Skip to main content

So I'm in my 10th day without a cigarette after being addicted to smoking for almost as many years. I wanted to write a little bit about this because the GUS (Gave Up Smoking) diaries that have been popping up here at DKos have been a source of strength for me, and may have actually spurred me into taking action by putting down my last cigarette.

There were years of procrastination involved in getting to this point...

Pretty much ever since I knew I was hooked, I've wanted to quit. It's not something that appeals to me -- being addicted to a substance. Although there were many times when I was fine with it -- so long as I had a pack that was mostly full and a place to smoke them.

My wife and I have fought about smoking for years, even before we were married. I've told her I was going to quit maybe a half dozen times over the years. Occasionally I meant it. Even when I did, though, the result was the same. Tobacco made me a liar. Its hold was so strong that I'd lie to the person I love most in the world.

The thing that kept me hooked for so long was less physical nicotine addiction than psychological addiction to the act of smoking. Stepping outside by myself somewhere quiet and lighting up a cigarette was a wonderful, stress-relieving experience for me. Smoking goes great with the things I love: Writing, conversation, drinking and eating.

I didn't have any of the usual things that make people want to quit. The money is all right. Smoking is cheap where I live and people don't hassle you for it. I breathe just fine and don't get winded that easily.

However, after a point, it was hard for me to picture a life without cigarettes. I promised my wife before we decided to have children that I would quit when we conceived. Droogie Jr, as you know, is now nearly a year and a half. So that's about 2 years of procrastination on my part. That's the kind of addiction smokers have.

I've tried patches and pills and gum in the past. This time I just stopped outright. I didn't have any special tricks. I don't chew ice or eat sunflower seeds by the thousands. I didn't get hypnotized or meditate or pray or anything. I just stopped buying cigarettes and said "No" every time a tiny voice tried to convince me to buy more.

It was frustratingly simple. After a while, the voice started telling me, "This is so easy, you could have another pack and go right back to quitting!" I didn't fall for it. The voice would say, "OK, just go bum one from (Blank). That way you won't have to buy a whole pack." I didn't listen. The voice said, "Go get a cigar. Just don't inhale. Or a clove cigarette. Something. Anything!" I ignored it.

It's only been 10 days, so I feel like it's a little early to tell you whether this was easy or hard. For all I know, the hardest part may be yet to come. Or maybe I've already done the hard part. Who knows? This is as far as I've ever gotten.

The thing that made it work was I finally decided that I don't want smoking to be a part of my life anymore -- not in any capacity. I would learn to live without it. And I am, step by step.

Originally posted to droogie6655321 on Tue Aug 11, 2009 at 01:34 PM PDT.

Also republished by gussians.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site