Quitting Smoking….Again

10

February 2, 2009 by esarsea

ashtray

I hate cigarettes. Absolutely hate ’em. They stink, they make you stink, and they’re (by and large) socially unacceptable. They’re expensive, they’re addicting, they’re messy and they cause a multitude of health problems.  According to the Department of Health and Human Services Center for Diesase Control and Prevention, an estimated 443,000 people die prematurely from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke EACH YEAR – and another 8.6 million have a serious illness caused by smoking.

I’ve been smoking, for the most part, since I was 18 years old. I’ll be turning 54 this month. That’s 36 years of being an inconsiderate and selfish walking stinkpot, slowly killing myself and those exposed to me.

The best I’ve been able to do, up until now, is quit for 2 years back in 2005. Then in 2007 Mary-Anne and I went to Las Vegas for vacation. Being the idiot I am, I said “Hey, let’s just smoke this week while we’re in Vegas and quit again when we get home.” Great fucking idea, moron. Nearly 3 years later I’m still puffing on the damn things. I guess not everything that happens in Vegas stays in Vegas like the TV commericals suggest.

My father died from a stoke, likely caused by smoking. My father in law just died less than 2 months ago from smoking-related medical issues. My mother has smoking-related respiratory issues, and has an oxygen tank at home. I just finished a stress test at the Cardiologist due to some chest discomfort accompanied by an irregular pulse, and have been diagnosed with early emphasema.

In my years as a Fire Department Paramedic I repeatedly witnessed the long term effects of smoking on others. Some of them made it to the hospital. Many of them did not.

I haven’t had a cigarette in 6 days. Until a few minutes ago that us. I just put one out. What the hell is wrong with me? Fuck!!!

God willing, it was a temporary lapse of sanity. I’ve got a prescription for nicotine inhalers and I’m sucking on them pretty much non-stop. I’ve got teeth marks in the little plastic holders, and my jaw and teeth literally ache from chewing on them.

I guess there really isn’t a point to my rambling. I’m typing this into my computer at my desk at work, instead of going outside and having another cigarette. Maybe putting this down in print will help. It’s can’t hurt.

You know, I’d like to think I’m not an idiot. I’d like to think I’m not WEAK. Unfortunately, my actions would suggest otherwise. I am frustrated, and I am pissed off. 

Thanks for the ear.

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10 thoughts on “Quitting Smoking….Again

  1. rsr348 says:

    Glad to lend an ear to venting. God knows I do enough venting myself and not always to the right crowd. Lost a job because of it. I kick myself every day for being stupid.

    Don’t know what to say about the smoking habit. I know how difficult it must be. I’m pretty quick to hit the beer frig when I get home, and that’s an addiction as well. I have a minor in health education, so I should be smarter too. Hang in there. We’re behind you dude.

  2. Jane says:

    Best of luck Stu! contact me anytime if you want someone to distract you or tell you not to smoke. I might just do the same to you. It is unbelieveably difficult for so many people and usually in different ways. I am not as old as you but I think i completely understand the feelings you describe especially the overwhelming ‘evidence’ so to speak that one’s mind can so easily dismiss.
    if that makes sense.

  3. Jane says:

    i do have some advice though my husband quit ciggaerettes by doing what his buddy did – switch to these mini cigar things, well now he’s back up to smoking them as much as he did ciggs and they are these super cheap flavored things with filters. i wish he would go back to ciggaerettes actually and i can’t believe i said that. his friend was able to just have the cigar things on few occasions but that didn’t work so good at our house.

  4. billie789 says:

    There’s nothing worse than knowing that what you are doing is harming you and those around you and you can’t stop. In your case, with a robust family history, age and recent diagnosis taken into consideration, you know you need to stop now.

    Stay strong, Stu. If I can quit drinking, you can quit smoking.

    With smoking, I never really enjoyed it. It was pure habit and there are so many triggers for a smoke or a drink to an addict.

    You drink or smoke when you feel good, you do it when you feel bad. When you feel guilty, it makes it worse, it seems, because then you are having an internal fight about it.

    That’s where the “let’s just do it while we’re in Vegas”-thing comes from. You cut yourself a deal to fail.

    It’s like me saying to myself,”I’m just going to have one cocktail tonight. I’m gonna savor it, sip it and enjoy it and just be normal…” It never, ever happened.

    Once, I even went to a therapist to help me quit drinking and after I poured my heart out onto her area rug, she looked quite impatient and said that if drinking made me that miserable, why didn’t I just quit?

    I was angry with her for that Pollyanna-bullshit advice and I never went back, but several years later, I JUST QUIT!

    It is within your DNA, your character, your experience and your ability to know better to JUST QUIT and do not look back. The gum, the patches, the counseling are all little crutches. In the end, you just say “Fuck You, I’m in control, not you,” to a habit.

  5. Da Goddess says:

    Stu, I quit when I got pregnant with my daughter in 1992. I was cigarette-free for years. Then I had one. And another. And another. Finally, it was back. I was a smoker again. Never around the kids, never indoors. Then it was indoors, but not when the kids were with me. When I went in for this last operation, two days before, I stubbed out my last cigarette, hopefully forever. That was October 29. I don’t crave a cigarette at any point in my day at all. I hate the smell that emanates from under my roommate’s door. I feel good! Yes, it’s true that I was tucked away in either the hospital or nursing home for three weeks, and that did help, but I know if I can do it, you can too.

    Here’s to being smoke-free!

  6. Chaotic Bliss says:

    I can totally relate to what you are going with. I have been smoking since I was 17 (I’m 35 now). I am on my latest quitting attempt and it has not been a smooth road.

    This time, I am “quitting” using the nicotine patch. I can go a few days, at most, then I break down and have one. Only to curse at myself afterward and while lighting another one.

    I too HATE them. They are everything you described. Disgusting, socially unacceptable, expensive, make you stink, etc. I just need to find that “something” that will finally allow me to get over the hurdle that is holding me back.

  7. Stu says:

    Thanks everyone for the encouragement and support. I WILL beat this!

  8. Da Goddess says:

    Yes, you WILL beat this because you’re strong enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like you.

    Seriously, you can do it. I know you can.

  9. Randy Spiker says:

    Wow Stu….. what a coincidence. I had my last puff on Friday, Jan 16, 2009. My method for quitting was different. I used a medication called Chantix. I chose this over the Nicotine gum or patch because either of those just change your intake of nicotine from tobacco to something else…… never really getting one over the addiction.

    With this medication, it’s a 4 week routine where they encourage you to smoke. I lasted one week into the program and the 7th day which happened to be the day I was finally ramped up to full dose, I didn’t have an urge at all and pretty much haven’t ever since. I thought for sure that the typical triggers like coffee or an evening glass of wine would be impossible to get over. Not so though I have found a new hobby in irritating Bill. (just kidding!)

    The stuff is amazing. E-mail me for more details if you’re interested.

  10. esarsea says:

    I considered that Chantix stuff but was concerned about the reported side effects. Now that’s FUNNY when you think about it…concerned about the side effects of Chantix more than the effects of smoking? Unbelievable! That just occured to me as I was writing this. LOL.

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