Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Progress report on quitting smoking.

Insanity like this deserves an insane meme. And damn, I want that cigarette.

Seriously guys, I think I hate this more than when my wisdom teeth came in and nearly crushed my skull. I think I even hate it more than being pregnant. This has got to be the hardest thing I've faced in my entire life. Naturally, I've suffered many setbacks and pitfalls and learned a few things.

A.) Quitting smoking is worse for people who suffer anxiety disorders...because face it, one of the main side effects of quitting IS anxiety.

B.) Holy crap, addiction is painful and your brain is one deceitful son of a bitch, always trying to trick you into falling back into old habits.

C.) Drinking makes me want to smoke, so I've had to dramatically cut back on drinking. This is probably good for me, but damn I don't get to have any fun.

D.) This struggle has really screwed with my mind and emotions, so I'm going to refrain from making any rash decisions until I'm myself again... Please, God, let that happen.

So, without further ado, I give you my 11 day progress report, written in journal form. I also realized I was PMS-ing during the 1st week. Yay. Couple that with my cat dying and you get the worst summer vacation ever.

Smoking Progress report

Day 1.) Still hung over from my 30th birthday bash so I didn’t even want to smoke for half the day. When the cravings sank in, I did my best to occupy myself with a jig-saw puzzle and cinnamon gum. I HATE gum. Tried to get an electronic cigarette but all the stores were closed. Ended up cheating and having 5 cigarettes. Still, when comparing that to my usual 20 +, I’d say that’s pretty good.

Day 2.) Got my electronic cigarette and only had two real cigarettes. Still, spent most of the day sitting around like a shell-shock victim unable to focus on anything but the torturous cravings for a real smoke.

Day 3.)  Puffing on the e-cig like a mad thing and actually getting a bit of writing done. Almost made it 24 hours without a smoke and beginning to feel optimistic….then I found out my cat died. Totally bought a 6-pack of hard cider and a pack of cigarettes. I think I smoked like 10.

Day 4.) Remembering my friend saying if it’s not that, it’ll be something else to make me relapse. So gonna prove him wrong. Back to not smoking. Hating life. Devastated about my cat. Forced some more writing. Tried my friend’s homemade cherry wine. Really liked it, but drinking makes me want to smoke. I smoked 3.

Day 5.) Damn, everyone in the neighborhood smokes! Locked myself up in the house until I was half crazy but did get a fair amount of writing done.  Begged one of my only non-smoking friends to hang out over there. Went to the Idaho Writer’s league book fair. (My first out in public appearance since quitting) I made it an hour before a panic attack began to threaten. Hung out with my friend and didn’t think about smoking the whole time…. But I smoked 2 when I got home. Ranted to Shelley Martin and felt better.

Day 6.) Went shopping and didn’t think about smoking for most of the time. Got enough writing in to feel proud of myself. Hung out with friend again and was even more distracted from smoking. Thank you, friend for providing the distraction and putting up with my craziness. But…smoked 2…again… when I got home. Ranted again to Shelley Martin and felt even better.

Day 7.) Tested myself by hanging out with one of my smoking neighbors. It went pretty well until the religious solicitors came by. No, I do not want to punch this well meaning little old man in the face…wait… yes, I do. I better go. Crushed my Red Bull can in my fist and walked away. Blared Mercyful Fate loud enough for the whole block to hear so they knew not to knock on my door. Got some dishes done and a bit of writing. Friend stopped by to check on me. Had some insane writer’s block and decided to loosen it up with a few drinks. It helped, but then I wanted to smoke. Another neighbor gave me a couple cigarettes too.   

Day 8.) Had to drive to Spokane to pick my husband up from the bus station in 101 degrees. I HATE driving in Spokane. Husband was supposed to be quitting but was smoking when I picked him up. I was pissed and tempted, but only took a drag of his. Had a little hang-out reunion with neighbors and friends. Only took a couple drags of his smokes until I had a beer and stole one. Made it last, smoked it in halves. We also split his last one.

Day 9.) Had to go to the college and pick up my textbooks for the semester. Aggravating, but made it without smoking. Looked at my bank balance and felt even better when I realized we would have been screwed if I hadn’t quit. Had a pickle-making party with husband and friend. Doing great until I had more of that cherry wine and decided to visit neighbors. Smoked 2 cigarettes.

Day 10.) Stepdaughters back home along with my son. Full house is making me want to scream. Writing not going well. But still holding strong on the not smoking. Had an hours-long panic attack. Then the full body aches sank in. I’d heard of those but hoped they were myth. Took son to hang out with friends. They played video games and I got a bit of writing done. I wanted a drink, but didn’t because drinking makes me want to smoke. Felt better. Went home and straight to bed. Another panic attack set in along with worse body aches. Felt like coming down off of acid that was cut with too much strychnine. Was awake nearly all night.

Day 11.) 36 hours without a cigarette. Still aching and wanting to crawl out of my skin, but if I’ve made it this long, I can do it longer. Today’s plan is to make pot roast, clean the kitchen, and finish up my launch materials for book 2.


  1. I switched to rolling my own with pipe tobacco and it's been reducing my habit slowly but surely. I'm not clawing the walls when I run out, either.

  2. Ow, ow, ow. So sorry for all the pain you're going through. That sucks. :-(

    It *will* get better though. You will survive, you'll be stronger for it, and you'll have a whole new range of emotions, physical sensations and curse words to infuse your writing with. So there's that, at least... ;-)

  3. You can totally beat this! I'm rooting for you!!

  4. What's really neat is your tastebuds start to clear soon. If you eat something with a lot of garlic in another week or so you'll be AMAZED at the taste!