Friday, October 22, 2010

I Quit

I don't know how it works for you when you decide to do something but for me it's like a switch flips inside my head.  The foot shuffling question of should no longer exists.  There is no hesitation, no nervousness, it's just...done. 

When I went skydiving?  I wasn't scared.  There was no holding back.  I was thrilled about it.  I did not freak out in the plane on the way up like that one chick who left just before me and they had to bring the whole plane back down because she starting crying.  She shouldn't have bought her ticket in the first place.  She wasn't ready.

Me?  Cool as a cucumber.  Still one of the most favorite things I've ever done.  But skydiving is not the point.

The point is that I decided to quit smoking yesterday.  Or stop.  or whatever you want to call it.  And I went out and bought a box of Target brand nicotine patches.  And I have one on right now.  My name is Silver and it's been 16 hours since my last cigarette.  Hi, Silver

This is a decision I have wrestled with off and on for years.  I quit a couple times before.  The first time was with the gum, but that stuff is disgusting.  More disgusting than cigarettes? you're asking.  Listen, stop looking at me like that and quit being such a judgmental dick.  The gum was gross.  So I quit cold turkey instead.  happy?  pfffbbttt.  And that lasted for a few months, but then I started waiting tables again and all the good gossip happens when everyone's smoking in the break room.  That was a combination of temptations too great for me to resist.  I'm only human. 

So you didn't really quit then, did you?  You just "stopped." you're thinking.  Whatever.  Semantics.  And you don't have to read this if you don't want to.  Hows about you get on board already or get clickety with that Next Blog button up there, m'kay?  Don't fuck with me.  I'm feeling a little edgy, as you might imagine.

The next time I quit after that I used the Nicoderm patch.  It was fairly new at the time and I knew I needed a chemical weaning process.  I was ready to quit, but I'd been smoking a TON.  So, that worked and after two weeks of the patch it was a cake walk.  The physical craving had stopped; mentally I was over it.  Easy.  That time lasted about a year.  I forget what got me back to smoking.  Probably just a night out and the infamous, "Oh, can I just have one drag?.  No really, it'll be fiiiiine."  Quit shaking your head.  I know.  so stupid.

And over the last 8 or so years since then I've stopped a couple times for a week or two or a month here and there but there was always some enormous stress trigger that smacked me in the face and I went right on back to smoking like Marlboro was paying me cash.

And with all this reunion business and every other mountainous thing I've been dealing with lately, the smoking hit a crystal-shattering crescendo.  My lungs actually hurt.  And it was noticeably hard to breathe. And it didn't go away after a few hours because I've gotten so physically and psychologically hooked on smoking that I wouldn't give myself even that amount of time to take a break from it except for when I was asleep.  And that was kinda gross.  More than kinda.  Okay, fine.  It was a lot gross.  I get it.  geez.  I went out and got this didn't I?

So, now I'm quitting because I'm a truly devoted fan of pain-free breathing.  And because I've noticed too many people cruising through the store in a Pig Pen-like aromatic cloud of cigarette smoke and I have had the audacity to think, "Ugh.  ew.  puh-lease, so gross."  But then I had the immediate instant karma self-awareness moment of, "ohno.  I just had a cigarette outside...  Am I...?  Do *I*...?  nonononono.  [shoulders slumped]  dammit."  And you're doing that raised eyebrow, straight-lipped nodding thing that means 'fraid so, idiot.  And you can just stop that this minute.  because I get it.  I've been on the other side of that one too. 

There was this one time years ago I saw a girl I hadn't seen in a few months.  She'd lost a lot of weight.  Looked great.  I told her so.  She then exclaimed, "After I saw those pictures from Spring Break I had to!  Why didn't you tell me I was fat?!"  And I just said, "Uh. I thought you knew."  Because cryin' out loud that slingshot she wore to the beach wouldn't have done anyone any favors and you don't need to be doing that in public when you're 20 ell bees in the black.  Especially not in Miami.  But that was your town and I was just visiting, maybe I didn't know local custom.  So I kept my mouth shut. 

So yeah, that's me now.  Realizing I've been walking around smelling terrible probably.  And that is completely unattractive.  And the switch suddenly flipped in my head that makes that entirely unacceptable.

Plus after the last few months, I'm pretty sure I've earned the right to to take a legitimate deep breath. 


Bec-Bec said...

I feel ya on this. I've wanted to quit for so long but 'afraid' to. Wth. Let me know how it goes. I might just put one foot in front of the other and jump on the bandwagon. No promises but damn. My lungs would Love me. :)

Silver said...

So far so good I guess. into the 22nd hour. my temper was flaring earlier but I took a couple St. John Wort pills and am now chewing gum like a truck stop waitress with a bad attitude.

92.9 The Wave's Jennifer Roberts said...

Best of luck to you, my dear... it's hard but well worth it. I quit Jan. 28, 2003.... gave in and had just one June 23rd, 2003, but haven't had one since. Still crave it desperately every once in a while.... never more than after a really good meal (which non-smokers never can understand.)

dbs said...

I quit over a decade ago now and like you said, one day I just decided and it was over. I'm still proud of that. Did I mention it took a few tries before the iron resolve kicked in though? Hope you make it.