Saturday, July 19, 2008

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

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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!

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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."

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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!

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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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