Quitting Smoking 6/10/12

As those of you who follow this blog (and I know you are out there as I have gotten messages asking where the smoking post is today) I went off to see family this weekend. The actual occasion of the gathering was my nieces High School Graduation.  I was a little concerned about how much I would smoke as my family truly stresses me out. Well things did not go as I thought.

One of my concerns and the thing I obsessed on was the drive there.  I had made plans on how I was NOT going to smoke until I stopped and when that didn’t work how I was going to watch the time I smoked. Well, the plans did not work. I think that I was so focused on the smoking that the urge to smoke was stronger. I smoked like a chimney. I find it strange, though. When I have others in my car with me, I can wait until we stop. I do not smoke in the car with passengers.  Granted when we stop, the first thing I do is smoke. Even before going to the bathroom. It is almost as if I already know that I can’t smoke so I do not worry about it. Or perhaps it is just that I don’t want to inconvenience others and hear their whining. Maybe both.

The second concern was hanging with family. As stated, probably ad nauseum, they stress me out.  In the past, I would go outside and find the smokers. They always seem to be the least annoying. No annoying isn’t the word. Judgmental is the correct word. The rest of ‘em get too much for me I would be outside smoking one after another.  Like a chimney. I was worried I would do that. With the emphysema, smoking that much is very bad. Well, smoking at all is bad, but smoking a pack of cigarettes one after the other would send me to the hospital unable to breathe.

Now stop, I have already said in a previous post that I know I need to quit. That one would think having COPD (the kinder gentler way of saying emphysema in my case) would be enough to quit. It isn’t. Would have already done it. So stop judging.

Well I actually did very well. I did not go outside and smoke a lot. Had very few actually. As there were other people there besides family, I got distracted with good conversation and laughs. The family members who are the worst offenders at stressing me out behaved themselves.  In fact, I did not even realized how few I smoked until I was reviewing my day at the motel room.

The occasion was my niece’s high school graduation. I did not even miss smoking while sitting there, in the freezing cold, for the two-hour ceremony. And when I got back into the car, although I grabbed a cigarette I did not light it. I got back to the motel room and never did light it up.

Speaking of the motel room. I was in Nevada.  It is ok to smoke in Nevada, not like in California where it almost  like shooting up heroin in public.  So here I was, expecting to smoke in the motel room and it turns out to be a non-smoking motel. That was strange. It is a small town and there are only three motels. I pick the only one you can’t smoke in.  The first thing I did when I walked into the room was look for an ashtray. No ashtrays. Therefore, I held off on smoking. Cause I did not want to leave the room.  The entire time I was in the room, even though I did go out to smoke, I only took a few drags and then tossed the smoke.  Partially because I was uncomfortable outside in the cold and another, big part, was a family member whom I do not get along with was in a room near mine and I did not want to be caught outside smoking and have to make nice with her.

So what did learn about my smoking habits this weekend? Several things. First, if I spend time thinking (should say obsessing) about when I can or can’t smoke, I smoke more. Second, when I am distracted and do not want to miss something, the urge to smoke is not there. Third, I can go two hours or more before wanting a cigarette rather than the hour I previously thought was my limit. Lastly, I project and anticipate problems that haven’t happened yet. I blow them up in my head, instead of letting things happen as they will. When I do that, I add to my own stress levels.  So double the stress. I do believe it is my way to justify smoking more. In other words, I am going to be stressed, I am stressed, you would smoke to. Now that my friends is a classic case of stinking thinking.


I have 6 days before my quit date.


DISCLAIMER: These posts are nothing more than chronicling my efforts to quit smoking. Anything I write is nothing more than my way of doing so and my feelings associated with those efforts. If you are inspired to quit smoking by anything you read here, please see a doctor and follow their instructions. I, in no way, am suggesting or recommending anything as means of smoke cessation.

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