Saturday, January 6, 2007

Day 7: an email from a non-smoking friend

OK, here it is, a week without smoking, and I have yet to commit a homicide, curse a young child or kick someone's pet.

Piece o' cake. Except for moments of thinking, "Hmm, right about now, I'd go out on the porch, light up a smoke and talk to the dogs."

The dogs have been getting less quality conversation time this past week than they're accustomed, but in time that will hopefully be compensated by more walking time (cause I know it's good to walk when combating smoker's anxiety.)

Anyway, a friend and former colleague at the now-defunct newspaper that was called "The Houston Post" sent a friendly email telling me not to get too hung up on counting the days of abstinence and not to "think too much" about the whole smoking cessation thing.

Here's what she said:
I quit smoking in 1991 (oh yes, a long time ago, when the Houston Post made it difficult to run out for a cig) and thought I'd weigh in. Well, it was easy for me to smoke that old wacky tabaccy stuff to compensate for my desire to actually puff on something. Worked pretty well. Still does. I'm thinking you're probably not into using that crutch. It might be kind of a blessing that you're sick, you're right, it will get you a couple days further away from cigs. That is how I started to quit, I got a (another) terrible cold.

Anyway, I never have smoked a cig since, and it's been almost 16 years. Here are a couple things I've kept in mind (or not) over the years:
- It helped me to not think how many days, or weeks, it had been. I just sort of let that the date I stopped drift into the past, and once in a while I'd think of it and realize how long it had been. Now I'm not even sure what the date was, though yours will be easier to remember.
- When you get a nic fit, instead of thinking about how uncomfortable it is, just let it course through your body like a wave and enjoy the ride.
- Of course, stay as far away from smokers as you can for a while. Don't even consider having "just one", because ...
- I read that a recent study said that people who quit cold turkey have the best success quitting.

Good luck, Turkey.

She's right. No wacky tobacky for me. That shit'll make you STUPID.

She sent me an addendum later that said:
In the last three or four years, I have started dreaming that I began
smoking again, and I'd wake up in horror, so angry at myself that I had
backslid into the shit. The dreams became more frequent before I moved back
home to Nameless Midwest City With Awesome and Enviable Baseball Dynasty,
where everyone smokes, and where I had smoked when I last lived here. But
that, too, has passed. And I have gone literally years at a time without the
desire to smoke a cigarette.

I haven't had any smoking dreams. It was nice to hear from an old friend who seemed genuinely interested in my latest foray into smoking cessation. People in general always are very supportive, except for smokers, who usually don't want to discuss the topic. I can understand that. The denial thing, that is.

If I don't post something tomorrow, look for something Monday, and feel free to email me any advice or smoking anecdotes to ... I'll happily withhold your name if you so desire.

1 comment:

The LJD said...

I also had the smoking dreams after I quit. And I would wake up in absolute mourning that I had broken my record of consecutive days, weeks or months without a smoke. Then, the joy of learning that it was only a dream. It was very motivating and kept me on track about as well as anything else I experienced then.