100 Days

Jul. 21st, 2009 10:26 am
akite: from a painting of an old fashion dressed girl on a bench  (Default)
[personal profile] akite
It's been 100 days since I quit smoking. I'm a member of QuitNet.com, which is a wonderful support site. I recommend it to anyone that wants to quit or is even thinking about quitting. I've made a lot of friends there. The Q, which is what members call QuitNet for short, has a lot of history and traditions, and a hundred days is a major milestone. Members are invited to the lodge, you're supposed to wear a silly hat and fly a kite, also they encourage you to write a ramble about your quit to mark the day. I posted one this morning that'll be behind the cut. It's full of QuitNet jargon you can feel free to ask me to clarify.



100 Day Ramble

I started smoking, really seriously smoking, when I was 17. I quit 100 days ago at age 51. Quitting has been both the hardest and easiest thing I've ever done. I tried quitting before, but I was ignorant in the ways of the Q. I had no NRT, no quit kit, no plan at all. I lasted about 48 hours. The junkie in my head won that time.

This quit was different. I smoked two packs a day for close to 20 years, so I thought if I were going to use the patch I should cut down to be ready for the lower dose of nicotine. The whole last week before my quit date I was obsessed. I wish I'd known about QuitNet then, but I found you guys three days into my quit. I freaked out the Friday before my Sunday morning quit date. Now when I see people posting with the same fears, if I have time, I stop to reassure them. If you read my profile, you'll see that my freak out did not undermine my resolve to stop smoking. I smoked my last cigarette just before 6 AM on April 18. I used the patch for the full eight-week course that brand called for.

It's been easy in the sense that I understand now that once you remove smoking as an option, you take it totally off the table, as a response to whatever is going on in your life, you can get on with your quit and deal with the cravings. It's been easy because I've had support. I've got a great quit buddy, and all my friends in the 2009AprilQuitters Club. I take the pledge every day possible, even if I have to make the pledge post myself. :) Everyone I've told, even people I've just met, have given me congratulations; a group of my friends even applauded.

It's been hard too, retraining myself not to reach for that cigarette. Everything bad you can imagine has happened to me, if feels like, since my quit. I had to have a new roof put on my house, that I just bought last summer, right before Hurricane Ike, by the way. Ten days into my quit, sewage backed up into my house and ruined all the carpet, and it took two months to get that all repaired and replaced. Last month, there was a death in the family, and just last week, I totaled my car and had to take on a bigger payment on the new one. Just this past weekend, one of my sisters had a mild stroke. Through all of that, I never thought, if I could only have a smoke everything would be all right. It's been the little things, like a traffic jam, that I've the hardest time with. I had to shout down the junkie quite a few times early in my quit.

My next step is to wean myself away from what I call my quit sticks, the plastic straws cut in two with one end stopped up with cotton rolled in Vick's VapoRub. They've taken the cigarette's place as a source of comfort when I'm having a crave or when I'm tense. Better than sucking down tobacco smoke, yes, but now that I'm free of nicotine, I need to be free of everything associated with smoking. The quit sticks have become a crutch.

What I love about not smoking:
1. I can breathe again, deep breaths without coughing.
2. My sense of smell has returned, unless I'm stopped up from allergies
and with it, my sense of taste.
3. I don't stink anymore.
4. I don't have to plan my life around smoking anymore. I don't have to
plan where to stay on an out of town trip depending on what hotel
has smoking rooms. I don't have to sneak out of a restaurant early
to smoke when I'm eating out with friends.
5. Now that I wrecked my old car, the new one won't smell like smoke,
even though I cleaned it and sprayed it with air freshener time and
time again. Some things the stink is not going to come out of. Now I
don't have to smell it anymore. Plus, I don't have to drive around a
car with cigarette burns on the seat and carpet or worry about doing
the same with this one.
6. The extra money I have. It sure has come in handy. Now I can afford
to have someone to cut my grass, and hopefully I can afford that $40
more dollars a month I'll have to pay for my new 2009 Hyundai
Elantra.

Wow, this really has turned into a ramble. I have one more thing to say, thank you to everyone reading this. Without you I wouldn't have made it this far. Special thanks to Jamie and Linnea for answering my first post asking for quit buddies.
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akite: from a painting of an old fashion dressed girl on a bench  (Default)
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