Isn't it? Me? Happy smoker for life, I thought.
NOW SUCH A HAPPY QUITTER.
I never even wanted to quit in all my smoky years – From 1972 to 2017 I enjoyed it. 1972 – I was babysitting a nephew and the pack was lying there. The boy was asleep so I tried one. Both my parents smoked. Whatever smell I grew up with, I was used to it. Just never tasted it and wanted to know what they all liked so much. I was at college where everyone smoked (what an intelligent way to start your own suicide right?) Monday morning in the coffee shop before class, I bought my first pack. I liked it. I liked belonging to the group. I liked being the same as everyone around me.
Next day I lit up at home to see the reaction. My dad said: “I don’t care, I just don’t want to watch it. So smoke in your room or when you’re out.”. My mom bought me a pretty little silver Ronson lighter the next day. I still have it - doesn’t work anymore, – no worries. But at the time I felt she was trying to show that no matter what I did, she had my back in our weird household.
I was a Travel consultant and flew quite a bit. It never bothered me when they banned smoking on aircraft. I could put it out of my mind. WHY DID I NEVER THINK TO STOP?
Pregnant in ’86, my Gynae allowed me 5 a day! WHY DIDN’T I THINK TO QUIT WHEN 5 A DAY WAS SO EASY FOR 8 MONTHS! But after becoming a mum, I went right to the smoking area (inside the maternity home) and lit up. Yep, hospitals had smoking areas INSIDE.
FFWD to 2014. I was spending so much time with Mom at the Alzheimer care facility that some days I had time for only 2 cigarettes. Just 4 the hell of it, I quit because it seemed an opportune time. But when she left me 5 weeks later, without a thought or regret, I went back to 1½ packs a day. WHY?
Through all the years I never hated the smell. It was comforting. I didn’t have to sneak away. I was open and arrogant about it. You don’t like my smoke – move elsewhere; I’m in the legal zone for smoking. Don’t stand there judging me. If you visit me and the weather is good, we can sit outside. If not, it’s my house – I smoke in my house. I had no one nagging or getting on my case. Smoking was what I did. I was considerate in other people’s homes with their rules obviously.
But after that semi-quit in 2014, I started becoming more aware. I’d smoke my normal 2 in the morning (coffee and make–up time), 2 driving to work, 2 at lunchtime if there was time … and then who knows how many after 5?! But at work except for the odd lunch break I didn’t smoke AT ALL. I’ve said before, at the same time, I stopped smoking outside pubs, restaurants, or at friends’ homes outside. Just decided to wait till we went home and not miss out spending time with loved ones.
And that seemed to wake me up to the possibility of quitting for real. Not lighting up immediately. Extending the times between smokes. It occurred to my smoky brain that quitting might be a plan.
I started surfing the Net and read a lot and just managed to read myself right out of a quit plan. It sounded SO final.
I was still enjoying each one?! It terrified me.
Then I stumbled on this site; I followed instructions (thinking “yeah right. This won’t stick”), I planned, I changed my mind, I tracked, I noted triggers, picked a new date and finally quit on Feb 27th …my personal and very private “out” was I’d stay quit till surgery in April and then I’ll rethink this decision.
After surgery there was no way I was going to lose my 2 month quit. I made it through NML (thank you greg8 and EVERYONE else - sincerely) I forget to think about cigarettes for days at a time now, even weeks. I’m an ex–smoker for the rest of my life.
I don’t know what lies ahead for me. Did I stop too late? Is there something lurking around, waiting to pounce while I think I outwitted nicotine? Don’t know. Will worry if that happens. But for now I’m just A HAPPY QUITTER thanks to EX.
N.O.P.E. is my magic word. Not One Puff Ever.
250 days (8 months) later I’m still smoke free and so, so happy (also pretty surprised). 2/3rd’s of the way to 1 year. And when little granddaughter arrives on March 3rd, she’ll have one sweet-smelling Grammi/Nana/Nonna/Nana Bree – I wish Kathryn will make up her mind!
Hang on to your quits everybody. It is so very worth it. You won't be sorry.