I'm a quitter

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I quit smoking. Last week I said I was "trying" to quit smoking and realized the "trying" part was screwing me up mentally.

I originally started smoking when I was a teenager. I can't remember why or when exactly but my friends and I smoked. It went great with our underage drinking and parties. I quickly progressed from bumming smokes to buying a pack. I quit a year before I conceived my son.

I was tired of smoking. I always felt like crap. I called the American Cancer Society and they sent me a stop-smoking package. I read it religiously, used all the tips (I chewed many a straw to destruction) and kept a journal. I was determined to stop and I did it. It wasn't easy but it also wasn't hard. My life was very different back then.

I was a non-smoker for 10 years. I started back up two years ago. I was leaving my husband. Moving out of our family home. Madly deeply in love with someone else. Trying to keep my shit together and protect my kids. I started out bumming a smoke when I was out having some drinks. I don't know why I did it. The pattern repeated itself and I found myself at the gas station ordering up a pack of Marlboro Lights.

A social life came hand in hand with this new found freedom. The majority of my new friends were smokers. I fit right in. I definitely smoked more when I was around them.

I've had some recent (past 6-9 months) medical problems. Trouble breathing, high blood pressure, anxiety and panic attacks. I've gone to the ER terrified that I was having another Pulmonary Embolism (PE). Tests were run with my Pulmonologist, Cardiologist and Primary Care Doctor. Everything was normal. Results: Your lungs are 49 years old. You're 31. Stop smoking. Especially because of the former PE, smoking for me is completely and utterly idiotic.

So, I cut back. I was smoking about 3 cigarettes a day. More if I was drinking. I was going to quit. Really. I just needed to change my habits and not associate driving to and from work with smoking.

Fast forward to September 25th. I've drive 8.5 loooooong hours into the middle of South Carolina for a wedding the next night. I meet up with the groom and his dudes at a local sports bar. I partied like I was 17 again. I was not in a happy place later that night or the next day. I swear I had a headache for almost a week. I couldn't think about smoking. I had already gone 2 days without and decided it would be the perfect time to quit.

It's been a hard 11 days. No, really it has. Once I recovered from that weekend, I wanted to smoke. But I wanted to quit. But dammit I wanted to smoke. I've been grumpy, rude, short tempered and bitching and moaning about wanting to smoke. On Monday I drove to various gas stations and sat in my car. It was a struggle not to get out and buy cigarettes. At the fourth gas station, I said fuck it. I walked right into that Chevron and bought a pack. I handed over my $6.90 and couldn't even look the dude in the eyes. I packed the box, lit one up and drove to work. It wasn't as good as I remember. The smell, the smoke, made me ill. I knew right then in that moment I was DONE! Once I arrived at work, I parked my car in the garage and threw the pack in the trash can.

Could I have sat in the car until that urge to buy a pack passed? Yes, but I would have been late for work. A part of me knew I was going to relapse and smoke again. I figured might as well get it over with and move on.

I can now say I'm a non-smoker and proud of it. I've made a change for the better in my life. My kids, especially my son have been nagging me for months to quit. They are both very proud of me and I don't want to let them down. We've had very honest discussions about why I started smoking, how it's bad for you, why I needed to quit, why I did quit and why I hope they don't follow my example and start smoking.

*I edited this post because originally it was very negative about how I quit everything I've ever started. And I'll probably quit quit smoking. I decided not to be so hard on myself.

This is my story and I'm sticking to it.



2 Responses to “I'm a quitter”
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you can do it! i'm so excited about this!

Stick with it girl! My husband quit cold turkey and then started again after a year, but hasn't smoked in almost 2 years now. I've never been a smoker, except the time in second grade, but that's a different story. We recently just lost a family member that died of lung cancer from smoking. Don't go there, you have two beautiful children that need you! And you're worth it even if you didn't have them.

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