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Smoking or Non-smoking?

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serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
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0 posted 04-30-2009 11:24 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze


I happen to have two packs of cigarettes left, and yanno what?

I've decided to be bold--to venture into public domain and (using Ron's generosity yet again) attempt to cease this senseless assault on my heath and my wallet.

So as I watch my forty ciggies go up in smoke, I decided I'd keep you guys informed.

Encourage me if ya want, join me if you like, mock me if I fail--this is a totally new experience for me.

I do not know if I know how to live without something to do with my hands and mouth--but I am open to suggestions.




And hey, this is hard for me, because if ya'll know me well? It's really hard for me to do anything when I feel like I'm being coerced--and I feel like I'm being coerced.

But I can't argue with the logic that it is a drain on my health, and on the healthcare system--I really can't--and I'm good at the rationalized loophole.

I just can't find one.

So? Anyone care to join me?

Forty cigs...it's like...biblical, right?



All tips on how to quit are welcome.

In fact, I'm gonna start by using Aunt Sandra's.

She told me she put her ciggies out in a jar with a little water in it, covered by a tight lid.

When she felt like a taking a toke, she'd inhale the debris.

If she bought a new pack, she forced herself to take a sip. (I think Aunt Sandra has issues.) But I'll TRY the bad smellie thing, but if anyone thinks I'm drinking nicotine water?

oh.

guess I drank worse...but STILL--the tobacco martini ain't happenin' in my house.

Anyone care to sign up? <--that will turn to "grump" soon enough.
Krawdad
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since 01-03-2001
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1 posted 04-30-2009 11:54 AM       View Profile for Krawdad   Email Krawdad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Krawdad

Been there, K - from two packs to zero - but it took some preparation - more later . . . got to pay the man.
serenity blaze
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2 posted 04-30-2009 11:59 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Okay.

I just lit one.

I'll be 48 in June, and this has been a habit since I was nine. (Before that I only smoked when I drank.)

It's true that I loved tobacco always--even pipes. And I smoke more now than I ever have--all my time is my own. So, I can do whatever I want with it. (I just realized I was wasting my precious beloved by TYPING.)

*pause*

puff puff

now I ask you, what is attractive about this?

My friend Kathe'--a nurse and a total Nazi anti tobacco fiend--once pointed out to me, while we sucking the heads of crawfish on the Riverwalk, a woman who was creating a small stench about her at the next table.

"Look at huh! Like dat's attractive!"

and I just shrugged and sucked the head of a mudbug and commented, "and this is sooooo much more beguiling..."

(she actually saw the humor in that, so I was impressed with my improv--considering how militant my friend is about the smoking)

She's the sort who will yell at a stranger for the damage to her lungs. After being diagnosed with the mysterious "unknown lung condition" I can't say I blame her.

Bad habits should not be an imposition on others.

But I suppose that would be what makes a habit BAD, huh? <--see me rationalizing already?

There's a lot of good reasons for me to quit.

I need money, for one thing.

I have sleep apnea too. I wheeze. I have problems with anesthesia to such an extent that surgery has been postponed, and in one case, denied until it became the lesser of two evils.

*pause*

puff puff

I mean, what am I getting out of this?

It's against my very aesthetics!

I like to smell nice. And I don't.

I love really fine fabrics, and they are ruined by the stain and stench.

Ashtrays were once amusing, but now they are not.

My father died of lung cancer.

Why do I do this?

I mean, it's not like it's even keeping my weight down.

I just made sparks, stamping out number forty.

Should I even count them?

If I'm serious, why don't I just say I stopped, with thirty nine cigs left in my arsenal?

And btw? What happened to that money that was given to each state, way back when it was discovered and made public that tobacco companies were adding, um, chemical additives to make cigarettes even more addictive while downplaying the health risks?

In Louisiana, I seem to recall that our state utilized the money on roads.

*laughing*

yeah

we plant azaleas in our potholes.

Seriously.

Now, I'll fess up and tell you all I used to have a cocaine problem. (Can you imagine how annoying I was on cocaine?)

I mean, I'm bad enough now.

But I had no problem kicking cocaine once I figured out how it worked on the brain.

It's kinda like...learning the trick to the magic act--it lost its allure.

So now that I know that cigarettes work much the same way, why can't I give it up?

I am the only smoker in this household and everybody else hates me for it. They hate the smell, they hate my ashtrays, they hate the mess that comes with that inevitable almost-made-it to flick the ash...and I cringe, thinking that I am indulging myself at the cost of the health of my loved ones.

They even built me my own room to smoke in, but they kinda like me, so they come sit in here, in spite of the spiteful addiction of mine.

I can't tell you how many great songs I've missed at concerts because I was outside smoking. I can't count the bad tables I've had in restaurants. (Karen loves a courtyard--and the mosquitoes ain't that bad and what's a little West Nile?)

Sheesh.

I have consistent post nasal drip, and between the nicotine and my equally beloved coffee? Well, call me Ole Yeller. *wag wag*

The truth is, I'd be very happy with less butts hanging around.

I'd like my room to smell purty.

I just don't know what to do with my damned hands!!!
Susan Caldwell
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since 12-27-2002
Posts 8464
Florida


3 posted 04-30-2009 12:41 PM       View Profile for Susan Caldwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Susan Caldwell

I am somewhat of a closet smoker.  If I am around people that don't smoke, I don't.

I don't like to smoke in public because I feel "dirty" for doing so ...

I rarely smoke the entire day when I am at work.

or busy.

I don't smoke in the morning unless something horrific has happened.

I smoke on the ride home from work (often this is my first smoke of the day).

I smoke at home in the evenings.  

I end up smoking about a half a pack a day.

I don't smoke in the house (except my bathroom with the door closed and the fan on)

If I am going to an appt. I will not smoke at all that day until after the appt. because I don't want to smell like smoke.

Clearly, I have self hate issues over my smoking.

and yet I continue to do it.

Karen, keep busy.  Garden, cook....things that you can't smoke during easily...

"too bad ignorance isn't painful"
~Unknown~

serenity blaze
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4 posted 04-30-2009 12:50 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

But see? This is the time I handle the bills.

And yes there's another one burning in my mouth.

sigh...smoke...sigh...stress...

and yanno? Intellectually I know this does not relieve my stress.

So WHY IS THIS THING HANGING FROM MY MOUTH?



Oh stay tuned folks...

love ya E, love ya Suze...

I hope ya'll love me anyway.

I definitely stink.
serenity blaze
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5 posted 04-30-2009 04:35 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

oh man...I smoke when I sit here. *pout*
nakdthoughts
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since 10-29-2000
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Between the Lines


6 posted 04-30-2009 05:31 PM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

First of all remember this is just my opinion and experiences...if you every watched or took care of someone dying from lung cancer, it would or should make you stop smoking, although it didn't stop my brother in law who is now dying of lung cancer, as did my sister barely 5 years ago and both in their sixties.

I stopped over 30 years ago when I caught a flu bug and had enough trouble breathing...and cheated a teeny bit after when I was with friends who smoked because it  is always easier to smoke when among others who do...but  one day I got laryngitis and if you knew me, as some do, you would know not being able to speak was  terrible for me.

I had the laryngitis for over a year and had to go to speech therapy to get my voice back...and that was at an agency where many who had voice boxes removed because of cancer were relearning how to speak through a hole in their throat using some kind of mechanism.  I felt guilty just going there.

Anyway, try taking the money you would spend on cigarettes and put it in a jar weekly and see how fast it accumulates and then use it to reward yourself for not buying cigarettes and smoking.

A long ago friend use to go to Europe every year on the money saved in her jar.

Just a few thoughts. And I know they always say those who use to smoke sometimes are the  hardest ones to take advice from.

p.s. I use to eat red licorice sticks or pretzels in place of the cigarette because a lot of it is the holding of something between the fingers..( no jokes please).
( but remember when you do stop smoking you may gain weight because your metabolism may slow down...) It is still worth the weight gain and instead you can make a new habit of exercising. Just a few thoughts Karen. No matter what, I wish you well and a long life ahead of you.


M

serenity blaze
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7 posted 04-30-2009 06:17 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Gaining weight is not an option!

I just got back into my skinny green jeans!

(And I didn't even have to lay down to zip 'em up, and NO they aren't stretch jeans!) yay me?

Can BobK hypnotize me through the internet?

Oh wow. That's kind of a scary thought. Not that I don't trust Bob, it's just a scary thought.

And why is it, that whenever I try to do this, anything that can go wrong does?

Sigh. I thought I should just try going for a walk, and then I went and stubbed my toe. (Yanno how you catch a toe on the edge of the furniture?) It's a trivial thing that hurts like the devil, huh?

anyhoo..

My mom buffed her nails as a substitute, and she managed to quit smoking and lose fifty lbs. I fear this fruit fell pretty far from THAT tree though. Like right out of the orchard.

Thanks for the pep talk though, Mo. *hugs*
SEA
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with you


8 posted 04-30-2009 06:40 PM       View Profile for SEA   Email SEA   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for SEA

of course things are going to go wrong...

it happened to me every single time I tried to quit and I just decided to ride them out. It was not easy. I cried for a week and hid in my room. I mean I sobbed...like a woman going through withdrawls. I couldn't drink for a while, cause I like to smoke when I drink. I cleaned a lot too. I think staying busy is key. Remind yourself why you don't want to. Write notes, and plaster them everywhere. Start by not smoking in certain places. Like not at the computer, or in the bathroom, or while watching tv...Read a book, and while you read don't smoke, make it a good one that is hard to put down. Make deals with yourself. Start with one hour...you get the idea...I will smoke after I do such and such...keep putting it off. It's not that you can't smoke, it's that YOU don't want to. Never mind your family doesn't want you to, what about you?

It's hard...and yep, I really like tobacco too, but the fact is, it's addictive and it is killing you. You can do this. Just want to. if after this 40 it doesn't work, try again...and again...

serenity blaze
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9 posted 04-30-2009 07:05 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze



And yanno? The kids are really helping me too.

I didn't realize how much faith they have in me--when did I ever give them the impression that I could do anything?

And when did things turn around to THEM assuring ME that if you really put your mind to do something, anything is possible.

grin

Life gets weirder every day. And yeppers about the drinkie poos for a bit. I think I was overdoing it a little.

Just a little. *winks to Ron*

*laughing*

Oh well. They call this the change, right?

So, I'll try to change.

No.

I WILL CHANGE.

I do not smoke. I do not smoke. I do not smoke.

But here's some serendipity for ya Sue-sea.

A representative from Philip Morris called me earlier.

*ahem*

I do not cuss. I do not cuss. I do not...

oy, once thing at a time, eh?


sheesh.
Essorant
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since 08-10-2002
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Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


10 posted 05-01-2009 12:22 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

quote:
I just don't know what to do with my damned hands!!!


How about Mills Mess?  It is a great excercise for coordination of the hands, eyes, and brain.  
 
serenity blaze
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11 posted 05-01-2009 01:07 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Or maybe...KNIFE THROWING?

*cracking up*

I've always wanted to learn how to juggle, though. Sheesh.

y'made me google.
Susan Caldwell
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12 posted 05-01-2009 03:48 PM       View Profile for Susan Caldwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Susan Caldwell

I had to google as well..

I have a large air/water punching bag.

"too bad ignorance isn't painful"
~Unknown~

serenity blaze
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13 posted 05-01-2009 04:25 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Hmmm. I need to get a "round tuit" list together.



1. Learn to tango.

2. Learn to juggle.

3. Perfect the art of knife throwing. (Um, I've had some previous experience with that.)

Happy Beltane everybody. I must go prepare the feast. And oh WOW! Suze, they finally tore down the blighted house on my block, and I have encouraging new numbers on New Orleans' recovery--we've recovered 89% of our initial population. Tourism is up, too. (As evidenced by the popularity of my once favorite festival, The French Quarter fest, which is now too crowded for my taste, but hey, shrug. I live here. I can have my own festival.)

Let me go look up the other stuff and drop you an e mail.

And in case anybody is wondering how my smoking cessation campaign is going...well, wince...I still have an unopened pack! Which is pretty good for me.

I smoked more than this during my hospital stay...so I still stink, but I'm cleaning my room, and I'm bringing the exercize equipment in here.

And oh...I wish I had a punching bag. I've always wanted one of those.

(Have you seen the one that actually looks like a man? Pricey, but it scores points for you!) *chuckle*
Susan Caldwell
Member Rara Avis
since 12-27-2002
Posts 8464
Florida


14 posted 05-03-2009 08:07 AM       View Profile for Susan Caldwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Susan Caldwell

Sorry Karen...we had a death in the family on the eve of Beltane.  The grandmother of my son-in-law, so I have been busy taking care of the grand daughter and driving them here and there...

I had meant to drop an email...

you know who rebuilt NOLA don't you?  The power, the glorious power.  And in the end, isn't it that much more satisfying?  I cannot wait to go and celebrate there...next year I might be out of the hole with the work leave time...

The people of NOLA have given me hope for humanity.

As for the smoking...well, hows it going?  I thought about not buying anymore yesterday for a second.  Then I realized I had a full day and was already tired/in pain.  Not a good time to take the security blankie away..and that is what I am sticking to for now.  I am weak! and right now, I don't care.

love you through the smoke.

"too bad ignorance isn't painful"
~Unknown~

serenity blaze
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15 posted 05-03-2009 02:04 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

First, suze, my condolences.

And I think I have five cigs left. (That fact that I don't know exactly is a very good sign.)


It's been easier for one simple reason. I watched them demolished that blighted house, like an idiot and inhaled a bunch of whatever mystery dust blew up afterwards. (Um, by law, they are supposed to hose it down while they do this stuff.) They didn't.

So I'm ..reamy and scratchy throated and cigs taste terrible right now.

*chuckle*

Perhaps it takes a wrecking ball to tackle Karen's addictions?



I love you lady.
Mysteria
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16 posted 05-03-2009 03:49 PM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

I still like my idea better ((^*)) than juggling.  However, I have a few suggestions for you.  You could:

- Knit a sweater (send it to a child somewhere)
- Crochet a bedspread (that should take a while)
- Write a book (I know it's in ya)
- Do online research on what to do with your hands
- Cornrow/French braid your hair, undo it, and redo it
- Cornrow/French braid anyone's hair!
- Cornrow/French braid Annie/cats
- paint your nails, remove, re-paint
- Or...you could take my first suggestion, smile, and know all good things come to those that wait.

Throw the last five out - let that be the starting point.  Set a goal, then ready, aim, fire!


Carpe' Diem,
Mysteria
serenity blaze
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17 posted 05-03-2009 04:28 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Right now, I'm just trying to clean up all the ashes.

I've decided to turn around my thinking too.

As I said, I don't like being coerced, but it occurs to me that I should be mad at the sneaky tobacco industry. (If someone wants to disagree, please do so quietly.)

I'm trying anything right now. Just short of Stephen King's "smoke-enders".

But the mints help, since I smoke menthol. I'm brushing my teeth every hour too. *laughing* (For those who don't smoke, cigs taste bad when your mouth is all minty fresh.)

So? I dunno. We'll see, I guess. And nope, I don't have a lot of faith in me either.

But I did smoke the last of the cigs, because that wasn't truly quitting.

Ya'll can get together a pool, if y'want.

I'll be honest. I've told ya'll everything else. Heh.
latearrival
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18 posted 05-03-2009 05:41 PM       View Profile for latearrival   Email latearrival   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for latearrival

As a child I sucked two fingers and I was in school when I finally stopped. Nothing seemed to work. Then I went to chewing gum, I had to wear gum on my nose in Junior High school. But that did not stop until much later when my husband once said I looked like a cow chewing it's cud. Then I started biting my nails. It seems we need to have something in our mouths. (No snickering here) Finally when I was pregnant with my first child I wanted to learn to knit, (Mysteria's thought too). I learned and made little sweaters, booties, and at that time little "soakers"(instead of rubber pants we used wool soakers). From there I tried crocheting but that was a little too hard.

  We have to keep our hands busy. I love the idea of your writing a book. You have so many good life time stories about your life and others you have known. But I think you smoke as you type. Maybe you should hand write themů.

Over the years I got into gardening and now I do not chew gum, suck my fingers or chew on my nails. Something worked. More power to you. I need not tell you the horrors of emphysema and lung cancer I think you have seen that personally. love ya, latearrival
latearrival
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19 posted 05-03-2009 05:48 PM       View Profile for latearrival   Email latearrival   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for latearrival

Oh, and about the smell! Where I work we have done away with having smoking rooms in any of the dorms. We used to reserve one dorm.So now when a smoker comes in I remind them they will probably want an end room so as to be closer to the outside door. Most always they ask how I knew they snoked? Do they not realize that after driving for an hour and a half from the airport in a closed car while smoking,that they reak of stale smoke? just me again.
serenity blaze
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20 posted 05-03-2009 07:09 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Hey "justyou"!

I did quit once before, but only for three months, and I was pregnant.

(And I know, I know, shame on me for not succeeding then.)

I did do some needlepoint and cross-stitch then, though. I don't know if my eyes will hold up to the teeny finer work though.

But..we'll see? *wince*

*wink*

sandgrain
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21 posted 05-03-2009 10:37 PM       View Profile for sandgrain   Email sandgrain   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for sandgrain

Can you belive I quit just a couple years ago after way too many years of puffing away?
How well I know what you mean about your hands. My friend broke several necklaces when she quit because she kept twisting on them.  

You know how being told, "Don't think of a pink elephant," goes.  The same is true with, 'can't smoke,' 'quit smoking,' 'give up smoking' etc.  All it does is frustrate us.  I've been there, done that over and over.  I, too, played all those games of having just one with my coffee, or cutting it to only so many I'd count out for the day, week, etc.  Also that idea of doing 150 things with the constant thought of when I'm done with all these things, I can smoke.  None of it works.

I had to step off as an ex-smoker from the very beginning, telling myself a non smoker smells better like I do as I shower.  They have clean smelling clothes like these I'm putting on, clean kitchens as I clean mine up, appreciation of deep breaths of fresh air as I step outside, etc.  Just keep telling yourself all the positive things a non-smoker enjoys, while you follow in those footsteps.

Sometimes I think of those ex-smokers who became so intolorant of smokers, and wonder if they weren't telling themselves,this is how non-smokers deal with it, and I'm a non-smoker.  Therefore, smoke is disgusting and those who partake should be shunned or avoided.

Karen, you have so many talents and you are a very strong person, I know you can handle this.  I'm not saying it's easy, but if you truly want to quit, just act and do what non-smokers do and you'll be one, too.

My cousin by marriage works for Phillip Morris and she quit smoking quite some time ago.  Imagine that, while riding around with a van full of cigarettes.  If she could and I could, surely you can and will!

God bless,
  Rae
serenity blaze
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22 posted 05-06-2009 04:48 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Oh Rae, I wish I wouldn't have come in here to disappoint you.

I made it for...27 hours and nearly forty five minutes. I couldn't do it.

I cried like a baby, but that was after I screamed like a banshee.

My daughter was a comfort though--she did walk to the store with me and told me that I don't always have to go at everything "hardball", and like you, she told me that just because I failed this time doesn't mean I should stop trying to climb the wall.

(Um, I thought I was climbing the walls. )

But I did say I'd be honest, and I did make it longer this time (without hospital supervision!)

And yes ma'am, I'm really disappointed that I didn't make it.

(I did fine as long as not smoking was all I had to cope with! )

And yanno what else? I think I've been fighting withdrawals ever since I joined Pip.

Nod.

I've been through a lot here, and I had good company all the way. I'm actually kind of amused that I'm battling the LEGAL addictions now!

I just read that, and that's not so amusing.

I'll try again.

But I wanted to let everybody who knew I'd fail, I failed.

But I WILL try again.
Krawdad
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23 posted 05-06-2009 10:57 PM       View Profile for Krawdad   Email Krawdad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Krawdad

K,

Don't give up already.
Now you know something else that doesn't work.  Okay, write that off.
I can tell you what I did.  It might work for you.
A little history first.
I remember my first one, shared with a neighbor kid one summer afternoon.  It was a scavenged Camel, probably half smoked by his father.  Well, why not start off with a bang?  Cough-cough-cough.  But, hey, it was a cig, a tempting no-no, and empowering for a 12? year old, when TV was new and so was the macho Marlboro Man.
The habit built slowly, until the purveyors were handing out those mini four-packs ([Edited - Ron]) in the hallways and cafeterias of colleges and universities.  They knew the hook and line and they sank it in, deeply.  And then there was the freshman roommate, guitar plucking, world traveling, son of a Chicago neurosurgeon who kept that cramped dorm room in a blue haze funk, Chilean smokes and all (they were awful by the way).
As I recall, there was nothing evil or nasty about it then, or we didn't know it, although stairwells and other such places smelled pretty bad at the time.
And when they weren't free, being handed out, they were cheap.
Those were also the days when anything that burned got smoked - tobacco, that is.  You name it, I probably tried it, including what cigars we could get, or afford, and pipes were great fun even if you weren't very good at it.
Then there followed the Ft. Campbell PX - cheap cheap cheap and everybody did it.  And who cared then?  You were going to get sent over there and die anyway - light 'em up, boys.
It was in grad school a few years later when it started to get to me.  The health message had been around awhile, there was the guilt of stinking up the lab for folks who didn't smoke, and the cost of a pack from a vending machine had gone up to 40 cents.  40 cents?  Yup, just a bit less than a gallon of gas.  The only income I had was the GI bill and an assistant-ship.  I had cheap housing in my grandfather's old place, but that meant a commute and I needed gas and parking money.
What to do?
Quit?
Well, ya, but how the h***?
Outright quiting, RIGHT NOW, wasn't going to work - and probably works for few, if any.  
The nicotine supplements dealt only with the nicotine and not the habit (key point here - the habit, not the nicotine).  There were only pills then, and they didn't really work, maybe today's patches would have.
Okay, try the worst smelling, worst tasting junk you can get your hands on and make yourself sick of it all.  Nope.  That didn't work either.  I just tasted bad and smelled worse.
Don't inhale?  Hahaha!
I was starting to wake up in the wee hours, coughing up brown phlegm.  Still, there was that necessary morning cigarette . . .
You might think it impossible to do, being a full time commuting grad student with a teaching assistant-ship.  No pressure.  Got to have that crutch (another clue).
The profs and the fellow students - everybody is doing it - well most everybody (clue).
And the commute?  Oh, ya, the dropped lit cig or the smoke in the eyes in traffic.  Never had a wreck, but you get the picture (another clue).
Girlfriend who doesn't smoke - another problem.
Okay, enough history, your history is different, but now you can identify.

Plan/scheme/tactic/strategy/trickery:

Remember, this is well after the fact, some 35 years, and seems more like a plan now then it did at the time.  It was more like what I would now call adaptive management - study the process, dump what doesn't work and try to follow and build on little things that do work, adapting as you go.

Now we'll get to it.

1.  It is your habit - nobody else's - this is important - get to know it.  When do you do it, why do you do it, where do you do it?  Get to know it, piece by piece, cig by cig.  Watch it coming.  This is key.  Think you have already done this part?  I saw things I hadn't really noticed before.

2.  Don't ask anyone to help, it's your habit, remember.  Even better if you can start doing this without anyone else in on the secret.  This gives you the freedom and confidence to pace yourself.  That way no one is expecting anything - who needs that? - you are not doing this for anyone else, just yourself.  You want someone watching your every move?  I didn't.

3.  Do not think of it as forever, 'cause it isn't, but you can still quit.  (Just a little riddle, this.)   Forever is way too steep a climb when you are looking up at it and you honestly believe that you like smoking.  (I did.)

4.  Have you studied it yet?  Your own habit?  Okay.  Now study a couple of other smokers you know.  Piece by piece.  What are they doing?  Why? When?  Certain places?  Certain times?  Before something?  After something?  Instead of something?  I watched others follow patterns that were soon entirely predictable and to a good degree calculated (semi-consciously, perhaps).  You'll see a bunch of parallels, and they might look a little silly on someone else.

Clue - think of yourself as editor of their poem, or your own poem?  (New idea I just thought of and probably works better for a word minimalist like me than a rambler like you.)  

5.  Okay, here it comes.
You are going to edit yourself.  Pick one piece of your habit.  Choose one that looks easy to do.  A little one.  One that will hardly be noticed, by you or anyone else.  When it goes missing, eh, so what?  For me, I think the first pick was the morning commute to my lab/classroom.  I had already had a couple by then, probably, and planned to have one when I got my car parked.  So, no quiting.  Just a time out.  Only 20 minutes.  This one was easy to rationalize because it was also dangerous (at least as bad as a cell phone is today, 'cept the cell phone is likely to burn only your ear).  And, no one but me knew if I was doing it or not (an important part for me).  This did not affect my addiction to nic., only my habit, and only just a little bit.  Not very difficult.  Okay, you don't drive, so pick something else out of your routine.
This went on for some time before I picked off another piece, maybe it was in the lab, don't remember the sequence, but I did it, and I still kept on smoking at other times, in other places, with abandon.
What this did, obviously, was to trick myself into being satisfied at not having one until later while being assured that I could and would.  They weren't gone forever, just a little while.  No panic.  No quiting forever (you've got to get over that notion in order to get a head start).
Just pick one place, time, event where you can delay the next light-up, but then go ahead and have it when it's over - have two, I probably did.
If you can manage that small challenge, you can pick a second time, place, or event, and do the same thing with it, and then you are headed down a new road.  Take your time.
Still, don't tell anyone, at least I didn't.  You may be teasing yourself with the failure option that way, but it worked for me.  And, I was gaining on everybody else and they didn't know it.  They didn't see me coming!

6.  To make a long story short . . .
After some few months of these mini no smoking sessions, I was working on my thesis one weekend - the field work was all done, data was in, references compiled, just had to write the blasted thing.  Back then you had to type it out (white-out not allowed) on premium paper.  Long frustrating hours.
It was late Friday night - I was down to butts - I could have walked down to the village bar to get a pack.  I didn't.  Decided to wait until morning - what's one more delay?  I can smoke a pack or two tomorrow.
No panic.  I had done this delay thing many times before.
In the morning I decided to take a break from the thesis and work out in my veggie garden, my alternate high intensity activity - it was huge.
After lunch I decided to wait until I needed to get groceries.  Went back to the thesis.
Saturday night I figured I really didn't need groceries just yet.
I found myself on the way to my lab Monday morning and still hadn't bought a pack.  How did I manage that?  WOW!  Surprise, surprise!
After Monday it was just one day at a time.  There was always tomorrow, tomorrow, and tomorrow.  (Now lookie there, procrastination is good for something!)  Every day got a little easier.
From that week on, I never looked back.  I didn't tell anyone what I had done until someone asked and by that time I was proud of it and I couldn't go back.

Two packs to zero.

Okay, there was that big cigar at the graduation picnic I threw for myself . . . cough, cough.


e

[This message has been edited by Ron (05-07-2009 11:56 AM).]

sandgrain
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since 09-21-1999
Posts 3657
Sycamore, IL, USA


24 posted 05-07-2009 12:16 AM       View Profile for sandgrain   Email sandgrain   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for sandgrain

He's right.  Don't beat yourself up over it.  I made several attempts before I finally quit.  How well I know about climbing the walls or crying because you feel you just can't hold off any longer...been there, done that.

One fellow told me he put a rubbwer band around his pack to hold a paper and pen.  Each time he was about to have a cigarette, he held off lighting it until he could write down how he felt and why he needed to have it.  He said at first it was easy, but then it brought him to the realization that he was just absentmindedly lighting them up.  This also gave him a clearer picture as to when and why he smoked.  Often, it's at the completion of a project, after a meal, or while waiting...for the mail to come, the potatoes to boil, the dryer to finish, etc.  We also learn we may be smoking when we're  Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired, (HALT).

Funny, I remember every time I was going to quit, (starting tomorrow) I'd smoke twice as much tonight.  I even left my cigs in my car trunk so I'd have to make a real effort to go get one.

Please don't say you've failed because you haven't and you'll manage to quit, even though you may have lapses.  Don't throw the towel in, there's too much at stake.

God bless,
  Rae
 
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