Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Confessions of an Addict

I think I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that my husband recently quit smoking. What I did not mention, was that I did not. Yes. There is it. My nasty, dirty little secret.

I've smoked since I was 18 and although I've tried to quit many times over the years, I have never been successful. I've taken three quit smoking classes, and while I did quit each time, it didn't stick. I tried nicotine patches ... they gave me a rash. I tried nicotine gum ... it made me sick to my stomach. I took a self hypnosis class ... and smoked on the way home. I've tried 3 different drugs to help me quit smoking ... one made me sick, one made me sleepy, and the other made me depressed. When I try to quit I turn into a raving lunatic. I'll smoke my husband's cigarettes, which I don't even like. I'll pick through the ashtray looking for butts long enough to light.

I'm ashamed to admit it, but I even watched my mother die from emphysema and held her hand while she poked at the air for a cigarette while taking her last breaths.

Honey and I talked about all the times we've tried to quit smoking, why we failed, what we could do to prevent that in the future, and decided on a plan. We decided that we couldn't both quit at the same time because we get get so short-tempered and anxious and we hit a point where both of us are at our weakest and we go buy cigarettes. The plan was for him to quit smoking first. That made sense, because he won't smoke my cigarettes, or pick through the ashtrays, and I will, so the fact that I would still have cigarettes in the house wouldn't be a problem for him.

He quit smoking 3 1/2 weeks ago. He's been taking some medication he got from the doctor, which has helped him, and I've been trying to be as supportive as I can. He's gotten a little testy from time to time, but basically has done very well and is over the worst of it now. So it's my turn.

I quit smoking on Saturday. This is my 5th smoke free day. There are no cigarettes in the house, the ashtrays have been emptied, washed and put away. I'm doing fine. I don't know what is different about this time, except that I'm really finally ready, I think. I have some nicotine lozenges to get me over the cravings, but mostly, I've just been trying to keep busy. I've got my laundry caught up, started cleaning the basement, knitted a couple of dishcloths, listed a bunch of stuff on Freecycle, and have been sewing 4 patches from my scraps for a scrappy quilt I'll make someday.

It's working. I'm doing it. Soon, I'll be over the hump and I can start enjoying all the good things about being smoke-free. I can sit anywhere I want in a restaurant. My clothes and my house won't smell like smoke any more. I'll be able to have my future grandchildren over with no worries or guilt that I might be exposing them to second hand smoke. And with cigarettes at over $6.00 a pack here, the money I'll save will do nicely to finance my new addiction ... sewing!! It's much less harmful, and a lot more productive.

I'm Terri, and I'm a nicotine addict ... and I've been smoke free for five days.



Purple and Paisley said...

wow! hooray for you! congratulations of 5 days smokefree! and best of luck...i'll keep you in my thoughts!

Anonymous said...

Great, congratulations! You can do it! applause, applause, applause from me!

Sharon said...

5 Days Smoke Free! Congratulations!
I quit 23 years ago and I remember what a challenge it was. I also did alot of cleaning and organizing.
Keep it up terri!

Sara said...

Congratulations! I'm Sara and I used to be a smoker! (for 45 years) I quit 4 years ago!

I'll be around to support you on this one!!!

Jamie VanBeekum said...

Yay! Good for you! I'm sure you'll do it this time for good. I've never smoked, so never had to quit, but I know it is a very difficult thing. Keep it up, and if you need some extra support, you know where to find me!

Benjamin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
the poet said...

keep it up mom. my time is next.
love you!

RachelJane said...

CONGRATULATIONS! That is fabulous. My mother had a friend who quit smoking, saved the $ she would have spent on cigarettes and treated herself to a wonderful vacation. What a great incentive.

Good luck. We're all rooting for you!

Simone de Klerk said...

Good for you!!! Keep it up. You will feel so much better after a while (even though you might not beleive it now).I've been there too.

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

Good for you. I wish I could stay chocolate free for 5 days! Nice job.

Lurline's Place said...

Terri, you have all my support and best wishes - I just wish I could wave a magic wand to help! I'm an ex-smoker and lung cancer survivor - I've had an upper right lobectomy, radical surgery, and chemo and radiotherapy combined. That was in 1998 and I was diagnosed as inoperable and incurable - they weren't nice days and thank God I had a wonderful medical team! I don't always enjoy wonderful health these days, but I am so happy for every day I am here! It is not conclusive that my lung cancer was caused through smoking, as I lived in mining towns for 30 years, but if you can beat it, Darling, please do! I don't think about this a lot and won't talk about it again - God Bless!
Hugs - Lurline♥

Mattie said...

Way to go Teri. I was a smoker too. Still consider quitting one of the hardest things I ever had to do and it didn't work till I was ready in my head and really wanted it. One day at a time sounds silly...but it is true. Hang in there and keep it up!

Chocolate Cat said...

Congratulations! I so hope you are able to stay smoke free. I would love my Mum to quit but she isn't ready yet!! Just think of what you are going to be able to do with all the money you save!!

Vicki said...

Go Teri Go!!! I know that smoking is so hard to give up. Keep it up, your body will thank your, your finances will thank you and your family will thank you for your fine example.

Regina said...

Hi Teri!!!!!

I was so happy to read your post, it made my morning!!

I just wanted to drop you a note to encourage you on your smoke free journey. Stay strong honey, you have tons of cyber friends cheering for you.