Consider Yourself Warned

Several weeks ago, I posted that my blogging schedule would be impacted by that crazy thing called life and other obligations.  Last week, the schedule finally began to clear up.  I got all optimistic about posting again.

Then I threw another roadblock up.

One that has impacted my ability to concentrate, to focus, to write reasonably appealing prose.

I quit smoking.

Last Wednesday, May 11, 2011, at 7:30 AM CDT, I stubbed out that last cigarette and threw the ashtray in the trash.  I tossed the lighter in the candle drawer.

I’m on Day Five of my non-smoking life.

It has NOT been pretty!

I know quitting is a good thing.  I’ve actually quit before, for a three-year stretch.  I know it’s possible to succeed, one minute, one hour, one day at a time, without a cigarette.

The withdrawal, however, is a nightmare.  I’m not sleeping well.  I’m moody and irritable.  I could b*tchslap the sweetest person on the planet with no provocation.

Prior to putting out that last smoke, I’d reduced my cigarette count from a pack a day to, like, eight.  I had intended May 1st to be my quit date, but I pussy-footed around and came up with a variety of excuses to keep cigarettes on hand.  So I hadn’t reduced below eight per day when I finally decided enough was enough.

I’m doing this cold turkey.  I don’t like turkey.

I thought I’d get through the end of last week, then the weekend, and then be fine.  No such luck.  Apparently, work is a trigger for me.  Shocking!

I went online and researched the length of your standard withdrawal.  I discovered it’s estimated to take two weeks!

TWO WEEKS?!?!?

The last time I looked that up, several years ago, it was three DAYS!  What happened?

I could cry.  In fact, I find myself doing that at odd moments.  Let’s make withdrawal and detox more fun with tears, shall we?

In the midst of my misery, there is one major difference with my effort to quit this time around.  And I think it’s an important difference.

I truly want to quit.

My mind is completely made up that it is time for me to rid myself of this filthy habit.  My family will be thrilled while remaining thankful that they all live 2,000 miles away from the monster that is me in the throes of detox.  (Sorry, Mom & Dad, for not mentioning this when we spoke yesterday.  I was busy trying to concentrate on something other than my usual cigarette on the balcony that is (was) part of my routine during our weekly phone call.)

Prior quitting attempts were, to put it bluntly, half-assed.  In the back of my mind, I always reserved the right to bum a ciggie off someone if the need became too great.

Not this time.

I have one smoking buddy at work and I’ve told him he has to stay away from me.  He took it in the spirit it was intended since he tried to quit a few months ago and had asked the same of me.  Who says people can’t be supportive?

I guess I needed to rant because that’s what this post looks like to me.  I suspect there will be additional posts over the next couple of weeks that explore this journey.  It’s about all I can concentrate on.

Consider yourself warned.

Were you ever a smoker?  Did you quit?  Got any pointers to keep me from inflicting physical harm?


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8 thoughts on “Consider Yourself Warned

  1. Rant away! What you are doing isn’t easy. I’m sending you supportive vibes. I don’t have any wisdom to share, as I was only ever a very casual smoker (as in once in a while in a bar). Then I was in a show that required I chain smoke for the 10 minutes I was on stage. (Greatest role EVER by the way–I chain smoked, did a striptease, and got beaten my boyfriend all in 10 minutes). During the last show, the director wanted me to burn through a zillion leftover cigarettes. I ran off the stage heaving and have never touched one since.

    Good luck!

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    • Thank for the support! I’m going to need all the help I can get! At least the sensation of something crawling under my skin that I experienced last Thursday went away. That was freaky!!

      And you’re right…that does sound like the greatest role EVER!! It must have been a blast! 🙂

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  2. Whoopee!!! Good girl Sweets. I thought you sounded a little irritable on Sunday…now I know why. Your Grandpa Clark, at one time, smoked 3 packs a day then one morning, while in his 70’s, he woke up hacking and coughing, took nearly a full pack and threw them in the fireplace…cold turkey…and never had enother cigarette the rest of his life (nearly 91). You are a lot like him and also have his willpower so I know you can do this. He would be very proud of you!! As I am also.

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  3. Good for you! I’m not a smoker, but my parents always have been (despite all my efforts to guilt, er, encourage them to quit. They have stopped for short periods of time but my mom said that everything was a trigger for a cigarette (waking up, drinking a Coke, driving, breathing.)

    Your desire to quit will overcome the withdrawals, I just know it. But I’m still glad I don’t live near Chicago right now 😉 (I’m only kidding…please don’t hurt me….)

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  4. Oh. My Gosh. The timing of this post is ridiculous. I have an appointment tomorrow to get put on Chantix. I quit cold turkey the day I found out I was pregnant. I didn’t have any desire to smoke the whole time I was expecting. About a week after returning home (as a stay-at-home mom instead of my usual work-all-day routine), I started back. I finally hit a wall last week when my 18-month-old caught a glimpse of mommy smoking outside on the porch and made a stinky face. I could have died. So, know this, I’ll be going through withdrawls with you!

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    • I tried Chantix a couple years back. It does work to suppress the smoking urges but be forewarned…it causes CRAZY dreams. I lasted 6 of the 12 weeks before I threw the pills away. I wasn’t sleeping well because my dreams were acid trips on steroids and I was constantly queasy. With that ringing endorsement (LOL!), do try it because Chantix DOES work. A co-worker used it with great success. I, on the other hand, wasn’t motivated enough to power through at that time.

      Watch for today’s post. I’ll be chronicling the physical and mental withdrawal symptoms I experienced. With humor. Because if I don’t laugh, I’ll cry. I swear, the only thing keeping a cig out of my mouth is that I NEVER want to experience this again!

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