Sunday, December 6, 2009

I quit, take 2

It has now been 8 weeks that I have been smoke-free. Believe it or not, I forgot the actual day, and instead, I count in weeks. 8 weeks. Not bad.

On August 20th, I wrote a post, an honest post, about quitting smoking. I had quit, but like often is the case when people try to give up smoking, something happens, and we start smoking again. For me, I was away for the weekend, and after a glass of wine with my friend, I decided to have a cigarette. I love love love smoking with I'm having wine. They go hand in hand, in my opinion. And of course, after that one cigarette, came another... and another... to the point where I was pretty much a smoker again. (And by smoker, I mean I would have 6 a day.)

Another failed attempt at quitting smoking. It was never going to end.

Only recently - 8 weeks ago - I stopped cold turkey again. I hated myself for smoking. Because of how bad it was for my health. And especially because I am a mother of two young children - how could I be so selfish? They are the main reason I'm still not smoking. I have to be strong for them. And it is so hard. I miss it so much.

It's hard everyday on my drive to work to not want a cigarette. It's harder even after I have my hot drink from Starbucks in my hand, as I pass the smokers outside my building downtown. I miss taking smoke breaks with my coffee, chatting with friends over a cigarette. I miss the token 'after-lunch' cigarette, the 'after-dinner' cigarette, even the 'after-sex' cigarette. I miss smoking with friends, I miss drinking wine with a cigarette... I miss it totally.

Don't ask me exactly what it is I miss about it - I can't specifically tell you what it is. I think if you used to be a smoker, you understand this. It's like losing a friend. A very close friend, a friend you've known for years. It's a comfort thing. Something to do when you're bored, scared, worried, happy, mad. And it has been a huge part of my adult life. I started smoking when I was 17. (Or around that age.)

I smoked for most of my University years. And so on. Of course, I quit both times I was pregnant and breastfeeding, but it was all too easy to pick it up again, when I went out with friends. And boy, did I ever love it... I still do. I wish it wasn't bad for my health.

Since being a 'non-smoker', or an 'ex-smoker', I do feel better. Physically. I don't wake up feeling sore in the chest. I can breath a little better. I certainly smell better. Downside? I started eating more. Because I didn't what else to do with myself when I was at work and taking a break! And now with the holidays upon us, I'm dieting - yeah, I know, great timing, right? (Bonus: I've lost 6 pounds in one week, doing a low-carb diet!) So remaining a non-smoker is going to be even harder now.

I'm trying to stay strong, and I want it to work this time. I don't want to get into the habit again. I want to be a non-smoker for life. It's one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. But I think this time around, it will finally work!

P.S. I'm up for a a few Canadian Blog Awards, and I'd love to make it to the top ten in the Family category - if you feel like it, you can vote here once day! Thank you!

43 comments:

Peaches said...

Congrats. I'm sure it will get easier every day.

lz @ My Messy Paradise said...

Good for you!
I understand it. I was never a regular smoker, but in college and for a few years after, I couldn't have a drink without a cigarette. They just went together.
It's a tough habit to kick and 8 weeks is outstanding!

DCUrbanDad said...

I started smoking when I was 16. I quit when I was 21. It was habit for me. Yeah I loved the taste, loved it with a beer or a glass of wine. Loved it after a great meal. But just like you I realized that I loved something more.

Way to go. I will be sending you smoke free vibes your way.

And if you ever have a moment where you can't do it. Get on Twitter. We will help ya.

Jenn@ The Crazies said...

Keep up the good work... I am still smoking.. 3-4 a day (pathetic I know) but I enjoy it.. I know... terrible of me. Hoping to quit again soon.. cutting down works for me!

T Rex Mom said...

Keep being strong. That's awesome!

ModernMom said...

Oh good for you. What a great gift to give to yourself and your kids!

Nenette AM said...

Good for you, my dear! Eight weeks is great, and I'm sure you'll be able to continue being smoke-free. And we're here for you if ever you need our support.

Congratulations also on the 6 pounds lost on low carb. Here's to a healthy, happy Holiday Season. :)

Renée aka Mekhismom said...

Congratulations! What an accomplishment.

Christy said...

I think so too - and I'm immensely proud of you!!!

Rebecca said...

keep up the great work!!

Theta Mom said...

I can't even imagine how hard it must be! Kudos to you for not giving up and trying again!

BeachMama said...

Congrats Loukia. Quitting is so so hard. Trust me I know. And if it weren't for my kids and the fact that it smells so gross to me now, I would so start up again, if only to lose that last few pounds that I can't seem to get rid of.

Every now and then when I am drinking a great glass of red, I want that cigarette. And I want it so badly. Since I don't carry any with me any more I don't have anything to break me down. 'They' say once a smoker always a smoker, its true I still crave them, but resist if only for my kids.

Keep it going you will get there. I am almost 9 years off them and still fight it now and then.

the Preppy Princess said...

Good for you Miss Loulou, it is such an extraordinarily tough substance to quit. Congratulations on making it to eight weeks, you are amazing! Hang in there. we're all pulling for you!
tp

Loukia said...

Thanks SO SO much everybody. Your words of encouragement are amazing and much appreciated!

Mrs. Fish aka Two Fish said...

I tell you what the cravings never go away they are just less frequent. I have been smoke free for almost three years and the cravings are still there....coffee, driving (which is the worst!! So I have gum in my car by the cases!), drinking, yes, the habit is totally changed and you have to re-learn to do so much. Congrats on making it this far, such an accomplishment. One day you will smell a cigarette though and it will smell awesome and totally disgusting all at once and you will feel so happy to know you have quit for good! Keep up the good work!

Shannon @ AnchorMommy said...

You can do it, Loukia! I'm rooting for you!!!

Shana said...

You can do it!! Keep up the good work!

blueviolet said...

That's wonderful that you've gone 8 weeks so far. It will get better and easier!

Stone Fox said...

listen, girlfriend: i also quit smoking 4 months ago. i smoked for 12 years and i looooovved smoking. i tried lots of times to quit before i actually did it. this is probably going to be unpopular for me to say, but don't quit for your kids. think about making the decision to quit for yourself. not the kids, or the hubby. just you. it's way of telling yourself that you are a priority. that *you* are a good enough reason to quit.

just mah opinion.

Lady Mama said...

I think you're too hard on yourself! You're doing great with the quitting - 8 weeks is a long time. AND you've lost 6 lbs? That's great. The only suggestion I can make is, reward yourself. Like, set yourself a goal so that after six months you'll reward yourself with xyz... Well done you!

Pres. Kathy said...

That is great! Keep up the good work! Take it one day at a time.

Elisa said...

Keep strong babe, this is a great lifestyle choice, quitting smoking!!

Best of luck. Maybe make it more appealing by setting up rewards for staying cigarette-free for a certain amount of time?

Hollywood Farm Films said...

Understand every last word. I am coming up on a year without one drag!
I quit last year when I dropped to the floor with the HIN! on Christmas eve and was down until the day after New Years.
Staying in the bed fighting for each breath thinking I was going to die put the fear in me. Guess what? As soon as I felt better I went bought a pack and took 2 hits off one grit....and that was it!!

You can do it. You can do it! You will feel so good and the tightness of your chest will be gone. It's heavenly to breath again! Read my blog "Grit Free and Panic On The School Bus" to get the whole story! You can do it!!! I'm pushing for you!!
Your skin will love you for it!!

solemom said...

Like others have said - it DOES get easier!

I smoked for 13 years, and quit 8.5 yrs ago. I still have the VERY occasional craving, but it's totally 'dealable', and I was a hard-core smoker (e.g. I could smoke a pack in a night, and wake up the next morning wanting one. I also NEVER ran out of smokes - not once in 13 yrs.)

I've always likened cigarettes this way (and I should trademark this, as everyone seems to agree that it's exactly right):

Cigarettes, to a smoker, are the punctuation of life.

You finish a meal. Smoke. You take a break (comma, or sometimes a semi-colon). Smoke. Something great happens (exclamation point)! Smoke. Or two. Anxious about something (question mark)? Smoke. Even finishing mopping the floor deserves a period, for goodness sake.

When you quit, you need to find new ways to punctuate the events in your life, or you'll end up eating as punctuation (what most of us do, for a while anyhow.) lol.

Keep going, keep trying and keep thinking about your kids. And watch out for the 3 month mark - it's a doozy - it caught me 3 or 4 times unawares.

Hugs.

MamaJoss said...

Oh good for you...you know with that and Atkins together that is a lot. But, I think that because you are doing them together, you ARE going to succeed at BOTH. It's like a total transformation and you are going to love yourself for it. Keep up the awesome work and use the holidays and staying focused on your eating plan as a distraction :)

anya said...

Way to go Loukia!!! That is absolutely the best present you can give yourself and your family. Stay strong! You can do it!

Alex and Ashley said...

I know exactly what you are talking about and I am married to a doctor! I have three kids and never smoke but if I am on an adult vacay I drink and smoke. It's like going off my diet for a week. We were in Vegas last summer with my husband's European friends and they all smoked and they were all parents! Don't feel too bad!

Nap Warden said...

I've never been a smoker...but good on you! Stick with it:)

Neena said...

You can do this! I've been smoke free for almost 3 years. I miss it everyday, but it does get easier.

Muthering Heights said...

Wow, good for you!!!!! :D

Jen said...

You're doing amazing - keep it up! :-)

CalgaryDaddy said...

Congratulations! I quit in June...I was going to do a post on this this week, lol. Do you ever crave them still?

Clueless_Mama said...

I started smoking when I was 11. My grandma would say come on the porch and have one with me. Bad Grandma. LOL I quit when I was about 23. I understand what you are going through! I promise you will feel so much better once you are done for good. I wish you the best of luck. All you can do is try your best.

CaraBee said...

I quit smoking three years ago after smoking for 15 years. For some of those years I was a quite heavy smoker, 1-2 packs a day! It was easy for me to quit because we were trying to get pregnant. Luckily I got pregnant quickly and that was all the motivation I needed to not take it up again.

While I don't *want* a cigarette now the way I used to, I still miss them. I really, really do. As you said, it's not the taste or the feel, for me it's the activity of it. My grandma quit smoking 20 years ago and she says she still misses it. I think about that a lot.

Krystyn said...

Congratulations! My step dad stopped cold turkey about 8 weeks ago, too, and he feels a lot healthier. However, he hasn't quite been as successful as you with the weight loss.

Maria @BOREDmommy said...

Congrats Loukia! Personally I think smoking is so gross - I've never smoked, but I totally understand how hard it must be to try to quit once you've been doing it for years. I'm sure its easier to quit when you think about it in terms of your adorable little boys. Good Luck with it - it will be hard, but I'm sure you can do it!!

SueMac said...

I totally understand.

Notes From the Grove said...

Girl, I totally understand. I started smoking with my theatre friends when I was about 16. It progressed into a smoke with coffee, a cocktail, then on the way to work and on the way home, then at night...then all the time. I quit in October (I'm now 29) and it's actually been a little easier than I anticipated. It's cold right now so that helps. But I also avoid situations where I know I'll be tempted. And if it comes down to it, I allow myself one or two, then stop. It's a constant battle, but I know you can do it!

Jessica said...

I remember after a bad break up once I turned to cigarettes just so I wouldn't drink or eat constantly. It's ridiculous! Why can't we be that person who turns to EXERCISE?? haha

Loukia said...

I LOVE YOU ALL for your support!!! Jessica... exercise? What's that? ;)

Tiffany Lockette said...

I am right there with you. Zoe is 16 months and I can proudly say I haven't picked it back up on a regular basis. I haven't bought my own pack. I have noticed here lately that I have had 1-4 on the weekends for 3 weekends in a row. I am starting to become more frequent with it and that scares me. I quit for 10 months dang it, why am I picking it back up again? I love it to so much. I can't explain it either, I just love to have one with a beer or wine. I keep telling myself...think about your health and think about that sweet baby girl, she deserves to have you around for many, many years but I agree it is so hard. I will quit with you, how about that? We can do it together and be each others support system.

Brittany at Mommy Words said...

I SO wish it were healthy too! With wine...man I know how you feel! I have been so good since I had kids except with those few couple bff's once or twice a year that still smoke and are my remainig not married go out friends. Then I give in (when not pregnant OF COURSE). I wish I didn't but I have not yet beat myself up about that since it is so rare. I have not decided if after this baby I will try to never do it again. I would love to but I just don't know - when in NY with high school friends...maybe I will think of you and stay strong!

Good luck. I am so proud of you! Quitting that regular smoking post college is hands down the hardest thing I EVER did! I still think about it. Thank God I think about my kids more!

Good for you babe!

EatPlayLove said...

Keep up the good work. You'll turn the corner soon enough and look at people smoking and think, gosh I was once a smoker?

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