Only Slightly Crabby

I’ve quit smoking.

The concrete difference being – last time, I think I probably said, “I am quitting smoking.” This time, I have quit. It’s not an event in the future.

It stinks. Really stinks. I’m ridiculously tired, have had two minor panic attacks, my throat is scratchy, and I feel generally terrible. I joined the NYQuits whatever it is thing. There’s a quit plan, an online forum and such. Hardly anyone posts to it. Kinda useless. I put in my phone number and information, and it said a counsellor would call me. They never did. (Your tax dollars at work.) Meanwhile, there’s evidently some local public-funded smoking cessation program in town at the college. Despite the days of internet searching I did, asking around town, and visiting my doctor for a consult, this program’s information never turned up anywhere. (Your tax dollars at work.)

No matter. It seems to be okay. I think I was just ready. And I think you have to be ready. I deep breathe cold, clean pine air a lot. That helps too. I’ve been posting my progress to Facebook and talking about it as I go about my day, and that has been helpful. Very helpful. I was going to seek out a busy online forum or something, but I think I’m okay with just friends.

Encouragement and talk from former smokers has been very valuable. Very very. Suggestions from health nuts (bless ’em) and people who have never smoked have not been valuable. At all. They have irritated me and actually made me want a cigarette. (Humorous, but true.)

I mean to say, I’ve had a few “Why don’t you get healthy all at once?” suggestions – combat the urges and psych symptoms by taking up running or climbing, eating completely healthy. I dunno. Not for me. One Earth-shattering life change at a time. I refuse to do this without cookies and unlimited nap time. Following getting this under control, I’m looking into a treadmill and/or the local pool.

As for current smokers being supportive … what a mess. A few friends, sure. “I should quit too. Maybe I’ll follow you.” That sort of thing.But overwhelmingly, a disaster. Here’s a story – I ran into someone I hadn’t seen in a week or so the other day who had been following my quit via Facebook. This person made fun of the fact that I was having a hard time, called me a pansy (that’s a quote), said I needed to stop hibernating and just get out there and tough it out, and concluded with, “I quit for twelve days once, and I didn’t get sick.” And this person was standing there smoking a cigarette.

Ugh.

People tell you some of it, give a you general “that’s going to be hard,” and usually that’s about it. Most often,you don’t hear about the ugly stuff. I’m going to tell you the firsthand truth, just like my friend Koka has been telling it to me – this quitting thing is a lonely, shaky business, and the quitter is probably going to be alternately panicked, weepy, proud, scared, tired, and perfectly fine.

If someone you know mentions quitting, please encourage them. It’s helpful. Tell ’em it’s terrific news. Bring them a cookie. If you have firsthand experience in this arena, offer your experiences. It’s very helpful. Don’t preach. Just support. If it’s a partner or family member, take up some of the slack and make things a little easier on them for a while.

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Only Slightly Crabby

  1. Sounds like an emotional and physical roller-coaster. Wheeeee!!

    That said….NYQuits….what the heck is that? Their FB and Twitter are both barely alive.

    I bet if we eliminated them, not many people would have “withdrawals”.

    Cookies!

  2. A nice, new keyless-entry gym just opened here, we joined for $30 apiece per month, so far we’re sticking with it. We used to have a treadmill at home but somehow the mental focus didn’t stay with me, but when I’m in the gym, because other people are around (younger, fit, people), I push a little harder. Our addiction is not tobacco but food in excess of nutritional needs. The gym’s cardio equipment all have TV screen’s with over 300 channels including the music channels. and keeps a check on your pulse. Good luck, here’s a cyber cookie.

  3. Here are some (((((HUGS))))) – you just keep doing whatever you need to do to cope without those cigarettes!!! Whine, brag, post incoherent things, post the most profound thoughts you’ve ever had – whatever it is, we’re here for you friend!!! GOOD FOR YOU – KEEP GOING!!! 😀

    My dad was a long time smoker and he said after he quit for about a year he would periodically have dreams that he started smoking again, and he’d wake up in a panic – then huge relief when he realized it was a dream and that he didn’t actually have a cigarette!

    You survived an Adirondack winter in an RV – you ARE tough – you can do this!!!! 😀

  4. Awesome! I believe there is a Franklin County smoking cessasion specialist. If you called public health they can give you the number… unless I’m wrong. Inspire confidence, don’t I?

    I agree with you that you have to be ready. Glad to hear you are.

  5. It sucks. Oh. how it sucks. But at almost a year out, I can tell you it’s worth it.

    And eat four cookies. As long as you have a glass of milk with it, it IS healthy.

  6. no preaching or helpful cheerful advice. just lots of support and hugs from Texas (((((PHILL)))))

  7. Anonymous

    You can do this …I know you can. I have been DONE with those awful cigarettes for 3 years now. I feel so good. You have to want to do it! And you do!!!! Good luck! Let us know how you are doing!!!!

    And the money….think about the money!!!

  8. Herbs

    Okay, quitting sucks. It really does. But it can be done. I quit in 94 and cookies is definately a start. I used cookies….chocolate…..bananas….biscotti……. tomato sandwiches……..anything that came to mind to keep a cigerette out of my hand. And slowly but surely it got easier. I’m not sure the desire ever really goes away, but you do gain control of it. Sixteen years later, when I walk around somebody who is smoking, there’s just a moment of the “oh wow” factor, but then its just a pleasurable memory that while it’s fun to remember the pleasure smoking gave me, it’s not something I want to repeat in real life. The one desire that doesn’t go away is the desire to strangle all those perky people that wanted to rah-rah-rah me through it!

    Best of luck.

  9. themac

    You need cookies!!! I’ve got a wonderful recipe you NEED!

    Name calling – Really?

    You’re my favorite type of quitter!

  10. Sandy

    It can be done, and at some point, as time goes along, you want a cigarette less and less often. It was hard for me to go out to dinner and not smoke, and to be around other smokers. I would inhale deeply when I walked past a smoker! It takes time–you want to see how you feel after the one year mark, and the two year mark.

    The funny thing is, once you get to the 5 or the 10 year marks, you discover you have gone over to the other side, you now think of yourself as a non-smoker, you don’t want smokers in your house, in your car, etc.

    But you have to replace the old cigarette time with a substitute. Just about anything will do as a substitute. Luckily you will have your former cigarette money to spend on your favorite foods–ice cream-cookies–chocolates. Buy some books you’ve long admired. Go shopping and buy a treat of any kind. Also spend extra money on anything you can think that you enjoy.

    When you get the cigarette blues, spend money. Buy magazine subscriptions. Buy toys. It will only be about a year at most that you need a substitute all the time.

  11. Mary Lawthers

    Hi Phill,

    After reading your recent post I remembered going through many of the same things that you are going through. I hope that the fact that I had forgotten that first year will be encouraging for you. Yes, there is anxiety, depression, dreams about smoking, sometimes the feeling that you need to scream, or just slam out of the house and blow off steam. Sometimes even angry words to your much beloved partner. ( I bless Robert for putting up with me that first year!) But it does get better and you need to praise yourself for quitting and use your cigarette money to treat yourself. If one on one conversation would help you let me know.

    Mary

  12. Hang in there! It will so great once you survive!! I have had relatives quit and have watched them go through all kinds of hell before they made it. Now, If I could just kick my drug …. FOOD. Good luck.

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