When Quitting is the Only Sane Option Left

by Jan Geronimo on October 27, 2009

Quit smoking

All these years, smoking has seen me through crises, rough spots, and countless aggravations.  I always say that in all earnestness.  In fact, I’d say anything to rationalize this addiction.  Enough blowing smoke in your faces.

Truth to tell, it’s downright silly  congratulating myself for grace under pressure when all I ever do is to medicate myself through smoking.  Of course, the mind is a formidable thing, able to withstand all sorts of pressures and challenges.

Thirty one- year-old dependency

Thirty one long years.  Only writing predates my smoking addiction.  I started writing in high school, smoking in second year at college.  Note to self:  you can write.  Period.  Banish your romantic notion of writers who tattoo the air with their pipes while deep in  writing throes.  It’s just another silly notion.

If my smoking and I were a relationship, I would say we’ve celebrated our Pearl Jubilee last year.  If I stay on, I’d be looking at emerald anniversary four years from now.  But that’s not going to happen.

A blogging friend’s challenge

I’m accepting Holly Jahangiri’s friendly challenge.  I’m quitting the nicotine habit.  Holly for her part tackles her weight problem by losing two pounds per week till she gets to her ideal weight.  It’s a big deal for us.

This started innocuously enough.  I bragged in private email to her of my recent good showing in Alexa Ranking.  Of course, women being women have always the last word.  She countered with a far more significant statistics, giving me the gains when she had successfully quit smoking.  Can’t argue with a life changer like that.

There’s simply no weaseling out of this gauntlet Holly has thrown at me.   Of course, I’m a bit dubious at my batting average in quitting.  To paraphrase Mark Twain, I’ve been successful at quitting, having done this a thousand times already. I’m lucky, however, in that I have blogging friends and loved ones who’d see me through the rough spots and can make me accountable to the pledges I’ve made.

Smoking has proved a mighty ally numbing me down when the going gets rough for 31 years.

Quitting while still ahead

But only because it has forgot to put me under the grave yet. It’s insane to tempt the fates further. I’d rather quit now.

I’d rather embrace life and celebrate each coming year in the company of friends and my family.  I intend to write and blog long and hard into my retirement.  Until I’m too infirm to write, and the only pleasure to be had is that I’ve mastered myself, seen some of my dreams fulfilled as well as those of dear to me, and noted a number of my tormentors went to the grave ahead of me.

Here’s taking up your friendly challenge, Holly.  If I back down and go back to my filthy habit again – and this permission goes to my other friends here as well – feel free to do as Douglas Adams warns – “If we see you smoking we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action.”

Are you up for some friendly challenges yourself, guys?  What stuff you’ve long dreamed of doing but for one reason or another kept it languishing at the back burner of your mind?

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Photo by Davic

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  • Smoking is really the dangerous habit and hardest to quit.It depends on your willpower.But everything is possible in this world.
    To be in bad habits like smoking is very easy.But quitting it is really a great work.
    You can quit it if you want.
    All the very best..!!
  • Wow Jan. This is a big challenge and hope you are doing ok. I think for as long as you set your mind to it, you'll realize that it wasn't so hard at all. All the best and happy new year!
  • Thanks, Janette. And Happy New Year, too. :)
  • yey. nagquit na si lolo. i remember when you were still entering mmb27. :)). you said "wait, yosi mode muna, brb." tapos nagsesermon po ako. haha. Anyway, namimiss ko na yung gamer dun. Wala na po kasi yung nagpapalaro. hahah. Kaya po pag pumapasok ako dun, walang kwenta ang mga tao. haha. Kaya po bihira nang makapunta.
  • Hey, thanks for leaving a comment, Camille. Yeah, I wonder kung anong
    nangyari na sa mga tao dun. Di na me nakabalik dun to chat. Must be
    because of blogging - parang full time job eh.
  • My coughing doesn't stop. how do i make it go away? Do I really had to go through that?
  • anneonline
    I quit smoking 4 times before I just stopped. One mid January day I was told we were stopping this nasty habit and with that my last cigarette was smoked. That was almost 4 years ago. The first month was hard, but now I only dream about smoking every once in awhile. I figure quitting never took, but stopping seems to be working.

    It will be hard, but you will feel so much better once it's out of your system.
  • Wow, finally successful at the fifth try. I'm happy for you, Anne.
  • When quitting is the only option...

    nothing but the only truth!

    So help you bro...

    Not easy. . . as the study goes, NICOTENE is the most addictive chemical in the entire world and beyond.
  • Thank you, Darbs.
  • Jan -- GOOD FOR YOU:~) You should regularly update your progress on your site -- that will keep you on track. While I was never a smoker, I've watched others give it up; some have found easy and for some it's been more difficult, but all were glad they did.

    What have I let sit on the back burner for too long? Doing exercise regularly. I work out twice a week and then don't do anything else. I want to expand the amount of exercising, even if it's a thirty minute walk.

    Great post:~)
  • I'd do that from time to time. Thanks for the wonderful suggestion, Sara. :)
  • jan!! good for you! we'll be here to support you. :)
  • Thanks, Princess Reena.
  • lemuel
    congrats Jan for trying to quit. i don't smoke so i don't know how hard is it to quit. i drink occassionally before but right now, last time i had a beer was about 2 months ago. i have a cousin who also tried to quit a hundred times but was unsuccessful. maybe he was not that serious. kathleenmaher's story is a good example by quitting not just for yourself but for others as well. i guess for those who are planning to have kids or has kids already want to see their kids grow up and be successful which is the reason why they want to live longer. in your case, you have to think of something that will inspire you to watch your health, give up your smoking and avoid going back. i know you can do it. good luck brother.
  • Yeah, Kathleen's personal story is very inspiring. Since I've no kids, my motivation is to be able to blog into my old age. :)
  • Jan, you faced a great challenge, I didn't try to stop smoking since I was in high school, I could only stop smoking for one whole year on that time, it was the best year in my life.. healthy.. doing sport activities, I was at the best shape on that time, and sometimes I convince myself that I still have the my strength because of that "only one year"!

    The part of the relationship between the man and the cigarette, the man and the car.. is true! my problem is that I like to smoke! maybe because t was the only ting to do in an empty long nights!
  • Love your comment. I see myself in your situation, too. Thanks, Hesham.
  • You're making the right decision. It will be difficult to say goodbye to your old friend but it is best to do it now before you become a statistic. I helped a good friend quit by encouraging her to taper down. Every day that she was able to control the urge I would reward her with her favorite coffee. I think you should definitely reward yourself daily to make the change easier to live with.
  • Thanks a lot, Alan. That's a great idea. I'm already thinking of a major buy from all the savings. I'm also making a list of small rewards on a weekly basis.
  • Lolo Jan? How is it going? You've been gone quite a while ah. Any progress on your quest to quit? :D Still cheering here. Rah! rah! rah! Sis bum bah! (wtf).
  • Two steps forward, one step backward. Very tough going. I'm starting anew. Hayss.
  • So how's the challenge going Jan? I know, it's not easy, but I am certain you can do it! Let's have a meet up again, once you've succeeded. Para mag celebrate! Yehey!
  • It's a struggle, Jen. Stumbling along, starting again... That's a great idea. Love that. Something to look forward to. :)
  • That's really awesome Jan! It takes alot of willpower to do that and I admire your bravery to accept the challenge to become healthier. Kudos to you!
  • Thanks, Charles. :)
  • You have my full support in this Jan. Seeing everybody's support and encouragement, I'm sure you can do this ! I'm amazed with the commenters' stories and sharing as well. It's hard to get rid of a habit that we got so used to it, but once you have all the good reasons to do it, nothing is impossible. Pray for your well being and success! Keep it up!

    Social/Blogging Tracker
  • Yeah, it's very inspiring especially the techniques they shared in overcoming the habit. Thanks, Ching Ya.
  • flamindevil
    wow kuya jan,kudos for taking the challenge!

    'withdrawal' is one of the hardest things to do..but i know you can do it.

    kaw pa, eh superman ka..hehe :D
  • Mismo. Withdrawal of any kind is tough. :)
  • Good for you, Jan. I tried smoking for a month but quit right away and never tried again as per doctors advice. Congratz!
  • One of the wisest decisions you've ever made, Jhong.
  • earthlingorgeous
    I salute you for this attempt to quit while you can and I will be one of your cheering squad! Go Jan go! you can do it!
    My dad died of emphysema. The autopsy shows his lungs was covered with nicotine.
    When you feel the need to smoke pop a Fit 'N Right fruit snack and you can tell that to your friend Holy too.
    I am also daring myself to be fit with this 4 minute FIT workout I discovered recently... so far so good I think! And Jena Isle can attest to that!
  • fifi
    how's the quit-smoking challenge so far? i have this guy classmate in law school who really annoys me because he likes to sit beside me in the library to check on our assignments. smokers stink, even if they chew gum or mint. so glad you're quitting.
  • The numbers look good. I've quit three times in the last week. LOL Get a restraining order, Fifi. He's not to come within a two-mile radius! Wala bang mitigating circumstance man lang to make up for the foul smell? :)
  • Jan,

    I'll keep my eye on you, LOL! Thanks for accepting Holly's challenge and thanks for quitting. I am really annoyed by those you carelessly smoke on public places, whose smell got into me, he he.

    Hmmm, what would be my pledge here? I can't think of any now, but to participate ON TIME with the 4 runs I am up to :D I guess that's nothing compared to your pledge, will have to think about it over again.

    God Bless Jan!
  • You're a good runner. A fitness buff. How about brisk walking? Brisk
    walking down the aisle. Anytime soon? Ahehehe
  • Ha ha ha.. Soon Jan.. Soon :)
  • Good for you, Jan. Leaving the world of smoking can be very hard, so I heard.

    It's my first time in this blog. Glad to see another Pinoy blogging, and a successful one, too. I am now a fan.
  • Thanks a lot, Karin, for leaving a comment. Drop by again sometime. :)
  • Lose two pounds a week for Ate Holly and quit smoking for Kuya Jan. Can I join the challenge? This school sembreak, I'm having work-out sessions at the gym near our house every other day. And I want to challenge myself to gain weight. :P
  • Yeah, your physique I'm sure awakens mother's instinct in every woman you've come across with: mothering you, feeding you this and that to fatten you up a little. Ahahaha. Nice project, Kelvin.
  • Well, goodluck to all of us! :D
  • I'm done with it already... jijijijiji... Well, I am so thankful that I have lots of concerned friends... Whenever they feel that I am becoming worse they tell me... well at first I disagree maybe I was immature then but now I realize that they were just concerned of me during that time... jijijiji... not only smoking but lots and lots of stuffs... and I mean LOTS! jijijijijiji
  • Lots of stuff? LOL. Okay, I'd let that pass. I think I have a good idea what they are. :) Here's to friends who alternately let us be and drive us crazy with their challenge for us to mend our ways. What will we be without them? :)
  • Congratulations Sir!
    I admire your courage. :)
    Cheers to a healthier life ahead!
    I am also up to a new challenge in my life --- and that's Medicine. It's a long way --- a difficult path, but I know that in the end, it'll be worth it. AJA! Hahaha! :D
    Take care po. You are an amazing writer.
  • Thanks for supportive friends, Noelle. They'd have none of my second hand smoke. Doesn't matter if they're hundreds to thousands of miles away. Doesn't work that way at all.

    Thanks for the support as well. :)

  • Jan, good for you! I'm so proud of you for trying! Just remember that the first few days you will feel REALLY weird. Maybe have some sugar-free lollipops on hand to help with the whole oral thing. Good for Holly, too! I thought she was a health nut, why does she have to lose weight? I don't understand the world anymore.

    I really enjoyed this post, you are so funny! I liked the phrase, "tattooed the air", as well. Very nice!
  • Where'd you get a silly idea like that, Heather?? Must've been something about the fact that I like my chocolate DARK - you assumed I was in it for all those "healthy antioxidants," but really, no - it was just for the delectably sinful rich taste.
  • Lesson learned: I should be wary running off the mouth when Holly is
    around. Just remember what happened - I was merely talking about my
    frigging stats and here came Holly painting me in a corner. LOL.

    But she's right, of course. I'm just amazed how a simple conversation can
    take a creative turn with Holly. Ahehehe.
  • I'm not even sure how to respond to that, Jan, but thank you. That means a lot.
  • That's part of Holly's genius, pushing her friends to be as brilliant as she is. Hard to keep up with her no? Just wait till she loses all those unwanted pounds. LOL
  • You're a dear. No, really, it was just a case of "misery loves miserable company," but hey - if you want to credit me with loftier motives, you go right on ahead. ;)
  • my grandpa's (mom's side) a smoker and he's already nearing his 90s. a grandma (father's side) also smokes, and she's past her 80s. the nicotine's holdin up their lungs.

    but for you jan, i wish you all the best.
  • That's weird. But life is weird anyway. Some people are lucky. Some aren't. Even health freaks - don't smoke, don't drink, go to the gym, watch what their food intake - some of them die in their youth. Of course, it makes sense to be careful. :)
  • I'm also a quitter. Three years.

    How did I do it? I started with chewing a nicotine gum - Nicorette. Then, went to the gym to lift weights (and run).

    It helped that my drinking buddies doesn't smoke.
  • When I had a blog meet up with friends, I was the only one who smokes. Wait, there's Bonnie another blogger. We were outnumbered... I don't like gyms, but I can do jogging. Our local drugstore here doesn't sell Nicorette though. They used to. Not anymore since there were no buyers then.
  • lee
    i looooove when i see friends really loving each other, what is life without a friends,good for you, you are surrounded by loving friends.
    i just quit smoking last year (for 2 packs a day) my mother sed, my self is not my own, i must take care and i must love myself for the sake of my child, yap smoking since i was 16 up to last year only, sorry, i will not tell my age now hahahahaha kidding.
    but the bad thing is i gained a huge weight after quitting, but they sed, me looking younger after quitting (hihihi).
  • lee
    yap, more difficult if i do it slowly, lalo lang ako maglalaway.
    im already fat from that picture jan, i used to be very slim but after quitting gained more a lot (hi to our foreign friend,pls kindly excuse my scattered english lol)
    psssst, jan, nakakahiya mag comment dito puro magagaling mag inggles tao lol.
    till now, im too desperate to find other alternative ways other than eating kasi nga lumolobo nako lol.
  • Don't worry about it, Lee. As long as we can can put our message across
    it's all right. Ahehehe. That's one drawback from quitting. It used to be
    we can do away with breakfast and lunch as long as we have smoke. I don't
    know any other alternative to eating, unless you want it taken
    intravenously. Yuck. Ahehehe
  • Quitting at two packs a day must be very hard for you. Did you stop all at
    once or rahan-rahan? Ahehehehe. You've put on weight? It's about time
    kasi you look slim in your display picture kaya.
  • Jalapeno peppers are waaaaaay cheaper than Nicorette. I hear Chantix is very helpful, if you can get it there - but I went cold turkey. I don't play around; once I made up my mind to quit, that was it. I declared myself a non-smoker and had done with it. I've never been able to do it bit-by-bit.
  • Holly, I mean , Jan. But of course that goes for you too...he he he...
  • Yeah, cutting down looks like a half-ass attempt.
  • ...thanks? :)
  • I remember that, but we still love you nevertheless.
  • 31 years of smoking... started in second year college... maybe 17 or 18 plus 31... *calculating jan's age*

    hmmm... :P :P :P
  • Calculate if you must, Deejay. Just don't write about it in your blog. LOL.
  • Ssssh, Deejay. LOL
  • hahah. Lolo, 6 years na lang po gagraduate na ko ng college. :)) MALALAMAN KO NA ANG AGE MO. yey. hahah. secret na secret pala. :)).
  • It's not a secret at all. I wrote a post once - it's here somewhere -
    wherein I mentioned how long it was since I attended college and some other
    milestone in my life and a clever reader did the math. But if you ask me in
    Twitter, I'd DM you about it. Di mo na kailangan to jump through hoops para
    lang malaman mo iyon. :)
  • well... congratulations on your friendly challenge, jan... like i said before... smoking makes your brain purple... i dont want to have a friend who's brain is purple noh! it's like kadire kaya... anyway... it's for your own health din naman to quit smoking... congrats and sana tuluy tuloy na ito...
  • I remember our meet up. You've a glowing skin. Charles says smoking makes short work of vitamin c in the skin. So that's another minus. Purple brain. Then on top of that ghastly skin. Yay. May pag asa pa kaya skin nato? Well, at least, mase save naman lungs. LOL
  • good thing I never tried cigarettes back in HS. Quitting for sure is a hard thing to do...

  • Congratulations, Jan. I quit smoking 25 years ago and think of it "as the hardest thing I've ever done." And, 25 years later, there are anxious times when I'll pass people smoking on their break from work, and it takes all my will power not to snatch the cigarette from a stranger's hand. But it's a fleeting feeling and one I'd never succumb to--because I'd have to quit all over again.
    For years I compensated for habit--not the nicotine--but the prop of a cigarette--with toothpicks. People used to yell from their cars that I wasn't acting lady-like. (Actually, t\They used coarser language.) But toothpicks worked. I'd walk around with one between my fingers or between my lips, hurrying to work and back.
    I've seen commercials where people sit around blowing bubbles instead of smoke. So that's an idea, too.
    Now here's what I really wanted to tell you: if I was able to quit, Jan--anyone can do it. And you especially.
  • That's a good tip, having a prop in lieu of a cigarette stick. Thanks, Kathleen... That's a strange mental picture you've conjured for me - you with a toothpick between your lips! :) But it worked for you, that's the thing.
  • The toothpicks worked, though, Jan. Even my father didn't complain that it
    looked "unlady-like." He just wanted me to quit.

    I was 22 years old, recently married, and the guy I used to smoke Kools
    menthols with, hanging out outside our high school, had suddenly, shockingly
    died--at age 23--of lung cancer. My little sister had just died too--killed
    by a drunk driver. I very much wanted to get pregnant. Combine those
    incentives with the fact that my new husband didn't smoke, and much as he
    loved me (and still does) smoking was not his favorite thing about me. Even
    then it was an expensive vice.

    Every once in awhile, I'll throw on an old jacket or a skirt will come back
    in style and I'll find tooth picks in the pockets. I've always been thin but
    since the goal right after I "got clean" was pregnancy, I did not want to
    gain unnecessary weight. That, I think, is where the toothpicks made a big
    difference. I didn't gain a pound from quitting smoking. My pregnancy
    happened as planned and went smoothly.

    Besides toothpicks, my method was tapering off. At first I restricted myself
    one every one hour (I had a monster habit) and when waiting an entire hour
    became tolerable, every two hours...

    During those few months, I always knew the time. I could feel when I still
    had forty-five minutes to wait, thirty minutes, fifteen, ten,
    five--yippee!--time to light up.

    I've heard of people who used plastic drinking straws the way I used
    toothpicks, but they weren't successful. I'm hoping it won't be so difficult
    for you. You said you've quit a thousand times. I could never do that. Going
    by books and movies, quitting once was like quitting hard drugs. In fact,
    I've read that for some people quitting cigarettes *is* harder to kick than
    heroin. But I've also known people who quit as easily as if they had decided
    to quit eating cabbage. Anyway, I am seriously pulling for you.

    Last little thing: maybe I read it wrong but is your friend Holly trying to
    lose *two pounds a week?* Movie stars may claim they do that, but it's
    unrealistic. The weight returns and in some cases it can be dangerous. Two
    pounds a week means you're not getting the nutrition you need. Two pounds a
    *month* is ambitious. And again, while I've never needed to lose weight, I
    have friends who battle it constantly. Losing weight looks just as tough as
    quitting smoking. In fact, it may be harder. You can't quit *eating
    Which is all the more reason to take it slowly. Skip dessert, cut out
    butter, exercise a half hour longer or if you don't exercise, start
    exercising for a half hour. Of course, anyone who drinks alcohol can shed
    pounds by not drinking. But depending on your metabolism that too may pose
    another horrendous challenge.
    Big up, K.
    PS. Indulge yourself in some little thing every week you do not smoke. I
    can't believe how hard you work!
  • Kathleen, thanks a lot for sharing your story. That's very helpful. I'm thinking of weekend treats to reward myself and a major purchase from my savings. A cool gadget will be fine.
  • zorlone
    Ah... looks like you don't need the counsel of the overimaginative doctor after all. he he he. Lest, we make a tale out of that. hmmm... let's see.

    The tale of Jan the Nicotine Exterminator: Thirty one years of a secluded life now venturing to a life - unknown.

    "May songs be sung for your success and may you be blessed with more Nicotine to trample on."

    "The air be clean where you visit and the smell of pure nature embrace your friends."

    "The ceilings will enjoy its earth given colors, and may your teeth be free of nicotine."

    Well, I still have the Hobbit fever as I have just finished the book (audiobook, sorry I was short on funds and there wasn't a commenting contest that would give it as a prize so I listened yo it. I was afraid that my eyes would go bad from reading too long on the computer screen. I am worried about my spellleng after all ;))

    This is a good thing Jan and we will support you. Think of House when he quit taking Vicodin. It was a long and arduous journey, yet he succeeded. Still a genius doctor who knows how to deliver sarcasm like it was lollipop for a five year old.

  • Great! You've composed that verse for me? Why, how sweet of you, Doc Z. Thanks!... You love House? Me too! Too bad I don't have time for my favorite shows anymore. Ah well, not exactly true. I get to watch them when there's no interconnection nga pala. LOL
  • Hi Jan, I too am glad you are giving up cigarettes. Nasty, nasty things they are. Take it from someone who knows - you are going to feel better physically and feel better about yourself. If there's anything I can do to help, please reach out.
  • Thanks a lot, Brad. I'd remember that. :)
  • Jag
    Sidestreamers are more prone to lung cancer. True but I hate that kind of thought `coz most of my co-workers are chain smokers. And I`m always with them...just passed by...
  • That's true. Even non-smokers are put at risk. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. :)
  • Great to hear this Lolo Jan. They say quitters never win. But yours is a different story. Here, quitting makes you the real winner. Good luck !
  • Thanks, Joel. And hey, thanks for taking the time to visit despite your punishing schedule. :)
  • I'm one of the people who quite smoking. And I'm glad to say that I have successfully quit smoking 3 years from now. The reason of quitting is because I wanted to be more productive for my family.
  • Really? Three years since the time you quit. Wow, that's cool, Rocky!
  • Yup. That's 3 years from now. I think the first month will be the most difficult part. But after that, It felt like I've never smoked before.
  • It's awesome that you're going to quit smoking.

    My dad was of great health in his youth. He started smoking quite early. I think he was about 17, and when he turned 50, he had major problems with his health.

    He actually quit smoking on his 50th birthday. He's now 68 years old, actually on this friday. He's back in great shape. His health has recovered. So, it's never too late to quit.
  • That's a great success story, Jens. Thanks a lot for sharing it. I'd remember that. :)
  • I am so proud of you bro of taking on the challenge of our dear friend Holly. An astonishing Alexa ranking is nothing compared to a personal feat that will give you many many more years of blogging ahead of you and a good health that will give you the strength to still groove for many more nights in Angeles, LOL!

    This is one type of quitter who is a big winner.
  • I always fantasize about retirement. How great will that be: I'd have all the time in the world to obsess about my blog. Reading, writing, commenting, having fun with blogging buddies. Don't want it taken away from me because of poor health. :)
  • That is great Bro, nothing beats having a good health! many more blogging years for all of us then! Yehey!
  • Did I read Angeles from Elmot? Of course Jan, you'll have to visit us more often when you retire and many more nights here. he he he.

    The truth is - only you can make this a success. We're all here to support you. Just don't give up. "Do, or do not, there is no try" from Master Yoda himself.

    Don't forget that you're a Jedi blogger - and you have to live by the rules. (winks )
  • Yes Mam! Angeles....I still want to see Jan dance the night away with his boogie moves and harlem steps ehehhe!
  • Correct. Uubra ba naman siya ay Jedi katunggali niya. Thanks for the support, Jen. :)
  • This quitting will never make you a loser for sure. Go for it, quit for life! So, so happy for the news! I know I have not been doing justice to our friendship for not dropping a line or two here each time, haha...but you know the reason: i find it hard to relate because the discussions are all so above me already. Congratulations on all the achievements of "Writing to Exhale" especially this one. Can't pass this up, have to scribble my shallow thoughts because I am just so happy for this "twist" of fate. Keep on quitting, hehe...
  • I know, Joji. You've been urging me to quit for quite sometime now. Thanks for your constant support, my friend.

  • i always challenge my self to stop wasting money everymonth.. and i failed miserably.. but still doing it though.. luckily i never smoking before.. or maybe i will be up for the challenge.. :D
  • Lot of ways to spend money unwisely. It's wasting money and wasting your life away via smoking that's very serious. Thanks for leaving a comment. :)
  • Hi Jan. It will really be good if you can quit the nicotine habit. I myself have been and still dependent of it. I really do not know if I ever will have the will power to stop but I did tell Holly that I have a plan. Whether or not this plan will work is really up to me, but then again, after reading what she suggested, I have to admit that it might just work. If Holly is seeing this, I bought "Centrum" yesterday and have started to "lighten up" on coffee (you know the mix). I probably smoked one cigarette less today, not much I know, but hey, every bit counts. This might not sound encouraging, but I admire that you are at least going to try.
  • Every bit does count, DiTesco. I was never able to quit by cutting back, but many people do. I just had to lay them down and say "Enough is enough. That's just not me, anymore."

    There is no try, only do or do not. (I love stealing Yoda's line - such a wise little creature.) You do it any way that works for you, but take "try" out of your vocabulary. You know you CAN. The only question, really, is do you WANT to?
  • Absolutely right Holly. There is no TRY. Either do it or not. To answer your question is YEs, I do want to stop smoking as I believe that not only it will save me money, it will be good for my health and of those who surround me. I'll give it a go and won't smoke this weekend. If I'm grumpy on Monday, I'll let you know. Now this is not just a say, I will stop for this weekend and see what happens... Hmmmmp, I'm feeling grumpy already:) This will be tough
  • Vent to me in email if you need to; never said it'd be easy, but given all the other tough things you quite capably do, you're NOT going to let this one best you, right?

    If you're feeling grumpy, is there some sort of physical labor you can do with your hands (keep them busy) that will let you take out your frustrations on an inanimate object (like sanding something or hammering or ... hell, just pound the keyboard and work on that new blog). :)
  • Cutting back is good, too. That's a good start. :) The hard part is drinking coffee without having a smoke. Those two are too closely intertwined!
  • Don't laugh, but for me, the hardest part was driving home from work that first day. For some reason, my car just didn't want to start without my igniting something else.
  • That's funny. But knowing your car is a she explains that mysterious turn of event a bit. LOL
  • Holly laid down the gauntlet, its up to you to stay the course. You owe it to yourself. Sure, we can all be here for you, listen, support, encourage - ultimately it will be up to you. Take charge JG! What will you do the next time you face a crisis? thats my tip for you to make a long term action plan :-)
  • Great point, Trina. Thinking back on my previous failed attempts, I can say it's always a crisis of some sort that led to relapse. I'd need a course of action in situations like these. Thanks a lot!
  • I am so glad I never started. I've had junkies tell me the heroin was easier to quit than nicotine. I know I'd be addicted really fast too. Coffee and cigarettes: Breakfast of Champions. Some other universe, not this one!
  • I think smoking is more of a psychological than a physical addiction, which makes it harder to quit, in some ways.

    Doc Z, correct me if I'm wrong, but the nicotine and physical addiction is OVER in 72 hours. After the first three days, all you're dealing with is the psychological addiction. Buy up a whole bunch of golf pencils if you need something dangling from your lips. Munch on celery sticks. Suck candy or ice.

    In most cases, the urge will pass in about 5 minutes, anyway. Just put it off five minutes at a time. Distract it with writing, or walking, or anything that's NOT a trigger (no coffee for you, Jan!) Learn some deep breathing exercises, yoga, or other ways to deal with a crisis. You'll have one, at some point - be READY.

    Oh, here's another fun fact - about the time you think you've really quit for good, around 6 weeks, as I recall, there's a peak in cravings. I don't know why - just be prepared. Laugh at it and put it off again - 5 minutes at a time.

    Brush your teeth and use mouthwash. It's harder to want to smoke when you have minty fresh breath. (Cigs and mint do NOT go well together, either. Blech.)
  • Golf pencils, celerity sticks, mouthwash and five minutes. Practical tips. Love the five minutes advice. Thanks a lot, Holly.
  • Breakfast of champions. That's funny and tragic, especially when champions die young. :)
  • Roy
    Good to hear that Jan, and I for one would love to see a quitter... I'm supporting you (together with my dog Chuci) 100% on this.

    and not really to scare you, but rather I hope that it could even motivate... my father used to smoke... (message sent)

  • My mom did, too, Roy. I remember seeing her on a respirator, and STILL going out to the parking lot for a smoke. Thinking, the whole time, "How stupid is this??" Didn't matter; like Jan, it's how I dealt with stress and crises at the time. It doesn't really help, though, does it, Jan? Doesn't make the crisis go away. Doesn't really alleviate the stress.
  • That's true. It's a useless psychological crutch. Doesn't solve anything at all.
  • Dogs are much too polite to register their objection to somebody smoking in their presence. But your Chuci sure knows how to put displeasure known. LOL. I kinda miss her now... Got that, Roy - loud and clear. :(
  • zorlone
    Maybe Chuci had a bad experience with smokers Jan. You know?
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