OK

This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.

ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.

  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

At what point do you transition from "I quit (am quitting) smoking" to "I don't smoke"?

Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

I smoked like a chimney for many years. I struggled with quitting. I quit and fell back into it, I tried substitution and gum and will power, each with varied success followed by failure. But I was quitting!
I wrote a list of the reasons I wanted to be free of cigarettes. Some of them minor reasons, some serious as a heart attack.
Then one day I found an ad for a hypnotist who was doing anti-smoking seminars. It was held at a hotel near the Burbank airport in the evening, a one-shot deal in a room with a hundred people and cost $30.
The best $30 I've ever spent.
The guy (and I regret that I don't remember his name) was a behavioral scientist from UC San Diego. A funny little guy. He spent an hour talking about the mechanics of habit, the triggers, the way we acquire habits and how to "break" them. He said that half of us were hypnotizable (I certainly am, I can be hypnotized by a screen saver) and we would be done with cigarettes after tonight and the other half would go on smoking, but he was keeping our money anyway! So there!
Then he sent us outdoors for a cigarette.
After the break we came back in and he had us stretch out on the floor, flat back, completely relaxed. Then he started walking around the room, using a relaxation technique I had first learned in a dance class: Guided Imagery..."Imagine a light being poured into you, into the top of your head, filling your head and flowing down....."
Because I had met this idea before, it was immediately comfortable, I knew how to see this light and use it to fill my body and I concentrated easily on it.
I guess he kept talking, I know that an hour passed, I don't remember a word he said after "Imagine a light...."
I still had a half a pack of butts in my shirt pocket when I got home, I kept them around, who knows why. I went to work the next day and the ashtray on my worktable was still there, still filled with butts, my co-workers still smoked, my boss still smoked, I didn't feel like having a cigarette, so I didn't.
A couple years later, I still hadn't had a cigarette but I took a ride with a friend up to the Bay Area in a small car, mid summer, windows closed and the AC on. He smoked. As we got into Palo Alto,  I had him stop the car so I could open the door and puke. That's the only time second-hand smoke has effected me.
It's been now better than 25 years since I had a cigarette, I have no urge, I didn't "give up" anything of value. I don't feel like anything is missing in my life without cigarettes.
I don't feel like an ex-smoker, don't feel like I quit smoking, I feel like I don't smoke. Like cigarettes are not in any way related to my life.
And I wonder if that tiny perspective change is significant, just as I wonder about some friends who wrestle with alcohol or heroin. Are they really served by the idea that they are "once an addict, always an addict" or would they have a better shot if they simply divorced themselves from the substance. Thinking in particular about one friend who has been going to AA for 35 years and is 32 years sober. Is he still an alcoholic if he hasn't touched a drop in 32 years?
Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for AA and NA, they are trying to solve a huge problem for individuals in their lives and for society in general and not charging a dime for it, that's hero work in my book.
But for some people, isn't reminding themselves that "I am an alcoholic" week after week when actually they are alcohol free for years, is that self reinforcing or self defeating?
So, yeah, I quit. A long time ago. Now, I don't smoke. I'm not a smoker. And I'm not likely to become one.
                    

1/04/14 updated buddy list.  

1BQ, 2thanks, 3rdGenFeminist, 417els, A Man Called Gloom, Abra Crabcakeya, Actbriniel, addisnana, AfroPonix, aishmael, Alise, Alpha99, also mom of 5, ambeeeant, American in Kathmandu, amk for obama, andsarahtoo, angry marmot, Anne933, anodnhajo, aoeu, AoT, aquarius2001, arcadesproject, Archie2227, arodb, Arthur Wolf (in memoriam), assyrian64, Aunt Acid, awkawk, b4uknowit, BadKitties, bamablue, BARAKABETH, barnowl, b barrie, bdizz, beatpanda, beefydaddy18, betterdemsonly, BFSkinner, bgblcklab1, BigAlinWashSt, Bike Crash, BirderWitch, BJKay, bleeding heart, blingbling65, blue husky, Blue Intrigue, bluedust, BluejayRN, BlueJessamine, BlueMississippi, Bluerall, bluestatedem84, BoiseBlue, boudi08, Brahman Colorado, breedlovinit, BrenP, BrianParker14, Bronxist, broths, BrowniesAreGood, bsmechanic, buddabelly, Bugsydarlin, bumbi, BusyinCA, cactusgal, cagernant, Carol in San Antonio, CathiefromCanada, CathodeRay, CDH in Brooklyn, Cedwyn, cee4, Cen Den, ChocolateChris, ChurchofBruce, ciganka, cinnamondog, citizenx, ClapClapSnap, claude, Cleante, Code Monkey, codobus, Coldblue Steele, Colorado is the Shiznit, coloradomomma, common green, commonmass, Common Sense Mainer, congenitalefty, coppercelt, CwV, dadanation, Damnit Janet, dangoch, DarienComp, dauber, Dauphin, Dave in AZ, Dave in Northridge, David54, deedogg, demkat620, Dexter, Diana in NoVa, Dickie, DiegoUK, Dingodude, dirtdude, distraught, djMikulec, docreed2003, dolfin66, donnamarie, Donna O, dotsright, Dr Teeth, Dreggas, DRo, droogie6655321, Dube, duckhunter, Eclectablog, Eddie C, EdgedInBlue, edr, effervescent, elbamash, El barragas, el vasco, electricgrendel, entrelac, ericlewis0, Everest42, Ex Con, exlrrp, ExpatGirl, ezdidit, fat old man, fauve, fhamme, Fineena, fiona2, fishhawk, Flea, flumptytail, Friend of the court, fritzi56, FrugalGranny, Garrett, Gator, gchaucer2, GDbot, Geiiga, GenXangster, glpaul, gooderservice, gooners, gravlax, GreenMountainBoy02 (in memoriam), greylox, grndrush (in memoriam), GrumpyWarriorPoet, GuerillaLiberal, GulfExpat, gzodik, Haole in Hawaii, HappyinNM, henlesloop, here4tehbeer, HeyMikey, hideinplainsight, High Tide, hiliner68, history first, hold tight, Hugh Jim Bissell, hulibow, I love OCD, I said GOOD DAY sir, Im a frayed knot, imisa, Indexer, indubitably, indyada, Interceptor7, Inventor, Isaacsdad, ItsaMathJoke, itsbenj, Jahiz, James Earl, JamesEB, janl1776, Janeo, jarbyus, JayinPortland, jayjaybear, jbalazs, JBL55, jbou, Jeffersonian Democrat, jillwklausen, jmadlc55, jmonch, Joes Steven (aka Steven), john keats, john07801, johngoes, johnny wurster, jsfox, just another vet, JVolvo's Mom (in memoriam), jwinIL14, Kai99, kailuacaton, Kamakhya, kat herder, katchen, Kelly of PA, khloemi, Khun David, Kitsap River, kittania, kos, KrazyKitten, Kristina40, Ksholl, labwitchy, ladypockt, Lahdee, langerdang, LarsThorwald, LA rupert, last starfighter, LaughingPlanet, Laurie Gator, Lava20, Leo in NJ, Lipstick Liberal, litoralis, lmdonovan, lockewasright, Lonely Liberal in PA, Lonely Texan, longislandny, Lorinda Pike, LtdEdishn, lunacat, lunachickie, luvsathoroughbred, lying eyes, maggiemay, magicsister, mango, Marc in KS, MargaretPOA, Marjmar, Mark E Andersen (Kodiak54), marknspokane, marsanges, maryabein, Matf, Matt Esler, Maxiemax, maybeeso in michigan, MBNYC, mdemploi, Meteor Blades, Micburke, michael1104, MillieNeon, minerva1157, MinervainNH, Missys Brother, mjbleo, MnRaindog (in memoriam), mntleo2, mollyd, Morague, MotoGP, Mr Bojangles, mrsgoo, mskitty, msmacgyver, MsWings, Murphoney, nannyboyz, ncsuLAN, NearlyNormal, Nedsdag, Nespolo, Nick Zouroudis, nokkonwud, notgivingup, NY brit expat, oceanview, Ole Texan, OleHippieChick, Olkate, one pissed off democrat, One Pissed Off Liberal, Onomastic, operculum, OrangeMike, Ordvefa, Overseas, Over the Edge, Pager, paige, PaintyKat, palmer18, paradox, parryander, paulitics, peglyn, Pennsylvanian, peterfallow, phrogge prince, plok, Portia Elm, Positronicus, post rational, PowWowPollock, Proud Mom and Grandma, psycho liberal, ptolemynm, Purple Priestess, PvtJarHead, racheltracks, randallt, ray bob, real world chick, red mittens, Reepicheep, regis, relentless, revelwoodie, revsue, Rex Manning, rexymeteorite, RiaD (in memoriam), rickeagle, ridemybike, rightiswrong, Rileycat, rincewind, rkex, roadlion, RoCali, Roger Fox, Rosebuddear, roses, rscopes, Rudini, RumsfeldResign, Safina, SallyCat, Sanuk, Sark Svemes, sboucher, scooter in brooklyn, Scrapyard Ape, seenaymah, Senor Unoball, sewaneepat, sfbob, sgary, Shahryar, sheddhead, shesaid, Shifty18, shmuelman, shopkeeper, sidious666, sidnora, slksfca, slowbutsure, smartcookienyc, smeesq, Smoh, snoopydawg, snorwich, SnyperKitty, SoCalHobbit, SoCalSal, sofia, soonergrunt, sostos, sowsearsoup, SpecialKinFlag, spmozart, spotDawa, SpotTheCat, StateOfGrace, Statusquomustgo, stiffneck, stonekeeper, suesue, sunbro, Super Grover, susans, Syoho, tallmom, Tay, tdslf1, teknospaz, theatre goon, The Eyewitness Muse, TheGeneral, TheStoopingRabbit, TigerMom, Tim DeLaney, tiredofcrap, TomP, tonyahky, Toyotabob7, TracieLynn, TreeFrog, triciawyse, tripodisblack, trs, trueblueliberal, TrueBlueMajority, ttanner, Tulsonian, Turn VABlue, Turtle Bay, Tyto Alba, uc booker, UncleCharlie, Unduna, Unforgiven, ursoklevar, USArmyParatrooper, VA02 femocrat, Vacationland, valadon, Vayle, vc2, Vetwife, vgranucci, Via Chicago, Village expects idiot home soon, viral, vulcangrrl, waytac, webranding, weelzup, Wes Opinion, Whimsical Rapscallion, willy be frantic, willy mugobeer, Wood Dragon, wolfie1818, Wordsinthewind, Wreck Smurfy, x, xopher, yet another liberal, Zotz
Have you had some experience with the effects of smoking, and want to write a GUS diary or host an open thread? Please sign up in the Butt Can (Tip Jar), and name the day and time that works for you (posting times are flexible).
Weekly GUS Diary Schedule (regular hosts featured in bold) is below.

Mon AM: Open
Mon PM: paulitics
Tue AM: gchaucer2
Tue PM:  Open
Wed AM: Open
Wed PM: Vacationland
Thu AM: nokkonwud
Thu PM: James Earl
Fri AM: flumptytail
Fri PM: Open
Sat AM:effervescent
Sat PM: Open

Extended (Optional)

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.