Thursday, May 17, 2007

13 Days Later

I think I've quit smoking.

Clearly I've quit for the short term, but I'm hoping it's for the long term as well.
Tomorrow will be two weeks. Cold turkey.

The first week I had to quit everything; beer, cigarettes and coffee, because the associations were too strong. After a week, I tried going out to the bar one night. I just had one beer and despite being surrounded by smokers, I didn't get overwhelmed by any cravings. Cool.
Last night was the bigger challenge. Three hours in a small Nascar bar filled with smoker friends. I came home smelling like smoke, but made it through the gauntlet.

I've quit several times before. The longest was for two months. I think my problem is that I just get cocky at some point during the recovery and decide that one cigarette is no big deal. But that one cigarette invariably leads to 2,3,4 and then back to a full-time habit.

I'm going to have to excercise some sustained will power to make this stick for sure. Most of my friends are smokers. My husband smokes. The places at which we socialize are filled with smokers. I just have to remember that I've spent far more of my life identifying as a non-smoker than a smoker. I need to get back in touch with that identity.

The pros and cons list is just ridiculous. Hmmm lessseee, I can spend a stupid amount of money to injure my health, look like shit, smell bad, stink up my house, tire easily, create a wheeze when I breathe deeply, feed my fears of developing cancer,and generally feel bad about myself.

Or not.

It really is a form of insanity.

I'm actually convinced that the big tobacco companies have carefully perfected the cigarette recipe so that a person quitting encounters unnecessary additional or enhanced withdrawal symptoms on kind of a time-release schedule.

Because to be honest, quitting isn't all that hard. It's dealing with the withdrawal that sends people back to the pack. If the tobacco industry can keep a person from making it to three or four days, then they haven't lost a customer.
And if the smoker continues to fight, the same company is making even more money off of overpriced "quit-smoking" products.

Ok, so yay me and all that. Now I have to work on my husband's habit. Then we'll have double the quitting power.

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