Sunday, 12 August 2007

The Smoking Diaries

I have been deciding for a while now that I want to give up smoking - but know that I can't just stop - doesn't work for me like that. For me the method is this.

1) Decide I am going to give up.
2) Pick a date
3) Binge smoke up to that date
4) Stop

I smoked from the age of 15 up to 31. I stoped in 1986 because HS and I wanted to start a family. I used the stopping method above and it worked for me right up until about three years ago. Then life's stresses closed in and I turned to smoking again. I have stopped once since then for several months - stress got the better of me . . I started again . . . and now I am stopping. . . . again . . . sigh . . .

I chose my stopping date as Monday August 6th - Wildchild's 20th Birthday. I went to my Doctor and got a three week supply of meduim strength patches. I also bought enough rolling tobacco and papers to allow me to binge smoke right up to the 6th August 2012 . . . well you wouldn't have wanted me to run out now would you?

Monday 6th August. This was not a difficult day because I was away from home. Then again Wildchild and the parking ticket was a challenge. . . .

Tuesday 7th August. The patches were clearly working and again this was not a difficult day. Smug!

Wednesday 8th August. First Hurdle. Went out for lunch with a friend who smoked - but as she smokes ready rolled I was not too bothered. However I got home at about 5.00pm to discover no HS . . . I was on my own and I wanted a fag. I put up a help post on the site and was compltely bowled over by the support I received . . . the evening also turned into a chat and help session with Bodran asking for help too and also getting a huge response and then lots of chat over several posts.

Thursday 9th August. Having got over last night's hurdle this was another easy day. Smuggerty smug!

Friday 10th August. Uh oh - HS away on a photo shoot in Inverness from 2.00pm onwards and not coming back untill 11.00 pm ish. I had hoped to go with him, but the aching from the Sjogrens flare up was too bad and I would not have been able to walk around. Feeling a bit guilty about hogging the common room I put up a Fag Watch post . . . berludy hell - I got loads of support . . . Later I chatted to Wizzard on MSN and then read Harry Potter . . . I got through.

Saturday 11th August. Busy day. Saturday evening was always going to be difficult. HS and I used to sit with a bowl of 'special' crips - Walkers sensations . . .and have a glass or three of wine and a few roll ups and chat. One of me regualr mood busting moments.

CONFESSION . . . I had a roll up last night . . . just one . . . it was kind of ok, but no more. I had to go and brush my teeth afterwards because of the taste in my mouth and then have a shower because the smell of fags was following me around. My chest also felt instantly tight.

I am not sorry at all that I had one . . . so no beating myself up there. I may even have one next Saturday . . . if this is what I need to do to eventually give up completely then this is what I will do. My biggest concern was that I was letting everyone who had supported down. I do hope that none of you feel that I have. I don't want to lose your support . . . I WILL kick the habit . . . but may need to lapse now and again withouth judgement.

So thank you to everyone . . . it will be a whole week tomorrow and right now I have no craving at all . . . sticks 93 patches on . .


Pondside said...

I like your attitude. You can do this, you're not alone, but you are the one quitting, so you have to do it on your terms. No matter what the terms, we're in your corner! Keep at it, you're doing so well!

Faith said...

I think you are doing really well. Never having been addicted to nicotine I don't know how hard it is, but please keep trying. Your health is at stake. Smokers die 15 years younger than non-smokers apparently. Blimey if Daddy hadnt smoked he'd have lived til he was 108! He DID die of throat cancer though, not pleasant.

When we were in Menorca, on one of the first days Hub3 said as we finished lunch and were lingering over the sangria 'This is when I really fancy a fag' - so I said why didnt he smoke while we were there. And he did, and at the end I asked him if he'd enjoyed smoking and he said not really.

You CAN smoke whenever you want to, but you CHOOSE not to.

Make this your mantra:

I CHOOSE not to smoke.

Say it ten times whenever you feel like smoking!!!!

annakarenin said...

No judgement lets face it far better to smoke just thte one than all the others you would have smoked if you hadn't had the will not to. Sorry I am not around much at the mo to support you but it is great that others are. My dad gave up for nearly a year then my BiL had the bright idea of giving him cigars for Christmas???? Still doesn't accept that that was what triggered him smoking again. Wouldn't be so bad but my dad has the hacking cough and blood pressure problems and my BiL is a nurse!!!!for f**** sake. I don't swear normally but it is something that does still make me angry.

bodran... said...

I stopped 20yrs ago, but told myself if i wanted one i'd have one!! and i do, i usually feel pretty sick and dizzy and don't want another for monthes, i still do it ,,,,,,,,i've had 3 this year when visiting a smoking friend, and nearly couldnt drive home,,yuukkk xxkeep up the good work

toady said...

Well done on a week with just one lapse. You're doing very well. Hang on in there. Toady

CAMILLA said...

This is really difficult Westerwitch, the drug is so powerful. I began smoking when I was eighteen, smoked until I was twenty one, until then when I fell for my first child, decided to give up there and then, which I did. MY second child followed quite quickly eleven months later, so I still did not smoke. In fact I gave up for nine years. I began smoking again after that when I was experiencing a lot of stress in my life. At the moment I just put four cigarettes in a box and no more, I might smoke one of them during a day, or maybe all of them, but somethimes none. This suits me anyway.

If your chest feels so much better by not smoking Westerwitch, than that is a blessing. I blame it on Sir Walter Raeligh myself, and it is a pity that they keep advertising the stuff.

Blossomcottage said...

I have decided this is going to follow you round until you have STOPPED!!!!! ( hope it helps and good luck)

1 Lots of puff required to play footie with a over exuberant 4 year old boy and manic spaniel
2 4 year old never draws breath when talking you will have to do it for him
3 Large in take and holding of breath when 4 year old fills your “wellie” with water when washing the car.
4 Gasping for breath when 4 year old looks at you with great big brown eyes and calls you “Granny Gorgeous”
5 Finding extra breath when startled out of a deep sleep by 4 year old standing on the landing at 4am and says ”Granny I NEED YOU IN MY BED”
6 Lots of strength and breath required to stay in said 4ft bed when said 4 year old who is 3ft 3in lays horizontally across the bed leaving you gripping on for dear life for 2 hours until you fall out a 6 am.
7 Masses of extra breath required for a full day of exercise and fun with 4 year old
8 Then all the breath you have to hold back the tears when 4 year old waves from his Daddy’s car and goes home.

So Westerwitch next time you decide to make an “ ash of it” save the puff for the Magic to come.

Fennie said...

Gee, this is tough for you. Please forgive me, dear WW, if I sound preachy and unsympathetic, but it is to the roll-up cravings thatI am being unsympathetic not to you.

I wrote in the commonroom that after lapsing once you are back to zero. And that is the case. All the little nicotine receptors have their clocks set back to the starting point and you have to begin all over again.

The nicotine receptors die after 3 weeks of starvation, but they can live on one roll-up a week for many months! (Do you want short pain or long pain?)

The cravings themselves are not all that bad (I know I've been there). Beside a stone in the shoe or a thorn in the finger they are just an irritation.

The real difficulty is the demon in your head that conspires with the nicotine cravings to alter your perception about wanting to give up smoking.

It's not the cravings that beat you, it's that little voice in your head that says 'well, it doesn't really count if you just have one!'

And the worst thing is that there's no answer to that. No answer at all. If you believe you can have one, then the demon will see this as a mighty breach in your defences. The battle is already lost. The demon knows that the door isn't really locked - one gentle shove will open it, whenever the demon wants. One roll-up this week will lead to two the next.

Sod the demon! (Pardon my French). So what to do.

You need (again sorry to be preachy!) to ask yourself the following questions:

1.Do I REALLY want to give up (as opposed to playing the 'giving-up game' which is great fun for everybody and gives us all an excuse to interract and post pictures and for me to write preachy messages like this.)

2. Am I prepared for the cravings? (that is do I have a well-thought out plan - peppermints, exercise - both physical and mental - food, drink, (drinking a pint of water is a great antidote) talking to folk etc - for fighting the cravings at different times of the day?

3. Do I fully understand that the demon will subvert my will and that I will come to believe that giving up smoking is silly and counterproductive? (This will only last moments but unless you are prepared for the demon everything else is useless).

When I hear this message how will I know it is the demon talking and not me? What arguments will I have to hand to combat the 'just the one' argument or the voice that tells me that giving up is bad for my health, marriage, sanity etc.

Of course, these are all ridiculous arguments
but unless you write down the answers the demon will pin you down at a moment of stress and bingo we are back to zero again and the demon has a big smirk all over his face.

That's it. Simple really. You are now an ex-smoker.

Good luck (no cancel that it's not a matter of luck) Break a leg, then! Fennie xx

Suffolkmum said...

I've never smoked (apart from a few behind the bike sheds) so don't really know how hard it is - but you're doing so well - we're all there with you - keep going ....

Milkmaid said...

Well done for doing so well so far, so you've had one hiccup, don't beat yourself up, at least it made you feel bad
when i gave up I used to only smoke Thursday night to Saturday night and eventually cut out Thurs and so on, it took me an age, but the very smell of smoke makes me gip

The Country Craft Angel said...

Hello WW

Firstly I want to say it is SO good to see you blogging. I have been catching up and didn't realise you had been so busy while I was away-has thrown me so much that I have read them all through from the top and then go back from the bottom and made comments!!

I think you are marvellous! Don't beat yourself up. Every cigarette you smoke knocks 5 minutes off your life...think of the time you have will all add up, even if you have the odd 'blip' Bite sized chunks.

I smoked from 15 to 21. By 21 I was on 20 a day. I have never been one of these 'reformed' smoker types...still to this day there are times when I get a whiff of cigarette smoke and I LIKE the smell of it...But I won't go back now...

You will do it..when the time is right.

Take care and so good to see you writing again.

warmest wishes

Pingu said...

keep it up, I'm still off them... had a bit of slipping period over the last month, but stayed off for three weeks now, well until the one I had last night... still, not going to beat myself up over it.

Just remember that the craving only lasts 3 seconds!


@themill said...

If you can get to the stage where you only have one once in a while all well and good. I can smoke 20 a night and then not have another for six weeks! I feel no guilt about it, nor should you.

DJ Kirkby said...

Well done! I quit 8 years ago and I still remember how torturous it was. I eded up using a nictine inhalator for 2 1/2 years! Addictive personality? Me?

Cait O'Connor said...

You're a strong woman, You can do it!
I wish my son would give up, he keeps trying and now he has a new girlfriend who also smokes (unfortunately).

Keep thinking of the positive outcomes of NOT smoking.