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Friday, January 25, 2008

Smoking…what does it really cost?

Yesterday had been a better day on my not smoking. That was until I got a call from the mechanic shop…They were calling to let me know how much it was to fix one of our cars. $453.45 was the grand total.

I got to thinking, if I wasn’t smoking what all could I buy, with cigarettes just at $5.00 per pack?

• 4 packs = one month of internet service
• 10 packs = dinner at a nice restaurant
• 90.69 packs = fixing my car
• 392.99 packs = 7 day, 6 night hotel and airfare in Cancun
• 4574 pack = ’07 Saturn VUE Green Line Hybrid

The cost of this nasty habit is really sad when you think about it.

Photo thanks to Flikr

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Auricular Biomagnets ~ Day…I Lost Count

Since my last post and my shopping fiasco, my Fibromyalgia has flared up. I am all stiff and my joints really hurt. I am feeling like I am 100 years old. This has really made it hard for me to stick to my quitting. I have not felt like doing much of anything and feel bad about not posting. One of the only things that has made me feel better is…American Idol. Last year was my first year to watch it and I can’t say that I am hooked but, I do really like the beginning, the middle and the end. Here is one of my favorite bad ones, hope that you get a laugh too.

Photo thanks to Flickr

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Auricular Biomagnets ~ Day 3

Yesterday (day 2) was really hard. I wound up spending the entire day shopping for cocktail attire for an awards banquet that we are going to this weekend. I have been to busy watching my favorite shows and not “What Not To Wear” to know that the “New Black” must not be black after all. First of all, I hate to shop especially when I have to go to the mall. It is really hard to find appropriate clothing when you are 40something and not a size 4. I wound up exhausted and frustrated. Two really great smoking triggers…I am trying not to be too hard on myself. I have cut down from a pack per day to 5 or 10. Yesterday though was another story 15! Then, I wake up this morning and all of that shopping flared up my Fibromyalgia. I am all stiff and my joints really hurt. I am feeling like I am 90 years old. Then, my husband tried on the new dress shirt that I bought him yesterday and oops…wrong size. So, off to the mall again. No telling what I am going to fell like tomorrow.

Despite all of this, me making this much progress is a major accomplishment! Like I have posted before, I have tried just about everything. So, I am still hopeful that these Biomagnets will finally do the trick and end this addition with nicotine.

Photo thanks to Flickr

It Is Just Time To Quit

I had my second hypnosis session yesterday. I feel like this one was better than the first. I felt more relaxed and possibly "hypnotized". It really is hard to decide if I feel like I was hypnotized or just relaxed. My guess is that if I have to contemplate it so much, I was not really hypnotized.

So far, the hypnotism has made no difference at all. The therapist asked me how I have done the last week and I told him that I had nothing to be proud of. He seemed surprised to hear that I have still been smoking. I sure hope that I am not his only patient to fail!

There are still three more sessions left. I am not holding out much hope for hypnosis to be my magical answer. If it was going to work, I think I would see signs of it working by now.

I admit that I have put no effort into quitting at all. Here I have started this blog to help myself and to help others and have not even tried. What am I thinking?? I WANT to quit, don't I? Yes, I truly do. I just wish I could figure out what is holding me back. What is it in my mind that so tightly holds on to these things?

Right now, I have about three cigarettes left in my pack. It is snowing out and I expect that school will be let out early today. I have no plans of going out to buy anymore. This just has to be it!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Not the First Time

I am wondering how I did it before. This is not my first time that I have tried to quit smoking. There was actually once that I started considering myself as a non-smoker. It was somewhere around six months that I quit. I remember sitting at a party with a friend and my brother on my first trip home after joining the military. I thought, "I am not a smoker I can have one and not need another. " Of course that didn't work, even when I went back to duty I was a smoker again.

I am also remembering the time I quit for 2 months. This was the time my wife (ex wife now) was on a "Business Trip" the day she left I stopped smoking. When she came back 2 months later she actually yelled at me for not smoking with her in the car on the way back home.

I am thinking about these two past trials, where I feel, although not long enough, they were successful. Why did it seam so easy then. Why is it so hard now. I can say I didn't smoke today, I did however find a co-worker that had some nicotine gum. She gave me three pieces. It works pretty good and I just tore open the second one.

I like the gum thing but I am still going to continue on my path of nicotine free.

Tommorrow I have court again so we will see how stressed I am when that is over.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Horrible Weekend

I can not believe the grip these dried up leaves have on me. I went all weekend without the Xbox since my daughter grounded me. Yes I know that is funny, picture a 33 year old man sitting at the kitchen table getting a lecture about how I have disappointed this poor 11 year old girl. I hung my head low and said, "I am sorry I will try better."
Friday night went pretty smooth I was able to continue on with my thrill of being able to play Madden 2008 if I didn't smoke the whole night. My daughter had a friend spend the night so I was able to go the whole night without smoking and she allowed me to play Tony Hawk with them to see if I can help them unlock some more area's in the game. We all got up on Saturday and had breakfast, I stayed away from the coffee and had some Soda instead since I have realized drinking coffee and having a cigarette go hand in hand with each other. Then we went to the Mall. Going though the mall with two girls almost in their teens and a 3 year old is always fun. I am lucky that my kids are used to hearing, "I can't buy that right now I need to wait until payday." They are to the point that they barley ask for anything anymore.
After lunch we decided to go into a movie, this is always safe because if I am going to pay that much money to go to a movie there is no way I am going to miss some of it so I can smoke. So by Dinner time I was feeling pretty proud of myself for not smoking at all. After dinner we went to my daughters friends house where neither of her parents smoke anymore so it was pretty easy to go without there also. Then the girls came up with this great plan, they were going to spend the night there Saturday night so they could get up in the morning and go to church together. So me and my youngest daughter packed our things and went home. We were home long enough to get our PJ's on and make some popcorn so we could sit down and watch a movie, when my girlfriend came over with her daughter. So we made a little camping environment turned the movie on and ate popcorn. About half way though the movie my neighbor came over, he was bored so he decided it was time to bring a beer over and hang out. The kids were watching the movie so the 3 adults sat at the kitchen table playing cards and the other two were drinking their beer. My neighbor decided to go for a smoke, That ended it. All day again and here we are, my oldest isn't around to see me. My girlfriend and neighbor got their jackets on and said, "We are going to go Smoke." My youngest daughter looked at me and said, "Daddy, you can have one"
I couldn't believe it... So I had one, then 2...
Needless to say I failed miserably again on Saturday...
Sunday was actually a very good day, nothing exciting happened after church so we all went home and hung out without any smoking.
Monday was okay, I ended up having 2 during the day at work, my smoking buddy at work was getting lonely so he begged me to go with him.
So far today I am doing really good, I haven't had one yet but I have eaten a lot of Pretzel's today.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Auricular Biomagnets – Day 1

Today, I finally received my auricular biomagnets. I found them on eBay at the beginning of the month, after looking at Zero-Smoke and decided that I did not want to pay $39.95 plus shipping. I wound up paying $9.99 with free shipping on eBay, as a “buy now”. I checked today and the price ranges for the ones listed now are $9.99 - $11.87. I would suggest if anyone else is interested in trying this method to pay the extra $4.00 shipping for USPS Priority Shipping.

The reason that I decided to buy these in the first place was last summer I had auricular acupressure done and I think that it would have worked if I would have gone back for another session. Why didn’t I go back? Simple…insurance would not cover it.

So far, I have only had 5 cigarettes today and this was before the biomagnets came. As soon as they arrived I put them on. Have I had cravings, yes I have. I don’t think that this will be easy but, I do think that it will wind up working. My biggest problem so far has been noticing my hypocalcemia (low blood calcium) more than I normally do. Hypocalcemia can make you have facial and hand twitches. This drives me nuts and makes me want a cigarette!

Who Is With Us?

I was thinking about who might be reading this blog. Are you a regular reader here? Do you want to quit smoking? Do you smoke and this caught your attention?

I would like to help myself by quitting smoking. I would also like to help YOU! Please tell me your thoughts on this subject. Is there anything else you would like to read here that you would find useful?

Has anyone been inspired to quit smoking? I am full of questions here today. Help me out and tell me what you are thinking :)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Is it really Friday

Wow, on top of trying to quit smoking it has been a busy and very stressful week. I have been regreting coming to make this post. Last night I broke and cheated.
So unfortunatly I have smoked a total of 3 times this week. I am pretty upset with myself but more upset that my Daughter caught me.
I am back on day 1 of not smoking. I am grounded from playing XBox all weekend and I now have to do the dishes tonight after dinner instead of her.

Well, I fell off the wagon but I ran and jumped back on. At least I can say I have not bought a pack in 5 days.

So day one - redo
I am not as bad off as I was on the origional day one. I actually bought a bunch of cany cane's that were on sale and have eaten about 6 of them.
Hopefully, I will stay on the wagon this time. I want to play xbox and didn't want to do the dishes tonight.

Unique And Creative Tip To Stop Smoking

Yesterday, I received a comment on my medical blog about “Kicking The Smoking Habit” from The Cheap Gourmet and she agreed to let me share it with all of you. This is a great and very creative tip. While you would look a bit funny using this in public, it would be great for the car and home.

“My mom quit smoking last year after being diagnosed with lung cancer. She cut a drinking straw to the same length of her cigarette. Next, she tightly rolled up a paper napkin and inserted it into the straw. This gave her the effect of actually smoking because the napkin acts like a cigarette filter. When she "puffs" on the straw, she gets a similar feel as if she were smoking the cigarette.

Nine months later, she is still smoke-free and once in awhile she will reach for her "fake" cigarette. She smoked for nearly 50 years and this was the only thing she used to quit. I wish you much success on your journey and hope this tip helps you.”

My First Quit Smoking Hypnosis Session

I had my first hypnosis session on Wednesday evening. While I was driving to the appointment, my quit smoking theme song "Time For Me To Fly" by REO Speedwagon came on the radio! I took that as a great sign considering that is an old song that you don't hear very often.

The appointment went fine. During the hypnosis, I had to wear a pair of glasses that have flashing lights and also a pair of headphones. There was music playing and the therapist talked into a microphone that goes to the headphones. When he first started talking, I really had to control myself so I didn't start laughing. It just sounded funny and dramatic.

Was I actually hypnotized? Well..... I am not sure. I was very relaxed. I felt quite sleepy but heck, I am always tired anyway. I was able to imagine the images he spoke of such as being on a tropical island. My mind did wander a little bit but that is supposed to be normal.

You are supposed to come out of the hypnosis feeling very refreshed. I still felt tired and could not stop yawning all the way home. For the rest of the evening, I felt kind of sleepy and out of it. My husband claims to have had a conversation with me that I have absolutely no recollection of. I just discovered that yesterday.

The strange thing is, I slept very poorly that night. I kept waking up and it took awhile for me to fall back asleep each time. That is extremely unusual for me. I also had a throbbing headache that added to my being unable to sleep. I would have thought that I would have had a restful and peaceful sleep that night. Could the flashing lights in the glasses possibly have caused my headache?

Do you feel that I am beating around the bush? Isn't there a burning question related to this post? You probably want to know....... have I stopped smoking??????


This is how it has gone. I have been smoking less. I will think of having a cigarette and then realize that I don't really want one. A little later, I will think of it again but put if off. By the third time I think of having one, I do. I see this as progress because my usual cigarette is now delayed by about an hour and a half. Therefore, I am smoking quite a bit less.

Also, I find that I am not particularly enjoying the smokes. They kind of taste nastier than usual. They make me feel gross once I am done.

This was the first of five hypnosis sessions. I believe that with each session, you will smoke less and then not at all. Of course, it would help if I threw the darned things away and didn't buy anymore. My husband pointed that out to me last night. Thanks for the clue Sherlock. I guess I was just hoping that the hypnosis would make me not even consider having a cigarette no matter what.

I still have high hopes for the hypnosis. I need to make much more of an effort myself. The fact that I am able to easily put off having one when I normally would leads me to think that it has had some effect on me.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

End of day 3

I can honestly say that sleep deprivation is a side effect of not smoking. Here I am 4 hours before I have to go to work. I am weak, I have torn though my car, my jackets and anywhere else I may have dropped a cigarette. I know if there was one in the house I would have sniffed it out and smoked it by now.
Instead I figured I would sit in bed and type up a little something.
today was pretty rough, and very stressful. On top of this not smoking thing I had court today. Another day I sit there trying to get child support and get told that we need to come back in a couple of weeks. I spent 8 hours in court today waiting to be told that nothing was going to be happening. So here I am wanting to smoke but can't dealing with a system where I have never seen a mother have to go though this to get a father to pay child support but over a year and a half I am still fighting for it.
I am also trying to decide if the fact that I am very depressed right now has to do with quiting smoking or going to the grocery store tonight and having to decide on toilet paper or milk. Then I also got a not home from preschool saying they will not allow my daughter there next week if I do not catch up on what I owe them. So daycare or electricity is going to be my choice next week...
I need a smoke...
Actually this would be the perfect time to sit in a hot bathtub with a big fat chew pinched between my lip and gums.
ohh well... I keep saying to myself, "once you get child support you will be able to get the bills caught up." problem is the mother of my oldest has not paid in 9 years, this one probably won't either... A man in family court is always a bad person. I got custody but I am "not a real man" for wanting money from a woman... Ohhh well. The life of Dru is always fun.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Day 2 - beginning of Day 3

I still do not believe any ex- smoker when they say that the smell is disgusting. I love the smell of lit tobacoo. I can not get enough of it. I want it on a train, in the rain, in a box with a fox, in a house with a mouse. I like smoke, Sam I Am, I like it here and there I like it everywhere...

Day 2 as you can see I think I am close to the mental hospital, I am crazy, I am waiting for the straight jacket. I ended up in bed last night at 7:30 because bed is the only place I have never smoked and didn't remind me of smoking. Is this normal? Am I suppose to be this weird? The crazier I get the harder it is to stay away.

I actually felt great this morning and didn't even think about it on my way to work so let's see how today goes...

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Hypnosis To Quit Smoking Is Scheduled

I made an appointment for a hypnosis session to quit smoking! Actually, it is going to be the first of five sessions. It is set for 5:00 tomorrow so I have just about 24 hours.

I really don't know what to expect. It is going to be five sessions so will it "take" after the first session? Does it take all five sessions to really stop smoking?

I have never been hypnotized before so I am very intrigued. I am looking forward to it even as just a relaxing experience. With three young sons, I could use some relaxation.

The therapist that I spoke with said that his success rate is very high. Of course, I would not expect him to say otherwise. He talked a good game anyway and I have high expectations. I even mentioned that my husband smokes and how I anticipate that to be a problem (again). He told me about bartenders who are surrounded by smoke (must have been before all of the smoking bans) who had no desire for a cigarette after the hypnosis.

I will let you know how it goes......

Day 1 - It has only been a day!!

I really wish I could respond to rhe comments from my posts but since I am doing all of this from my handheld I may have to play around a little first.

So first things first... I made it from waking up this morning until now smoke free. 12 minutes till day one is over. I will not give up. This is to important to my daugters.

I did feel like I was missing something all day. The triggers that I had tracked the last week were dead on. I really had a hard time driving by the gas station to pick up a pack. I do think driving is going to be what drives me into the looney bin:
1. Since I started smoking at such a young age I have never driven without smoking.
2. I usually have a cup of coffee or Mt. Dew in the car with me. My second addiction, they go SO good together.
3. 90% of my time in the car is without my kids.

I have heard people talk about the "triggers" in the past I never realized the you could have a trigger inside of a trigger.

I do have a few benefits for quiting right now that is helping me. (I am mainly posting this to remind myself.
1. My children are very manipulative.
2. I am excited to quit a very long part of my life.
3. My children are very concerned, and manipulative.

I do not know if it the excitement of quiting or a side effect in itself, but I have had a lot more energy than usual and I am having a hard time sleeping. Which is really surprising because I have had about half my coffee intake than I usually do.

Thanks for the comments everyone. BTW, The Pillow Addiction is the next goal (that is a great post Ghostly)

$4.35 saved today.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Day 1 - Dru's quit day

Wow, not even lunch time and this is getting difficult. I actually was surprised last night I finished my last pack at 12:00 am. So I woke up this morning with out the ability to smoke. Everything was already gone. I was able to get out of the house fine without smoking but then the coffee and car ride to work killed me. Yes, killed me... I can honestly say this is going to be very hard. I am not a macho man and do see myself break down in the fetal position by the end of the day. If I can only make it though work. I brought the 3x5 cards to work that the kids made me and posted them on my desk. One of my smoking buddies walked though my office on the way to the morning smoke break and I actually caught myself thinking, "is it really that important that my daughter thinks I smell bad."
I am realizing that coffee is a very large trigger. Every sip makes me want to warm my lungs with the refeshing warm smoke.
All of this and I have only been at work for an hour.
THIS SUCKS, maybe I should start this quiting thing tomorrow... :D

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Good Luck To Dru Tomorrow On The Big Quit Day

Tomorrow is Dru's big quit day! I wanted to wish you good luck. On second thought, I take that back. Luck has nothing to do with it, does it?

Instead, I hope that you stay strong. I hope that this is the quit that will stick. Just think, five years from now you can look back on this and chuckle. You can think "It was not so hard after all" and feel very proud of yourself.

Don't forget to let us know how you are doing. We will be here to support you and listen to any vents. You CAN do it!!!

Thank You To Our Readers For Support And Advice

It has been a great experience starting this blog. I have met some really nice people through this experience.

A reader took the time to send me an email. He offered support and encouragement. In fact, he has just quit smoking himself and had some great advice to offer. He agreed to let me show his message here on the blog. Here it is:

"Hi, Kelly, first off I am 60 now and have smoked for 45 years and for over a week now I haven't had one single cigarette, and believe me to have smoked as long as I have that is pretty amazing. I am not saying I won't fall off the wagon at some point but I intend to not smoke ever again, and the thing is, I always enjoyed smoking and smoked over two packs a day, I know it has taken a toll on my health but when I was smoking I just ignored that. Now, no longer than I have not smoked, if I am around smokers, it really stinks , I had no idea it was so bad and I can actually breath better..

Well , that isn't much to do with how I stopped smoking, the thing that happened was I was sick a while back and I had to go get a smoke before I could even go to the bathroom, I got to thinking how much of a slave I had let myself become to cigarettes and when I went back to bed I made up my mind I could do without them, I don't know why it seemed to be easy but you know when you first get up, the first thing you want is a smoke? well I got that feeling alright but I just fought off the feeling for the need and in a very short time that urge passed and was fine for a while , then after I ate, I though I needed one, and after a shower.. all the things that always triggered the need for a smoke I had to fight off. And I still have urges to smoke but it is now easier to fight off those feelings. I had though also about being hypnotized but never did try it although I know of folks that did it and it worked but you still have to fight off the urges later as I understand it, those will come back but it isn't as difficult to fight off those urges.

I know I really haven't done a lot to help you in your fight to stop smoking but I will say , if you really set your mind to it and stick with it no matter how you think you just can't stand it, those feelings will pass , but of course they will come back so it is a never ending battle but after a while you will not find it hard at all to just tell yourself that cigarettes are not allowed by you and you will whip the habit.

You are still very young and I am sure not much damage has been done to your health as of yet so if you can manage to beat this smoking addiction you will live a much fuller life.

Well that is my two cents worth,, the main thing is, you are wanting to do something about you smoking..

Bye now.


Saturday, January 5, 2008

Two days of Smoking Left

Last night I made a great attempt at cutting back on smoking before Monday gets here. The pipes froze in my apartment yesterday so me and the kids went to my parents house. GG (the kids Great Grandma) is visiting so after dinner we sat around and played cards. This means that after eating and helping the dinner cleanup I didn't go out for my ritual Cancer Stick.
About 5 hours later when the little one was asleep and my older one was getting ready for bed I grabbed my coat and started to head outside. Now came another situation that made me realize how important this is to my daughter. GG started with her lecture about not smoking like she usually does and my oldest came in the room and said, "GG, he can smoke all he wants right now without anyone yelling at him, so please leave him alone. Monday we can all yell at him." Now GG may only be 4 ft. tall but believe me she is a scary woman at 89 years old. I was very impressed that my 11 year old felt strongly enough about this contract to yell at her Great Grandmother.
Part of the contract that me and my daughter signed states, "Prior to the date above no one is authorized to comment on the smoking habits, unless this poses health or saftey risk to those around Dad. After the date choosen above Dad is not authorized to get mad or upset if someone throws out, or destroys any tobacco product or reminder of a tobacco product."
It looks like this is going to be held up 100 percent on her end and is ensuring no one ruins the deal.

I Am Considering Trying Hypnosis To Quit Smoking

I have thought about trying hypnosis to quit smoking for a few years now. I don't know why I have not gone through with it yet.

I do know someone that it worked perfectly for. He was one of my dad's friends. When I talked to him about it, he had already stopped smoking for eight years. He said that after the hypnosis, all desire to smoke completely vanished.

Today, I started looking up hypnosis centers in my area. I am going to call a few on Monday and see what they have to say. If it works, it will be well worth the cost (which I am still researching).

I think I just talked myself into it! The real hindrance to my success in quitting has been my mind. If someone can re-train it for me, I would be most thankful. Lord knows I can't seem to control it even though I am its owner!

If anyone reading this has experience with hypnosis, please chime in. Maybe you tried it or maybe someone that you know has tried it. I am interested in hearing all experiences whether they be positive or negative ones.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Healthy Food Alternatives For Cravings

I thought of this post because one of the biggest excuses for not quitting smoking is “I will gain weight!” I for one do not want to gain weight or loose the progress that I have already made. Besides, I think all of us that are involved with this group are mainly quitting smoking for our health. So, here are a few healthier things that we can put in our mouths other than cigarettes or other tobacco products.

  • ½ cup – Baby Carrots (raw) = 35 calories, fat 0 g, carbs 8 g

  • 1 cup – Celery (raw) = 17 calories, fat 0.2 g, carbs 3.6 g (Celery is actually “negative" calories since it has diuretic properties)

  • 1 cup – Broccoli (raw) = 30 calories, fat 0.3 g, carbs 5.8 g

  • 1 cup – Cauliflower = 25 calories, fat 0.1 g, carbs 5.3 g

  • 1 cup – Sunflower Seeds (with shell) = 262 calories, fat 22.8 g, carbs 8.6 g

I found the calorie counts on Calorie Count Plus, this is a free service and it is my favorite for looking up servings and calorie breakdown information. I use Everyday Health for weight, food and glucose tracking (it is also free, I love free stuff). I have found that, Calorie Count Plus is easier to look up food values. In either service you can put in your own recipes and find out what you are really eating, sometimes this can be scary so beware. You can also find more information on Kicking The Smoking Habit that I posted on my blog.

The Past Week - Preparing

4 Days until I Quit-

It has actually been longer than a week since my daughter pulled my Heart strings and got me to sign the contract to quit smoking.

Every day quiting has been on my mind. I have noticed that quiting is going to be very painful and I can honestly say I am scared of the thought that in just a few days I am going to lose the comfort I have had since the age of 9.
I am not only a smoker but I am also addicted to chewing tobacco. I started chewing at age 9 and began my smoking habit around age 13. That is a total of 24 years of experience with Tobacco products. It is kind of amazing but very scary that my daughter is now 2 years older than I was when this adventure started for me.

That has been my main thought this week, "I can barely remember a time that I haven't had Nicotine to comfort me." The closer I get to the QUIT DATE the more fear I have. But then again the more excited I get.

I am going to let you all know that as a single parent and the only adult in my house I am going to have a few benefits at home. I do not have to worry about the trigger of someone else in the house smoking. I also have two very persuasive (manipulative :D ) daughters that are showing a lot of concern and support for me.

So far in my travels of the preparation to quit smoking I have realized when I smoke.
Before getting in the shower in the morning, as soon as I drop the kids off at before school care, once more on the way to work. Once I am at work it is usually after the morning meeting and whenever I finish a project. At lunch it is as soon as I leave the office and as soon as I leave where ever we eat. After work is where I believe I have the least triggers since I do not smoke around the kids. I have noticed that the drive home I usually have 2 in the 20 minute drive but sometimes 3. I may have one between getting home and the kids go to bed. This, I noticed, is only if I am on the phone. Once the kids are in bed then I am your typical chain smoker. I do also have the one chew per day and that is at night while watching a movie in bed.

My next step is to figure out what to do at the times I am used to my Nicotine fix.

Can You Quit Smoking When Your Spouse Smokes?

My husband smokes too and is rather uninterested in quitting. He thinks that there is no way for us to quit at the same time because it would cause us both to be in horrible moods. He wants me to go first. Gee, thanks!

He claims that once I have quit for several months, then he will quit too. There really is no point in trying to convince him to quit with me sooner rather than later. No one can successfully quit smoking unless they actually want to quit.

The fact that he smokes too has led to my undoing in previous quit attempts. I can't blame him as I must take full responsibility for myself. However, it certainly made the situation much more difficult. Here are some reasons why:

  • I could smell cigarettes on him and it made me crave them
  • It started to make me mad. If he CAN smoke, why CAN'T I??? Why does he get a reward and I am being deprived? (that is the way a brain enduring withdrawal starts to think).
  • I knew his pack of cigarettes were somewhere! He tried to hide them but it drove me nuts knowing they were somewhere very close by.
  • After dinner was the worst. He would go outside to smoke after dinner and I couldn't join him. Jerk!
  • Back to the fact that I knew his cigarettes were somewhere. I was able to resist the urge to hop in my truck and go to the closest gas station to buy a pack. BUT, I knew they were somewhere in my house...... AH HA, I found them!!! Puff...... puff.....

How about you? Have you ever successfully quit or at least tried to quit and have a spouse that still smoked? Any helpful tips that you can share with us?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Stop Smoking Contract

I read this story in a blog and it brought tears to my eyes. It is sweet and kind of sad at the same time. I say sad because those of us that are parents who smoke, often don't realize how it affects our children.

This is the story I read. I am re-printing it with the author's permission. His blog is Dru's World and his post is entitled "The Smoking Challenge":

"Sometimes I am just amazed at my oldest daughter. One of the gifts I received this year might be the most thoughtful gift I have ever recieved. My daughter is now 11 and of course in school she has learned how bad smoking is to you and the dangers of smoking.

I am not sure how she came up with this stuff but when I was opening presents this year for Christmas she had wraped a package and what was inside made me feel a lot of emotions. All at once I felt happiness, love, pride, and most of all Fear.She had made this present from her heart that was for sure and the first thing I saw was a note,

I love you but this present is for your daughters.

So I continued on though a small package. The next thing I saw in the package was a Contract already signed by my Oldest Daughter and a Scribble Mark from my youngest. There was a space on the contract for me to sign. This Contract said that I would try to quit smoking on Monday, January 7, 2008. On this day I will allow my daughter to throw away all my cigarettes, Lighters, Ashtrays and anything else she believes causes me to smoke.

After I read though it I noticed that there was a pen in this little package and some 3x5 cards. There were little things on the cards that my daughter wrote. "Dad, I want you to see me Graduate from High School." and "'Dad, I want you to see me go to my Prom.' 'Dad, I want you to see me get married.' 'Dad, I want my children to know you.' 'Dad, we Love you.'"
This brought the tears, I quickly grabbed the pen and signed the contract. I am looking forward to January 7th, 2008. I feel it is going to be a great year."

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Mandy’s (aka txmedicalfreak) Introduction

New Year’s Day, while everyone else was still asleep; I was drink my morning coffee and looking for interesting blogs on Entrecard. (I am an information junkie) While looking at the newly added Entrecard blogs, I found this blog, Kelly’s Quit Smoking Together. So, I stopped by and though WOW what a concept! My friends and relatives who smoke don’t really want to quit and the ones that have never smoked don’t really get the nicotine addiction. So, I decided to give this concept a try after all blogging is FREE.

This is not my first time trying to quit, I am a 20+ year smoker. I have tried “cold turkey”, Nicorette gum (15 years ago when it was Rx only and really nasty), the patch twice (at helped a little but, I wound up with either terrible red whelps or extreme muscle pain), Wellbutrin before the new pill came out (I could not get past less than 5 per day), hypnotherapy (this worked for almost a week) and last but not least…ear acupressure (did not work but that is another story).

I think that my failures have been because of stress or stressful situations. Even though they are technically excuses’…they are also the facts of life. Here are a few of my “excuses”; I have a autistic son, numerous health problems and my mother passed away not long ago from Breast Cancer complications.

My hope for this blog is for it to be an online support in a way OLSA (Online Smokers Anonymous)?

Quitting An Addiction

Hello there ... My name is Ghosty, and I am an ex-smoker.

After thirty years of smoking, I have been smoke-free for seven months, plus a few days. I have never gone this long before, so I'm quite proud of myself for having made it this far. I don't brag much though - I also know that the chances of relapse are quite high before I reach the two year mark. Of all the things you may hear or read about people who have quit smoking, this is the easiest one to underestimate if you haven't quit yourself (or, even more so if you're not a smoker to begin with).

Surely the addiction is over with by now? Isn't this just a case of willpower at this point?

In a manner of speaking, yes. It's all willpower. My body gave up it's physical reliance on nicotine in the first month I had stopped smoking. The psychological addiction, however, is much more difficult for some people to deal with, and it's the hardest part of quitting smoking to explain to someone who has never smoked. Saying "it's a case of willpower," or "it's all in your head" doesn't quite translate into the reality of what's going on. It oversimplifies the situation a hundred fold.

So, allow me to use a parable for what I go though on a daily basis that a non-smoker might understand.

Let us say that you are used to sleeping with pillows on your bed. The chances are, you actually are used to doing that, but this being the wonderful wide Internet, one never knows ... and it makes for a better example that way. Let's say that you simply cannot get a good night's sleep without that wonderful down pillow you've come to rely on for years and years. It comforts you, cradles your head and muffles the outside sounds so nicely.

Then one day you realize that you must give up your wonderful pillow. It makes your neck stiff in the morning. You walk around with feathers sticking out of your ears. The thread count is a little low, and you have a cross-hatch pattern permanently etched into your cheeks. You've put up with these annoyances for a long time, because you sleep so well with your friend, the pillow. You'd bring your pillow with you to work, to restaurants, even on dates, just for little breaks to snuggle up to it for a few moments. Every hour or so. Sometimes more often if you can manage it.

You have your pillow while you drive, and after every meal, and before you go to bed (as ironic as that may seem). You cannot leave the house without your pillow. You cannot function without your pillow. Your whole life, everywhere you go, everything you do, is centered around your next opportunity to snuggle with your pillow.

Maybe the neck-aches get to be too much, or it becomes too expensive to keep your pillow-habit. Whatever the reason, you decide to quit. The first weeks are the worst - sleeping with a substitute, or no pillow at all, means no sleep at all. You're tired. You're cranky. You start doing other things to compensate, like trying to sleep at odd hours (or not getting up once you do get to sleep), or eating when you aren't really hungry. Eventually, those things start to wear off and you find that you can live without your old pillow. He wasn't good for you. You looked bizarre with feathers in your ears, anyway. And yet ...

Seven months later, you still think about your pillow. Still! You see someone else with their pillow, and you want yours. You enjoy a big meal, and you want your pillow. Drive your car, or type at your computer, or watch everyone else in the office go outside for a pillow break, and you want your pillow. Sometimes, for no apparent reason at all ... pillow. You have thoughts about buying a new pillow - a whole pack of pillows. How warm and comforting they were. How good they made you feel ...

And that's when you have to repeatedly tell yourself, no, they did NOT make you feel good. The feathers made it hard to breathe. Your neck hurt all the time. Whatever the reason for doing it, you have to remind yourself every single day that you are an ex-pillow user, because the back of your mind still wants irrational pillow-time!

Multiply that by 100. It's not an old want. It's an old need. Thirty years of my life centered around smoking. I must undo thirty years of trained, induced, reinforced behavior. That's why it's so hard to quit. The physical addiction is the easy part. The nicotine merely supported the trained behavior that I have to untrain myself in now. It's overcoming the daily, nagging, relentless urge to go back to the life I knew for so very long.

This thing that made it difficult to breathe, almost impossible to climb stairs, took much of my money, made my clothes stink, robbed me of the taste of good food, and inched me closer to cancer, emphysema and death every single day, and I have to fight my own mind to stay away from doing it anymore.

That is what quitting an addiction is like. That is what it's like to quit smoking.

I know I make it sound horrible, and in ways, it is. It is not as simple as "it's in your head." That expression is typically used by people who have never done it themselves. It is why the relapse rate is so high, and why ex-smokers tend to be very supportive of each other. We know it can be hell.

We're very proud of each other, and proud of ourselves, for making it though one more day.

My Quit Smoking Theme Song

I use a particular song to motivate myself to quit smoking. It is "Time For Me To Fly" by REO Speedwagon. I think it is time for me to whip it back out and take a listen. I listen to the words and think of my relationship with cigarettes. Take a listen to it. Even it you already know the song, thinking of it in those terms might help motivate you. It could be your theme song too!

Why Did I Start Smoking In The First Place?

I have an early childhood memory. I was probably about five years old or somewhere around that age.

A guest was at our house. She left a pack of cigarettes on our coffee table. I clearly remember looking at them and thinking they looked pretty neat. I thought to myself that I wanted to try them one day.

Is that what started it? Probably not really. It was just a fleeting thought. I think the real reason I started was to express my independence and to feel cool. I was 12 when I tried my first cigarette. Little did I know that my quest for independence would turn into dependance!

I hung around a few kids that occasionally smoked. It was my idea to try it, I won't blame anyone else. It did make me feel older and cool. Pathetic to admit but I think that is very common.

If by chance there is any young person reading this now, I urge you to not to smoke. It is not cool to poison your body. It does not make you your own person. All it does it make you weak and a tobacco puppet.

Can you remember why you started smoking???

What Is The Purpose Of A Quit Smoking Blog?

I have been thinking about what prompted me to start a quit smoking blog. What exactly is the purpose of blogging about quitting smoking? Why not just quit?

I have tried quitting smoking many times and obviously have been unsuccessful. I would like to know the reasons for my past failures to quit. Each time I tried, I truly thought I was ready.

There are two huge factors to quitting smoking. One is the physical addiction. The other factor is the mental addiction. I truly believe it is the mental addiction that has held me prisoner. That is the purpose of my blog.

Sometimes when you have a problem it helps to write it down... sort of like a diary. Putting things in writing can help bring a new perspective to a situation. It can help to clear out the cobwebs in your mind and shine some light on the situation.

I am hoping to accomplish this with my blog. Maybe I can work out the mental addiction by figuring out what part of smoking my mind is holding on to.

Possibly something I say will inspire someone else. Or, maybe a visitor will leave a comment that will inspire me. You never know what that one thing might be that will lead to success. You know the saying "Misery loves company". I prefer to think of this as "Optimism is contagious"!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Quit Smoking With Me

My name is Kelly and I have been smoking for 21 years. That sounds horrible especially since I am only 33 years old. I picked up my first cigarette when I was 12. If only I could go back in time and smack it right out of my own hand.

I am going to quit smoking. I am not sure if it will be later today, maybe tomorrow or possibly next week. Sound familiar? The truth is that I feel an urgent need to do it soon. I don’t know if my body is trying to tell me something like “do it soon or you will reach a point of no return”.

I have a lot to say about smoking. I won’t try to do it all in one post. I have 21 years worth of smoke talk and its effects on my way of living.

I do want to ask you to join me. Do you want to quit smoking? Are you thinking about it just a little? Have you already quit smoking? What I would like is to build a community here. I know there are thousands of quit smoking sites out there. I ask you to join mine. I started this on January 1st, 2008 for a reason. I want this to be the year of my success. It can be yours too. You will never get any pressure from me.

You can join this blog in two ways. You can participate by commenting or you can be a regular poster here. It is open to anyone that wants to talk about quitting smoking cigarettes. You can contact me if you would like to post to this blog and I will get you all set up. I am positive that together we can get this done!!!