Saturday, July 19, 2008

It’s been two weeks! (and one day, four hours & 17 odd minutes… but who’s counting)



Well, as of this Saturday morning, it's now been a little over 15 days since I had my last cigarette. And I've got to be really honest here; there are moments when I feel as if the last 25 years of smoking has been a dream, but other moments (far more, I'm afraid) where these 15 or so days feel more like it's only been 15 minutes.

I don't mean that to sound like 'time flies when you're having fun'; it's more like 'I could go outside for a smoke just as easily now as I did the last time I had one.  Ugh!



July 4, 2008 was my own Independence Day (it wasn't planned, I just decided the night before I’d had enough)

It's almost funny now, but a couple days ago I came pretty close to buckling; Thursday afternoon in the office, there was a large chocolate cake & I had just helped myself to a really big piece (with a cup of hazelnut coffee). After I finished, it suddenly occurred to me how good a cigarette would taste just about now, and I thought "oh the hell with it, where's a lighter??" (Y'see, I've been carrying an unopened pack of smokes in my workbag for the last 2 weeks as a feeling of empowerment; I'd often look in my bag, see them in there & think "I don't need you, do you hear?!")

My near-mistake was asking a co-worker if she by chance had a lighter or pack of matches. Four sets of ears perked right up & that pack of smokes was wrestled away from me.

And it hit me, I wasn't feeling very empowered carrying those around anymore.

I promptly called one of my former smoking buddies (who worked below me on the fifth floor) and said "You still smoke Basic Lights, right? You just hit the jackpot."



My hidden stash, which I lied to Julie Darling about & said I had thrown away

So early yesterday morning, I packed up my workbag with all the smoking paraphernalia I've had hidden away in my apartment--27 packs of smokes, 4 brand new lighters, and my 'lucky chocolate' ashtray. Brought it all to work & handed it over to "Bea", a woman in her fifties who kept licking her lips & whispering "you poor baby, I feel your pain..." Yeah right, she couldn't wait to get back downstairs and start smokin'!

Someone asked me if she'd given me anything in return for it & I said no--the pain of parting with both those cigs (and the money I had spent on them) would be a good reminder that I can't go back. Frack!

Time for some Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: Okay Doug, just admit it; don't you feel so much healthier?
  • A: Well, I'm not hacking in the morning now, and I should be grateful for that, but I feel pretty tired most of the time now. And crabby too, dammit!
  • Q: Have you noticed that your sense of smell has improved, and food tastes a lot better?
  • A: Yes, I can now smell a cigarette from a half-mile away!  Okay okay, I’ve noticed my taste-buds are enjoying the lack of smoke.
  • Q: Is that fake cig you puff on helping any? Are you gaining any weight?
  • A: Yes I LOVE my "water-stick", but I think I'm addicted to inhaling steam now.  As for the weight gain, need you ask?
  • Q: I know you're not a religious person, but I'm going to pray for you.
  • A: No! No prayer! I'm not letting your Sky-Man take any credit for this!



To be honest, I just don't feel like a 'real quitter' yet. I'm still 'puffing away' on my water-stick (which emits clouds of water vapor) and has a slight nutty flavor.

It's the first thing I reach for in the morning now. But at least it's clean, harmless, and I'm not inhaling burning tobacco (or those other 4000 chemicals they're always warning about). My breath & hands smell clean, my clothes & hair smell like soap, and my poor lungs are finally getting fresh air for the first time in years.

Sometimes it's somewhat satisfying; and other times not at all.

I (along with my sister Donda, who is going through the EXACT same thing) just need to keep taking this one day at a time.

Hang in there, Cissy


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