I have to quit smoking. I was recently diagnosed with moderate emphysema. Yes, I know. Smoking causes that. I am very good at many things, but I totally suck at quitting smoking. I know and have read all the tricks, suggestions, statistics, the advice and yet none of it totally helps. There are several reasons for this, which I will get to in a minute. In order to help me in this venture, I will be chronicling my journey.
First things first: This is my disclaimer. I in no way am suggesting nor will I suggest that you quit smoking or that my methods are proper or even medically recommended. I will suggest that if anything I write inspires you to quit smoking that you see a doctor first and follow his or her instructions. I will only be writing about what works or does not work for me and me alone.
I started smoking when I was 11. Sneaking off to the girls bathroom in 6th grade…being cool. Used to steal cigarette where I could and had an older lady, whom I loved to death, kinda of an honorary grandma, who would give me cigarettes. Used to hide them in my socks. At the time however, it was not an obsession or something I thought about 24/7. I just smoked when it was cool thing to do or if I had a cigarette. That soon changed though. Somewhere along the line, I became completely addicted. In my case, cigarettes became a way to calm down, to cope. So a crutch. I, as a youngun, was never quite sure what to do with intense feelings, a cigarette afforded me a moment, helped calm me down.
SO back to quitting. This is not my first attempt. I have “quit” many times before. Sometimes only for a day or two. As Mark Twain said, “Giving up smoking is easy…I’ve done it hundreds of times.” One time I quit for a year. I used the Nicorette gum, Wellbutrin and went to Disney land for a week, where it turns out it is hard to find a place to smoke. The combination of the three worked. I did find out later that I shouldn’t have used both the gum and the Wellbutrin. Guess it can be a dangerous combo. Why did I start smoking again? Well ti goes back to the not knowing how to deal with intense feelings. There was a bad moment, when we thought my little niece was dying. I was outside the hospital with my sister who lit up. And so did I.
I have tried the patch, the drugs, the gum, the lozenges, cold turkey, and hypnosis to name a few. I have read all the literature. Sorry. I feel that most of the stuff has been written by folks who have never smoked a day in their life. Substituting carrots or chewing on toothpicks doesn’t really work. Taking a walk? Nope, I will just walk to the nearest store and buy a pack of cigarettes. Anyway, most of it is bullshit in my opinion. I have tried cutting back, changing brands, hell, I even got my car completely detailed (another one of those suggestions) so that I did not smoke in the car. That lasted 3 days.
On June 16th, I have an appointment for an all day quit smoking class type of thing with my health insurance. I am honestly not sure how I feel about going. I will go. I am actually hoping it helps. I am going to use the opportunity to kick-start no smoking. I do have the patch, lozenges, mints, and as suggested by a very good friend cinnamon sticks to chaw on. In the meantime, I am trying to cut back, but heck, my brain is so twisted and addicted to these damn cigarettes, that as soon I even think of cutting back or quitting I want to smoke even more. So, as a total addict here, I am not going to try to fool myself. I will smoke. I will quit on the 16th. In addition, I will chronicle this here, in my blog.