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Diary of a Smoker/Non-Smoker

Updated on January 29, 2013

Quitting Sucks

I started smoking when I was around eighteen. I had grown up around a smoker. When I was in my teens and twenties smoking was considered hip and cool. I had the hots for the Marlboro Man. I thought Joe Camel looked dopey. Thus I’ve been a smoker for more than thirty years of my life.

I remember the inception of the ‘smoke free’ offices from my time in the military and I pretty much got used to taking a break by stepping outside. I actually looked forward to it as a full break away from my desk and the phone.

And then…. The Anti-Smoking campaign began. The stigma of being a smoker grew. Non-smokers with their constant ‘you should stop’ said with the superior air of those who think they are better. The people who had managed to stop smoking becoming self righteous about it.

I am a stubborn person. I dug in my heels. I often felt that I had little control of my life but I was going to control this. If I wanted to smoke, I was going to do it.

This is not to say that I haven’t tried to quitting in the past, I have. I even managed to quit for a full three months. Why did I start up again? My mother went into the hospital and it was how I dealt with stress.

The Decision

So why did I decide to quit smoking this time? To be brutally honest the reason is money. After losing the part time job I had due to lack of work and the struggle to find other work I had to make a decision. A carton was costing me about $30+ a week which is about the same as a tank of gas. With our limited income it was time to make a sacrifice. Oh yes, I hear a few of you out there saying that it’s not a sacrifice and that it’s a good thing. Sorry, I don’t agree. I enjoyed smoking. I liked the nicotine rush. And it isn’t illegal.

The Process

Due to past experience I am not going to try to quit cold turkey. It doesn’t work for me and I turn into the Hell-Bitch. There was one incident where I tried to quit cold turkey that my husband who’s always been a nonsmoker, went out and bought me cigarettes. As he described it, it was for the safety of him and out child. I was pretty much an angry Klingon.

Past experience with the patch led me to believe that I had a decent shot at quitting the habit. March 1, 2010 was the beginning of my attempt to quit smoking. I told the spouse not to buy me a carton of cigarettes and buy me the patch instead. He bought a two week supply. My last cigarette was on Sunday February 28th.

My first reaction was anxiety followed by serious fear. Cigarettes are a crutch for me. They were how I handled stress, especially work stress. I could go outside and take a break from annoying co-workers, irate customers even for only five minutes.

I am also a habitual smoker, which means that often when I smoke it’s based on a habitual action. I know many of you smokers and former smokers know what I’m talking about. The after dinner cigarette or out drinking with friends and the urge to have a cigarette with that glass of wine. The morning cigarette with that first cup of coffee. When I’m writing, I would smoke while thinking or pausing to take a break.

Breaking those habits is very hard so here are some of the tricks I’m doing to help me break the habits along with need along with what works and what doesn’t work.

1) Morning coffee. My husband always wakes me with a morning cup of coffee to help me wake up before he heads off to work in the morning. After he leaves, it’s easy to sip the coffee, smoke a cigarette while staring at the morning news.

The Change A: My husband still brings me morning coffee, except he puts it on his side of the bed well away from the location of where my cigarettes are/were.

The Change B: Without the cigarette I now tend to get out of bed to enjoy my coffee in the kitchen or living room.

2) After dinner. I’ve been so bad where I would smoke while eating.

The Change: In the location where I would keep my cigarettes I have placed a cup of sugar free Jolly Ranchers ©. I love the watermelon flavor. So that is my reward. My husband also buys special drinks like peach nectar and the like.

3) When reading, writing and watching television.

The Change: Sugar free candy is my friend. I started with regular candy like lollipops, but soon saw the danger in that. The urge to eat when quitting is basically the habit of putting something in your mouth, an oral fixation. (Those of you with sick minds keep your mouths shut.) It’s not hunger but just the habit/reflex at first so that is something important to guard against.

Final Thoughts

Thus my first week was somewhat successful but not without a lot of difficulty, tears, and frustration. I’ll let you know how the second week goes.

Okay, I wrote a hub. I need a cigarette. Aw damn.


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    • Gemsong profile image

      Madalain Ackley 7 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

      Time to write a new hub. Week two.

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 7 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      Great know you can do it. I'll be rooting for you :)

    • Gemsong profile image

      Madalain Ackley 7 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

      I'm trying. I started using a stress ball for every time I would normally reach for a cig. I broke it.

    • IzzyM profile image

      IzzyM 7 years ago from UK

      Great hub and one all us smokers can relate to :)

      Well done and stay off the ciggies. You've done so well this far! And yeah I know its only been a couple of weeks, but they are the hardest.