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GUS (Gave Up Smoking) is a community support diary for Kossacks in the midst of quitting smoking. Any supportive comments, suggestions or positive distractions are appreciated. We avoid discussion of political issues. If you are quitting or even thinking about quitting, please -- join us! GUS Library at dKosopedia is organically evolving, and stocked with free-range information: quit-smoking links, helpful GUS diary writing tips, and the GUS buddy list.
Because of a ferocious work assignment, I won't be hosting this diary, though I will check back later tonight. Maybe tomorrow, if I wind up power sleeping after dinner. In the meantime, GUS member flumptytail has graciously (and bravely) agreed to lend me a hand in hosting this diary.

Without going into too many details over life events that have occured over the past two weeks, the reason for my post is to bolster my intention to quit this fucking tobacco habit.

Hang on....

NSFW!!!

I'm letting myself cuss in this diary. As a general rule, I avoid it, because too much profanity tends to lessen the impact of any emotional message I'm trying to convey. As I'm feeling it right now, I'm going to swear, and hopefully, do it with purpose.

But then again, doing it implies a pre-planning of some kind. In this case, the feeling is coming up organically, as it reflects my anger towards this sloppy-assed habit that has stunted my emotional and physical health, kept others away from me, while convincing me at the same time "I don't need anyone else," or "I'll use this tobacco to set up a barrier, a warm snug shield I can invoke as the situation demands."

In my past GUS experience, I found that anger served me pretty well, actually. Thinking about the billions of fucking dollars that a few rich CEO tobacco-pushing junkie dealer assholes were making at the expense of myself and millions (billions?) of others motivated me greatly, in staying off the smog (mostly) for two years.

Unfortunately, during those two years, I was also dealing with another issue of mine, that being alcohol abuse. I finally quit drinking on Mother's Day of last year, at which point ... holy fucking shit... feelings! A lot of them! What the fuck...

A few months after my alcohol quit, I left GUS. Without going into that story... and it's a story that is best left in the past, one that I feel regret over, one that has me cursing at myself for being an anal son-of-a-bitch, when it comes down to following the self-prescribed "letter of the law" (I'm up to speed on what happened with GUS member and dear friend labwitchy, and consider how well that goddamn letter of the law thing is working, in a larger sense)... still the same sentence? Yep.... I found it best to leave this community, so that I could work on issues surrounding my alcohol problem. Now, almost a year later, I remain steadfast in my sobriety, and am now aiming a laser-focused stink-eye at tobacco. And boy, am I pissed.

Upon resuming damaging the fuck out of my lungs with cigarettes, I adopted a harm reduction approach. See, this way, I could feel better about it.... by smoking home-rolled cigarettes using pouch tobacco that contained none of those 3000+ chemical additives that those CEO fucks mentioned above ordered infused into their cylindrical death sticks, I could avoid my own hypocrisy. I could say "yeah, I know what I said about the big-buck cig manufacturers, but at least now I am reducing the harm, by saying 'fuck you' to them, and..."

And, what? Doing this, I could just as easily be saying "good thing I stopped beating myself on the head with a hammer, and picked up this wooden mallet instead." That is the reasoning as I now see it. I didn't then. Hopefully living and learning here.

Now, at this moment, where I now sit typing away madly in the face of a 3PM EST self-imposed deadline, so I can finish this diary and get back to work, I look at this image of a profile of a Native American, that adorns this shitty product that I use. Covered in cellophane. No irony there. But I'll tell you what is there, and that is my own hypocrisy coming back to haunt me, combined with the distinct feeling that I've been bullshitting myself.

I hate this feeling. I hate whoever created this brand, for using the most sadistic marketing technique ever... taking it and using it to do nothing but sell a product that makes a mess of my habitat, not even to mention the mess it's making of my lungs.

I'll take it. I will take this anger and point it forward. To the makers of this product, fuck you for being just as deceptive... deceptive? How naive. Why? Because the makers of this brand of cigarette are the same damn CEO's that go out of their way to make the manufactured rolls ever so slightly more convenient to smoke, to casually flip out of the pack with one hand, and ignite. All fine and dandy, that learning how to roll my own smoke offered a sense of delayed gratification. But the end result is still the same. Lessened physical activity. Increased stress. A shield that separates me from others around me. Same shit, different brand.

Ending with this... I would love to say that after hitting post, I walked over to the counter where my falsely advertised organic smoke rests, pitched it, and went about my day. The real story is that my diary is about generating my willingness to quit. Yesterday in GBot's diary, I bid a howdy-doo to the GUS community for the first time in nearly a year. Same kind of situation, where I had to get right back to work after saying hi, with no time to follow up on comments or tips. To post and bolt is a general no-no around these parts.

But that's where I finish full circle, with that rule of law thing. Sometimes it's OK to break the rules. In the case of my departure from GUS last year, I wish I would have told myself to give it a fucking rest, after performing what I considered to be adept community moderation. Even if I were positive that I was doing the right thing, losing friends who have been supportive and kind is not fucking worth it, in hindsight. Those of you who know what I'm talking about, who are reading this, ... yes, that's you I'm talking about. We may not have been in touch for a while, but I still consider you to be my friends. I am sorry that I did what I did.

Thanks for reading, and a round of applause for GUS stalwart flumptytail, who has graciously agreed to host the comments section of this profanity-laced missive. Flumpty and I quit together upon the formation of this community, and I'll hereby cease the profanity so that I may express how much this means to me.

Carry on, my friends.

Has your life been affected by smoking or smokers in your life?
Feel like providing a supportive place for quitters and would-be quitters to hang out? If so, we would love to have you 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 (AM, PM, late-night, early-bird, lunchtime, whatever...)

Diarists in regularly-scheduled time slots are listed in bold.

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Who's Your Buddy?
 1BQ, 3rdGenFeminist, Abra Crabcakeya, Actbriniel, addisnana, AfroPonix, aishmael, Alise, Alpha99, A Man Called Gloom, ambeeeant, American in Kathmandu, amk for obama, andsarahtoo, angry marmot, Anne933, anodnhajo, aoeu, aquarius2001, arcadesproject, Archie2227, arodb, Arthur Wolf (in memoriam), assyrian64, awkawk, b4uknowit, bamablue, BARAKABETH, barnowl, b barrie, bdizz, beatpanda, Beefydaddy18, BFSkinner, bgblcklab1, BigAlinWashSt, Bike Crash, BirderWitch, BJKay, bleeding heart, blingbling65, bluedust, blue husky, Blue Intrigue, bluedust, BluejayRN, BlueJessamine, Bluerall, bluestatedem84, BoiseBlue, boudi08, Brahman Colorado, breedlovinit, BrenP, Bronxist, BrowniesAreGood, bsmechanic, buddabelly, bumbi, burrow owl, BusyinCa, Carol in San Antonio, CathiefromCanada, CathodeRay, CDH in Brooklyn, cee4, Cen Den, ChiTownDenny, ChocolateChris, ChurchofBruce, ciganka, cinnamondog, citizenx, ClapClapSnap, Cleante, Code Monkey, codobus, Coldblue Steele, Colorado is the Shiznit, coloradomomma, common green, commonmass, Common Sense Mainer, congenitalefty, coppercelt, dadanation, dangoch, DarienComp, Dauber, Dauphin, Dave in AZ, Dave in Northridge, deedogg, demkat620, Dexter, Diana in NoVa, Dickie, DiegoUK, Dingodude, dirtdude, distraught, djMikulec, dolfin66, donnamarie, Donna O, dotsright, DRo, droogie6655321, Dube, duckhunter, Eclectablog, Eddie C, EdgedInBlue, effervescent, elbamash, El barragas, el vasco, ericlewis0, Everest42, Ex Con, ezdidit, fhamme, Fineena, fiona2, fishhawk, Flea, flumptytail, fritzi56, FrugalGranny, Garrett, Gator, gchaucer2, GDbot, Geiiga, GenXangster, Georgianna Darcy, glpaul, GN1927, gooderservice, gooners, gravlax, greylox, grndrush, GrumpyWarriorPoet, gzodik, Haole in Hawaii, HappyinNM, henlesloop, HeyMikey, hideinplainsight, High Tide, hiliner68, hold tight, hulibow, I love OCD, Im a frayed knot, imisa, Indexer, indubitably, indyada, Interceptor7, inventor, I said GOOD DAY sir, itsbenj, Jahiz, JamesEB, janl1776, Janeo, JayinPortland, jayjaybear, jbou, Jeffersonian Democrat, jmadlc55, jmonch, Joe's Steven aka Steven, john07801, johngoes, jsfox, JVolvo's Mom, jwinIL14, kai99, kailuacaton, Kamakhya, kat herder, Kelly of PA, kestrel9000, khloemi, Khun David, Kitsap River, kittania, Kodiak54, Kristina40, Ksholl, labwitchy, Lady Kestrel, ladypockt, Lahdee, langerdang, LarsThorwald, LA rupert, last starfighter, LaughingPlanet, Laurie Gator, Lipstick Liberal, litoralis, lmdonovan, lockewasright, Lonely Texan, longislandny, luvsathoroughbred, maggiemay, magicsister, mango, Marc in KS, Marjmar,, marknspokane, marsanges, maryabein, Matt Esler, mdemploi, Meteor Blades, Micburke, michael1104, MillieNeon, Minerva1157, MinervainNH, Missys Brother, mjbleo, MnRaindog, mntleo2, Morague, Mr Bojangles, mrsgoo, mskitty, msmacgyver, MsWings, Murphoney, nannyboz, ncsuLAN, NearlyNormal, Nedsdag, Nick Zouroudis, notgivingup, NY brit expat, OleHippieChick, one pissed off democrat, Onomastic, operculum, OrangeMike, Ordvefa, Overseas, OverTheEdge, pager, paige, PaintyKat, paradox, parryander, paulitics, Pennsylvanian, phrogge prince, Positronicus, post rational, 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, rickeagle, ridemybike, rightiswrong, Rileycat,rincewind, rkex, roadlion, Roger Fox, Rosebuddear, roses, rscopes, Rudini, Safina, SallyCat, Sanuk, Sark Svemes, sboucher, scooter in brooklyn, Scrapyard Ape, seenaymah, sfbob, sgary, Shahryar, sheddhead, shesaid, Shifty18, shmuelman, shopkeeper, sidious666, slowbutsure, smartcookienyc, smeesq, Smoh, snoopydawg, snorwich, SnyperKitty, SoCalHobbit, sofia, soonergrunt, sostos, sowsearsoup, SpecialKinFlag, spmozart, spotDawa, SpotTheCat, StateofGrace, Statusquomustgo, stiffneck, sunbro, Super Grover, Syoho, tallmom, Tay, tdslf1, teknospaz, theatre goon, The Eyewitness Muse, TheGeneral, TheStoopingRabbit, TigerMom, tiredofcrap, TomP, tonyahky, Toyotabob7, Treefrog, triciawyse, trs, trueblueliberal, ttanner, Tulsonian, Turn VABlue, Turtle Bay, Tyto Alba, uc booker, UncleCharlie, Unduna, Unforgiven, ursoklevar, USArmyParatrooper, VA02 femocrat, Vacationland, valadon, Vayle, Vetwife, vgranucci, Village expects idiot home soon, waytac, webranding, weelzup, Wes Opinion, Whimsical Rapscallion, willy be frantic, willy mugobeer, Wood Dragon, wolfie1818, Wordsinthewind, Wreck Smurfy, x, xopher, yet another liberal, Zotz

5:53 PM PT: Thanks for the comments, gang. Now back for a half hour or so to... uh... read, rec, and respond to them, finally! This was something I had to write, and all in the middle of a painting project for family out-of-state. Proof-reading was optional on this one. OK, non-existent. I still haven't reviewed it.

One thing worth adding. The GUS diary schedule is pretty light. And if a schmuck like me can come along and post a little ditty in 30 minutes, then so can you! As far as subject matter goes, the sky is the limit. So if you have the urge to get your write on, reply in the Butt Can... or not! Spontaneity is welcomed, and knowing your cursive isn't a prerequisite.


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