Tuesday, October 07, 2008

God Help Me, I've Quit Smoking

I must admit that some of the best advice I have ever received was from my pals Skyler's Dad and GetkristiLove. Skyler's Dad's was short and to the point, "Stop. Just Stop!" while GetkristiLove's was more optimistic and hopeful, "Think of all of the money you will save that you can spend on beer."

These two phrases have haunted me for the past few months to the point they are the only commercials that play in the Muzak of my head. Thanks to the both of you for haunting my conscience with your good advice. It took me a while, but I'm finally taking it.

I've known that I was poisoning myself for years, but as a young man that didn't seem to matter much. If I checked out because of some horrible self-induced disease, the world at large would not have lost much I reasoned. Well, now I'm a little older. I have a wonderful wife, two beautiful kids, and a good life. Why throw it away because I want to put dried leaves in my mouth and burn them?

I know that bad habits are hard to break, but I also know that in these hard times the only way I'm ever going to save enough money to put one of the kids through college is if I quit blowing it on stupid stuff like cigarettes, pixie sticks, and kiwi-scented shoe inserts. I may have to quit buying beer to put the other kid through college, but I don't think I'm quite ready to quit two things at once. My body couldn't handle it, and I might wind up in a bell tower somewhere throwing doughnuts at passersby while screaming insensibly. I can't let that happen. My arrest record is colorful enough.

If anyone has suggestions on how to kick this foul habit, I'd love to hear them, but in the mean time, can I bum a Lifesavers?



  1. My friends staged an intervention for me. But it wasn't to quit smoking, it was to get me to start using kiwi-scented shoe inserts.

    My mom could never quit, even when she was dieing and on maximum oxygen. But I have heard that it is the little things that all add up to the bigger problem. Stop the automatic sequence of having one when you get up, or after eating, etc.

    Try this:

  2. Keep up the good work, playa. You can do it. I believe in you. :)

  3. oooh, it ain't the burning of the leaves that's the problem: it's inhaling the burning leaves that's the problem.

    Having done it myself ::coff, coff:: may I suggest patches and/or gum, at least to fight the cravings? You'll need something to do with your hands and something to chew on soon enough.

    Here, lemmie help. I'll quit with you!!

  4. I quit many moons ago.
    I used popcorn. Whenever I had a craving I ate popcorn. Used to carry self-popped bags of it around with me, even to the pub, which looked weird by it worked. ...The hand to mouth fixation at work there.
    Of course I became addicted to popcorn but that one was easier to kick. The only problem was the husks between my teeth. Floss was my friend.

    Good luck, Doc.

  5. Thanks for the advice old friend. I took me a while to realise how right you are, but I've seen the light. Thanks.

    $teve- Thanks for the good vibes. I need them from a cool cat like yerself.

    Cap'n Ergo- I can't chew gum. It makes my jaw hurt and the patches taste terrible.

    Gifted Typist- Popcorn? Never heard of that but I might go that route.

    I would love to tell you all that I've gone cold turkey but that would be a lie. While I haven't a cigarette, I stumbled on two packages of H.B. Scott chewing tobacco that my Dad purchased nine years ago. It is an unpleasant substitute and I think it can be easily dropped atfer the intial withdrawal symptoms have been dealt with.

    Thank you for your well wishes. I plan on reading your blog for a lot longer now.

    I might have to take some more of Skyler's Dad's advice and start running.

    But don't hold your breathe.


  6. Skyler's Dad is absolutely right. Every time you put out a cigarette, you are a nonsmoker. The trick is not to become a smoker again. Just fucking stop. Here's my advice, offered because it worked for me about 18 years ago.
    - Get through a day. It should be a Tuesday when you have nothing important to do. You will be nuts and buzzed and useless, but you will be a nonsmoker.
    - Get through the next day. You won't believe that people can endure this shit. Just the same, endure this shit and you will still a nonsmoker.
    - On day three, with all you've been through, you would be crazy to start again. Your taste comes roaring back, and you didn't even realize it was missing. This day is a landmark. You are officially a nonsmoker.
    - You will continue to have landmark days. Mine came at 7 days, 12 days, 20 days and a month. You will be so goddamn proud of yourself, you will soil the furniture.

    There's lots more to this, and it's not easy, but if you succeed it will be one of the proudest victories of your life. Do it, man, and any time you want to get in touch, I'll do what I can to help.

  7. I should have read your comment first, you dumb sonofabitch. What are you doing putting nicotine in your body? Just stop. Stop. Any words there you don't understand?

  8. Oh, doc, the other thing I was going to say is that I didn't go cold turkey either. I smoked about 20 per day. So on the day I quit I smoked 19. The next day 18 etc etc. On the last five I went down one week at at a time : five one week, four one week etc.
    By the time I quit the physiological reliance was reduced, although the psychological wasn't.
    I think cold turkey is the worst enemy to quitting.

  9. You may have to sell one of the children to put the other one through college, so start picking a favorite now. ;)

  10. Hahaha, I like Genn's advice.

    I quit for about 2 years until I went to London where they could still smoke in the pubs. Of course, I wanted to be sociable (read: stupid) and started again. I'm working myself up to quitting again.

    I like Cooper's advice too!

  11. Kudos to you, Doc. I'm still thanking the day my mom quit about twelve years ago. All my mom's family smoked and she's lost three siblings; lung cancer, heart attack, brain aneurysm. Her remaining younger sibling just had a serious bout with a torn aorta, yet my mom is pretty damned healthy. Coincidence? I think not!

  12. Oh, and she buys a lot more shoes now, which is the best part!


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