Monday, December 10, 2007

Progress

Well. I'm on my last partial pack of cigarettes. All smoking items except for one ashtray which is sitting on the kitchen table where I can't see it for the pile of Ed's stuff, including that pack of cigarettes and my lighter, are in the back of the cabinet over the stove.

Today was a step down day. Half a cigarette, max, every hour at the minimum. Longer if I could do it.

I've managed just a couple of puffs every hour or so for the last few hours, and I'm making myself stand when I smoke. I would make myself go outside to smoke, but if i go outside into the cold it would be too easy to rationalize smoking the whole cigarette so that I wouldn't have to go back out into the cold as soon.

The hardest part so far is the psychological stuff. I'll reach for my cigarettes on the end table while I'm watching tv, and when I realize that they aren't there, and I'm not going to let myself smoke yet, the craving ratchets up about five notches, and I start twitching.

Tomorrow, I'm going to try for no cigarettes at all, but I'm not going to hate myself if I don't make it. I'm doing pretty good on cutting back (I was at a pack to a pack and a half a day, before I started cutting back) and that's definite progress. Besides, eventually, even with the strict rationing, that pack is going to run out.

Then I just have to stay in the apartment.

It doesn't all have to happen right now, and demanding that of myself would lead to frustration, anger, and failure.

As much as I would like to just flip a switch and never want a cigarette again, that's not the way it works. As long as I don't smoke more than I am at this point, I'm going to consider it a victory.

Considering the way my hands are shaking, just thinking about smoking now (it's been fifteen minutes since my last puff) I think it is a victory. It's progress, anyway.

5 comments:

Pop said...

Good luck with that, and best wishes.

This is kind of grim, but - Just as a possible motivator - my mother smoked most of her life. She died of COPD and emphysema. The symptoms began at around age 60. She had senile dementia due to oxygen deprivation because of the COPD, for the last few years. She didn't recognize me the last six months or so of her life. I am fairly sure that the cigarettes were the biggest cause of all this. So, stick with it. A mind like yours needs to last a long time; you're pretty sharp.

If you find yourself slipping, you might visit the nearest old-folks home, and look for the little old ladies that are on oxygen full time. The ones that are in the worst case are restrained to keep them from falling out of their chairs.

It's hard, but stick with it - you can do it.

-Pop

Anonymous said...

In my experience, walking or running in the cold really helped me when I stopped.* Might as well let this, um, lovely Colorado weather help you. When you're coming from more than a pack a day it burns the lungs like hell.

Also, don't discount nicotine replacement products. I can be pretty stubborn and it took me quite a while to get past my pride and buy the nicotine patch, but it really helped. (I never told anyone, and it was a fun little game: It took most of my coworkers a week to notice that I'd stopped even though we worked outside and most of 'em smoked.)

Just my .02
-Dave

* Full disclosure: I started again-- after two years without a single cigarette-- when I moved up north to Denver...

Damn city living finally got to me!

GeorgeH said...

I stopped 10 years ago, after 35 years of 3 packs a day.

The grim news is that it doesn't get much easier. I know people who quit 25 years ago who still fumble for the pack that isn't there on the nightstand when they wake up in the morning.

The good news is that it's doable, if you cowboy up.

I used the gum to let me break the addiction and the smoking habit into two separate fights. I first used the gum, and I used all it took to kill the desire for a cigarette, never mind the package directions, to let me break the smoking habit, and after 4 months, when I had that pretty much under control, I quit the gum and kicked nicotine cold turkey, the only way you can kick any drug.

If you can make the change coincide with an external change in your life, like moving at the end of the school year, it helps set a break poiunt. "I've never smoked - used the gum in this place and I am not gonna start.

Best luck.

mustanger said...

Thing about those nicotine patches... roll 'em up to tight and it's hard to keep 'em lit.

I mentioned by brother-in-law a couple of days ago... he quit smoking, but I guess the nicotine addiction's still there because he dips that skoal-type stuff. I recall he did use those patches, but IIRC, that didn't go so well for him.

As others have said, it's doable and you can do it. I've seen it done several times lately. You can do it.

Thehypnotist said...

Good for you for quitting! Quitters always win - in this arena, at least.

Let me tell you something - cravings and the twitch should -not- last a long time. You should put it behind you entirely and move on. If you don't find a way to do this on your own, a good hypnotist can take care of it easily for you. I know, cause I are one. Colorado has some good ones, and if you need help finding someone I'm happy to help.

Jeremy Pope
www.decisionshypnosis.com
229-227-5880