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I chose this time slot because statistically no one pays attention to it. I am here to verify the veracity of that assertion.

The title of this diary should be "I may still be nutty, but at least I don't smoke. Again."

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! The_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. You can also click the GUS tag to view all diary posts. Want to make sure you never miss us? Follow (❤) the GUS tag to keep GUS in your Stream. It's just that easy!.

A message to ALL quitters: You don't have to avoid GUS if you have a failed quit. We won't give you a bad time and we consider the failed quits as "practice" for the real quit.

Current little members of the GUS team:  
1BQ, 3rdGenFeminist, A Man Called Gloom, Abra Crabcakeya, Actbriniel, addisnana, AfroPonix, aishmael, Alise, Alpha99, ambeeeant, American in Kathmandu, amk for obama, andsarahtoo, angry marmot, Anne933, anodnhajo, aoeu, AoT, 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, blue husky, Blue Intrigue, bluedust, BluejayRN, BlueJessamine, Bluerall, bluestatedem84, BoiseBlue, boudi08, Brahman Colorado, breedlovinit, BrenP, Bronxist, BrowniesAreGood, bsmechanic, buddabelly, bumbi, BusyinCA, cactusgal, Carol in San Antonio, CathiefromCanada, CathodeRay, CDH in Brooklyn, cee4, Cen Den, ChiTownDenny, 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, dadanation, 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, DRo, droogie6655321, Dube, duckhunter, Eclectablog, Eddie C, EdgedInBlue, effervescent, elbamash, El barragas, el vasco, entrelac, ericlewis0, Everest42, Ex Con, ezdidit, fhamme, Fineena, fiona2, fishhawk, Flea, flumptytail, Friend of the court, fritzi56, FrugalGranny, Garrett, Gator, gchaucer2, GDbot, Geiiga, GenXangster, glorificus, glpaul, gooderservice, gooners, gravlax, GreenMountainBoy02, greylox, grndrush (in memoriam), GrumpyWarriorPoet, gzodik, Haole in Hawaii, HappyinNM, henlesloop, 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, itsbenj, Jahiz, JamesEB, janl1776, Janeo, jarbyus, JayinPortland, jayjaybear, jbou, Jeffersonian Democrat, jillwklausen, jmadlc55, jmonch, Joes Steven (aka Steven), john07801, johngoes, johnny wurster, jsfox, JVolvo's Mom, jwinIL14, Kai99, kailuacaton, Kamakhya, kat herder, katchen, Kelly of PA, kestrel9000, khloemi, Khun David, Kitsap River, kittania, KrazyKitten, Kristina40, Ksholl, labwitchy, Lady Kestrel, ladypockt, Lahdee, langerdang, LarsThorwald, LA rupert, last starfighter, LaughingPlanet, Laurie Gator, Leo in NJ, Lipstick Liberal, litoralis, lmdonovan, lockewasright, Lonely Liberal in PA, Lonely Texan, longislandny, Lorinda Pike, luvsathoroughbred, maggiemay, magicsister, mango, Marc in KS, Marjmar, Mark E Andersen (Kodiak54), marknspokane, marsanges, maryabein, Matt Esler, Maxiemax, MBNYC, mdemploi, Meteor Blades, Micburke, michael1104, MillieNeon, minerva1157, MinervainNH, Missys Brother, mjbleo, MnRaindog (in memoriam), mntleo2, Morague, MotoGP, Mr Bojangles, mrsgoo, mskitty, msmacgyver, MsWings, Murphoney, nannyboyz, ncsuLAN, NearlyNormal, Nedsdag, Nick Zouroudis, nokkonwud, notgivingup, NY brit expat, oceanview, OleHippieChick, Olkate, one pissed off democrat, Onomastic, operculum, OrangeMike, Ordvefa, Overseas, Over the Edge, Pager, paige, PaintyKat, paradox, parryander, paulitics, peglyn, Pennsylvanian, phrogge prince, 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, 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, sidnora, slowbutsure, smartcookienyc, smeesq, Smoh, snoopydawg, snorwich, SnyperKitty, SoCalHobbit, sofia, soonergrunt, sostos, sowsearsoup, SpecialKinFlag, spmozart, spotDawa, SpotTheCat, StateOfGrace, Statusquomustgo, stiffneck, stonekeeper, suesue, sunbro, Super Grover, 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, ttanner, Tulsonian, Turn VABlue, Turtle Bay, Tyto Alba, uc booker, UncleCharlie, Unduna, Unforgiven, ursoklevar, USArmyParatrooper, VA02 femocrat, Vacationland, valadon, Vayle, vc2, Vetwife, vgranucci, Village expects idiot home soon, 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
Here is our next week's sked-yule of events.  If you'd like to host an open thread, tell your story, or want to be a regular, please respond to the tip jar.  New voices are ALWAYS appreciated.

      Sun Am: Now Here Be w/gdbot
      Sun PM: Open
      Mon AM: Open
      Mon PM: Open
      Tue AM: gchaucer2
      Tue PM: Open              
      Wed AM: Open
      Wed PM: Vacationland
      Thu AM: Open
      Thu PM: FrugalGranny
       Fri AM: Flumptytail
       Fri PM: Open
       Sat AM: effervescent probably
       Sat PM:? Open
       Sun AM:? Open

If I messed anything up, or overlooked anyone, it is because I was just having too much fun. Chastise me in the comments below or just ignore it.

Now that we have gotten the bizness out of the way, let me tell a little story.....

Way back when, before we as a country started really noticing how bad cigarettes are, my sisters and I found our parents on the porch with a friend trying a cigarette. They never smoked before or since but were just trying one on a lark. I think they were hoping we would cough and get sick when they let us try a puff. Shockingly, we inhaled, exhaled through our noses and didn't even cough. Never thought of it again till a couple years later after we moved to the D.C. suburb of Arlington. There I was, in third grade, hanging out with the bad kids. I shared a couple cigarettes but dropped the behavior before it became a habit. We moved again to S.W.  D.C. and I never thought of them again till about the 8th grade when we made friends with the sons of some South American ambassador. They smoked, so we wanted to be cool too. I even went to their apartment where the whole family was smoking and watching T.V., smoked the cigarette they offered and went to their bathroom to barf from the nicotine. I was now almost hooked.

Fast forward a couple months: my dad got posted to a mid- to low-level bureaucrat job in a Central American country for the State Dept. US/AID program. They opened packs of cigarettes there in the corner stores and sold 3 or 5 separately, for a nickle. Three if you wanted genuine American cigarettes or 5 if the local variety were palatable to you. They would last me a couple days but the habit was putting roots deep into my brain and nervous system. There was some further education after High School where students were still allowed to smoke in class. That did it. The habit was completely installed.

I had seen the ghastly pictures of lungs of smokers and other gruesome things at the National Museum of Medicine in D.C., so I always knew it probably was not a good idea to smoke forever. And I was always "happy" that my habit never got worse than a "pack-a-day." Quitting was inconvenient, a bother, a chore for "later." I never really tested the waters for a dozen years or two.

I finally got a round tuit and quit. Once for FOUR years and a different time for 3 years. There is another story there, for another day, but we are at the high point in this roller coaster ride so I will let this one go downhill from here.

I quit for a couple weeks or ten days once or twice also but they really don't count except as practice. A "friend" once told me "some times are better than others for quitting. It has more to do with the alignment of the planets than anything else, so don't despair but try again another time." That was sage advice but ([[she is to the left of me on the political spectrum which means she is occasionally indistinguishable from an extreme right wing paranoid delusional crackedpot wacko.]] end of political rant) I can blame my failed attempts on etc., etc., hand-waving, etc., but the truth is some times are easier. Don't use that as an excuse to fail.

I love[d!] nicofiend. I can't tell you how many hours I spent staying up way past bedtime  smoking-cigarettes-drinking-beer-etc. listening to music, EVEN BEFORE U2B WAS INVENTED 7 YEARS AGO! Just one more cig, just one more song, but this is another story for another time. [An early version of Winamp kept track of the number of times I listened to some songs. I did the math and I had listened to my favorite song at that time for a total of 24 hours in the year or two before that hard drive disappeared into the 0zone and so did those songs.] I knew all the time that I had to quit sooner; I was slowly losing my breath. Nicotine had to go.

Thank goodness I found Daily Kos about 2 years ago and GUS soon thereafter. Here is a group of reasonably nice people that just hang out and support each other in attempts to quit. It worked for me and I am more grateful than you know. Daily Kos may Rock, 99.99% of the time, but GUS Rocks and Rolls 99.99% of the time. 19 months+ nicofree.

I stopped smoking  [cold turkey, because I wanted to learn how to sing the blues and I heard You Gotta Suffer To Sing The Blues]   on Sun, 12 June 2011 at 3:01:00 GMT. It has been 84 weeks +/-and I have saved about $3200 by choosing not to smoke approx. 12,950 cigarettes. More importantly, I have saved some 14 weeks of my life. (according to this tool, which no longer seems to work quite the way I like.)

GDbot says "Thank You! Very much, GUStofarians." And now my left index finger is starting to feel ostracized because I put it out of action with a big bandage and I must stop typing 9 fingeredly for a while.

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