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TomW5.15.17's Blog

52 posts

New Freedom

Posted by TomW5.15.17 Jul 22, 2017

This is huge!:  My wife just left to run some errands.  I’m leaving soon to run mine.  As she was going, she asked, “When will I see you again today?”  Without even thinking, I said, “It’s supposed to rain this afternoon.  So I’m going to do all my errands back-to-back and get home before the rain.”


Why this is huge:  For over 30 years, I would have answered that question quite differently.  And I wouldn’t have answered without thinking.  In fact, I would have thought a great deal about it as soon as I woke up.  I would have carefully planned out my day so that I never did any errand back-to-back.  I needed to maximize the number of times I left the house so I could sneak a cigarette.  And I would space them out as evenly as possible so as to ease any withdrawal.


Today, for the first time, none of that even occurred to me.


I’m really starting to like this new freedom


Tom (68DOF)



Posted by TomW5.15.17 Jul 20, 2017

I pretty much got over my usual triggers (driving, coffee, after meals, etc.) after my first week of quit.  I've even had a few occasions with alcohol and was barely phased.  Although I did limit myself to only one small drink each time.  


In my 66 days, there have been plenty of times when I was nearby a smoker, and I did not feel any great desire to smoke.  This is not to say I no longer have cravings.  I still get some doozies.  They just don't seem to be triggered by anything.  Until today.  I ran into an old-coworker this morning.  It's been 2 years since I've seen him, but in the previous 20 years, I smoked more cigarettes with him than anyone else.  In our 8-10 work hour days, we would have at least 8-10 cigarettes together.


We spoke for about 20 minutes catching up.  But within seconds of seeing him, I was overcome with cravings.  I barely heard a word he said.  All I could think about was, "I hope he doesn't light up, because I'm not sure I could not bum one from him".  When I got in my car, I actually toyed with the idea of driving to the store to buy a pack.  Then a calendar alarm went off on my cell phone.  I looked and saw it was a reminder of my annual health insurance screening exam tomorrow morning.  This is the first year they are testing for nicotine use.  I guess timing really is everything .



Posted by TomW5.15.17 Jul 18, 2017

For the first time since I joined EX, I scrolled down to the bottom of the Home Page.  There I saw the New Member section, and for grins, I hit the VIEW ALL button.  Then I saw all the ways you could sort and search, and had a great idea!  I like knowing how people who quit around the same time as me are doing.  Since I quit on May 15, I would create a group of those who quit in May and June, and check in with them regularly.


When I did the search, I was pretty surprised.  I was expecting maybe 10-20 names.  It was 155!  I paged through all the names, and only recognized 9 who have posted here.  That's 6% of the people who joined, still actively posting a month or 2 later.  How sad .  I wish there was a way we could engage those people.  Hopefully they will return when they are ready.


No Man's Land

Posted by TomW5.15.17 Jul 16, 2017

I had the worst crave of my quit beginning when I woke up Thursday until I fell asleep Friday.  I remember falling asleep Friday thinking I can't wait to post in gregp136 's No Man's Land Roll Call when I wake up so I can complain about how bad I'm feeling.  I slept OK Thursday and Friday night, but the waking hours were non-stop misery.


Then I wake up Saturday morning and start going about my day until almost dinner time, when I realize I hadn't thought of nicotine once all day.  Same with today.  I've been up for 9 hours, and am totally crave/urge free.  This is what I hate the most about No Man's Land, the unpredictability of it.  I'm a number's guy.  A logical thinker.  I want cause and effect.  When I have a crave, (or have none) I want it to be explained by diet, exercise, amount of sleep, or something!  The randomness of this drives me crazy!


But the good news is I'm 62 DOF!  I'm nearly half-way thru this awful NML!


Profanity withdrawal

Posted by TomW5.15.17 Jul 13, 2017

I've been reading with amusement all of the posts on this site's apparently new profanity filter.  I rarely swear, and almost never in public.  I'm not morally opposed.  I guess I just don't get that mad.  Until now.  I've been swearing like drunken sailor the past few weeks when craves hit me.  Today is another bad day.  It does help a little yelling out loud at my craves.  And for those of you who are used to typing your rants, my sympathies.  It doesn't seem fair that we have to give up nicotine and profanity at the same time


Speaking of craves, I've noticed I'm not craving cigarettes anymore.  Instead I want that instant nicotine rush I used to get from Nicorette gum.  Hopefully that is progress.


Health Insurance Change

Posted by TomW5.15.17 Jul 7, 2017

My health insurer (Optima) has always required me to do a Biometric Screening every year where they would basically just take your vitals and ask you some questions.  A few years ago they started giving a premium "discount" if you were a non-smoker, and another if your Body Mass Index was under 25.  Of course, if you smoke or are overweight, you think of this as a penalty, not a discount.


Anyway, I always got both "discounts".  I've always been underweight so my weight/height ratio is what it is.  But the test for smoking was a CO2 breathalyzer.  I could easily beat this by just going on nicotine lozenges for 24 hours prior to my test, then literally lighting up as I walked to my car from the Biometric Screening.  No more.  They are going to a blood test now for nicotine.  So even if you haven't lit up in years, but continue a NRT, you lose.  Seems unfair.


It makes me wonder if it was just too many people like me gaming the system that brought about the change?  Or is there some new research suggesting that NRT's aren't successful enough for an insurer to consider you "quit"?  Thankfully, I decided to go without NRT's on this quit.


53 DOF for me.  Will be 70-80 by the time I do my test.  Hopefully I won't have any lingering nicotine in my body by then.


Random Lunchtime Musings

Posted by TomW5.15.17 Jun 21, 2017
  • I've had a very nice, uneventful 2 and 1/2 days.  In my 37 days of being nicotine free, that's not terribly unusual.  But I have learned it is also not something I can take for granted.  So I'm feeling very grateful right now.
  •  Speaking of learning:
    • I've taken 2 "Quit Smoking" classes from 2 different hospitals in the last 3 years.  Both were 6 weeks (Six 90 minute classes).  Both were taught by Registered Nurses who had been teaching their classes for several years.  Both nurses had never smoked in their lives.
    • Both classes had all kinds of "expert" reading and video materials for us.  
    • Both classes had 6 people in them and both classes had a 100% fail rate within 2 weeks after the last class.
    • I can honestly say I've learned more in 3 days on this site than in 12 weeks of  supposed "expert" advice.  Very grateful for that as well.
  • And, speaking of learning:
    • I joined this site looking for advice from people who had successfully quit for a year or more.  I got that, but have also learned just as much from those who have only recently begun their journey.  Grateful for that too.  
  • I guess I should have called this "Grateful Musings", not "Random Musings"