expect.
I went into the bathroom to put one on under my shirt. Had to go back to desk to get the patch (which I forgot) and then again to get a pair of scissors (cos those bastards don't open easy!). Put it on and IMMEDIATELY felt it hit my bloodstream. It was a bit like the one time I felt a needle drug hit me. Almost fell down in the bathroom.
Went back to my desk feeling a little shaky but definitely less crave-y. Spent the day fidgety and restless. I need to figure out a way to manage the break issue. When I smoked, I'd take 5-6 short smoke breaks a day and enjoy the quiet and the walking around outside thing. Maybe I'll walk around the block tomorrow a couple of times instead.
I think part of my attraction to smoking has always been about the romanticization of drugs, rock and roll and art. I stopped using all drugs the morning after the night my dad died. My mother needed me to be there for her and help with all the junk that comes about when a family member dies at home....unfortunately I was too $%itfaced to be of much use. The only way to absolve myself from that was to ensure that it never happened again. No more alcohol, no more drugs. Cigarettes were my last vice and I was attached to the idea of having one.
And now I don't. Instead I'll have to muddle through with healthier lungs and better breath. WOE IS ME. Well, not really. I'll walk the dog longer, spend more time playing with my equid, and maybe not spend the winter not sleeping and fighting disease and discomfort.
There will be no "I'll just have one" or "Weeelll, I'm doing so well I could reward myself" because that's useless and defeatist. And I don't intend to defeat myself.
A Grumpy Bastard
"There's battle lines being drawn
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong"
Two days, 13 hours, 51 minutes and 49 seconds. 25 cigarettes not smoked, saving $11.51. Life saved: 2 hours, 5 minutes.