Update on Smoking, as promised

To give up, or not to give up… that is the question: 

 

They say it’s the first 5 days that are the worst, right? Right? Jesus- I hope so, because that would mean I’m a fourth way there.  It’s so strange going through this, this ‘trying to quit’ thing. I mean, I’ve done it once before.  But it was different back then.

 

In the Beginning

 

Although I stopped smoking when I found out I was pregnant, I’d smoked for three years already but I can’t remember it being an issue at all. The day I found out about the pregnancy, I had put one smoke (to calm my nerves) in my mouth and just as I was lighting it my mom took it for herself, along with the rest of my box and my cute lighter.  She didn’t say a word but pointedly glanced at my belly.  I got the picture.  I can’t even remember craving cigarettes after that moment.  All through my pregnancy and after when Kiera was with me, I didn’t battle at all.

 

On the day of her death, Jacques gave me a smoke because he could see I didn’t exactly know what to do with myself.  I was determined to smoke, despite all the ‘Don’t, Sheen!’s my mom and every other family member had given me.  It gave me a head rush, yes, and dizziness to contend with, but at least it felt like I was in control of something.  Even if it was just a silly little nicotine stick.

 

Training myself to smoke again

 

A few days later, the head rushes stopped and so did the dizziness.  I started to enjoy smoking again, even though I still coughed every now and again.  It’s been five years since then, and I’ve been a 20 a day smoker the whole time.  It wasn’t too bad, considering some people go through many more cigarettes than I do, but up until now, I haven’t been able to go without smoking for two hours!  In being very honest with myself, though, I haven’t ever really even tried.

 

So, what is my motivation for giving up? 

 

  1. For starters, it costs a fuck load!  Do you non smokers know that a box of smokes is on average R23?  What’s that in Oz dolla? Like, 3.20$ or something.
  2. Also, my holy heart has started palpitations again and if I am not even supposed to do scuba diving because of the oxygen in the tanks, how would the Heart Quack feel about my smoke inhalation? 
  3. My room constantly smells like Johnny the Human Torch has just taken off through the window.
  4. I feel self conscious being a smoker – it’s almost as bad as being an alcoholic to some people. That sounds so lame, and maybe it is, but it bugs me.
  5. But, more than anything, I feel that I’m ready to let go of the vice that I’ve clung to since Kiera died. I don’t need to feel in control of smoking anymore, because I’ve taught myself how to be in control of something so much more, my life.

 

The Tactical Plan:

  • First off, get my car washed; buy a refill air refresher thingy.  Note to self: Note that Pine flavor like the last one– BARF! DONE!
  • Change linen and curtains in bedroom; get rid of all evidence of smoking. 
  • Empty packets in bin, any ashtrays etc. DONE!
  • Wash all jackets again- make sure the smell of smoke is away! 
  • Deep cleanse face, neck, upper arms – I believe that the smoke penetrates these parts of the body most.  Repeat.  Then repeat again.  Also, wash hair.  And clip nails, we’re starting over here! DONE!
  • Avoid smokers for the first week at all costs! Even if I must block my ears and eyes, I shall not be within smelling distance of a smoker.  No, siree. FAIL!  I saw my family yesterday, they all smoke 🙁 It was tough, but I cracked it and managed to go non nicotine commando all day. *pats self on back*

Explanation of the Tactical Plan:

 

The biggest thing about smokers is that they do it in Groups- they’re an association, a team, and a defense force against all non smokers.  I can tell you something for nothing; smokers put the ANC to shame!  Just watch what happens if you tell a group of local smokers their favorite restaurant has cancelled their smoking policy.  They stick together and put up such a performance, they almost always get what they ‘have a right to’.  I’ve seen it in action; it’s dangerous and very powerful.  Sticking away from smokers will prevent a mental reminder to my brain that I should be smoking too. 

 

I’m a big believer of smokers reminding their brains to smoke.  So essentially, what I’m planning above is to get rid of all evidence that I was a smoker.  If my brain isn’t reminded about the smell, it can’t go: ‘hey, do ya smell that? It’s the smell of smoke in your hair, why don’t we go make it even more smoky smelling?’ or “See that person smoking over there? You could do that too, right now, if you wanted to, you know…” A smoker’s brain grabs constant reminders, willing you to go smoke.  Just like a Heroin addiction, this is a tough cookie to crack.

 

But fuck it- I’m bigger than a stupid little addiction.  If I could survive burying a daughter, I can survive and get through anything. Watch me as I kick this horrible habit.

 

 A small, tiny, miniscule little note of thanks to everyone for your encouragement and messages of laughter, mockery and suggestions.  You bitches are aiding me in saving my lungs 🙂

15 comments

  1. Marcel says:

    Just over 10 days now …

    Starting gym today & can honestly say I feel great!

    I’ve been wanting a smoke every evening now. Tonight will be the first time I’m going out with some friends, heavy social evening, so I’m a little nervous…. but this is for my new baba, so whether I’m craving or not, I KNOW I’m not about to light up!!

    Keep updating us on Twitter! Follow me on Marcel_Perform

  2. shebee says:

    Go Marcel, go! Wow, you are a legned babe! I start Yoga on Thursday, so I’ll be learning how to stretch my limbs and stand on my head instead of polluting my lungs.

    Good luck for tonight. I dealt with social scenes all weekend and its tough, but possible 🙂

  3. StevenMcD says:

    you can do it lady! I saw how my grandmother died because of her smoking and it wasn’t pretty.

    The longterm benefit far outweigh the short-term difficulty of giving up

  4. SimonB says:

    You go girl. I am proud of you giving it a clean start. Your daughter would be so proud of you. Keep it up and no matter what do not start again.

    If you need someone to chat to when temptation gets bad you know where to find me 😉

    I will be thinking of you this week, keep strong girl.

    We are all rooting for you!!

  5. shebee says:

    Steve – I know, my granny died the same way, and I swore I’d never end up like her. Took me a few years to kick myself into gear though.

    Simon – aww, you are such a darling, thank you so much.

  6. shebee says:

    Oh no, thats not my intention at all! The last thing I want to be is one of those ex smokers.

    You know, the ones who pull up their nose or discuss your health or the ‘disgusting’ habit.

    Sorry. *smacks self* Am back on track and will be the coolest ex smoker around.

    If you don’t want to quit, don’t. 😉

  7. Amy says:

    Encouraging mantra of the day –

    ” My skin thanks me for every cigarette i dont smoke, my skin thanks for me every cigarette i dont smoke ….”

    Or, if thats not working, just go back to the shoe thing…

  8. Cape Town's Favourite Son says:

    Wow, everyone seems to be quiting these days.

    I didn’t realise how expensive cigarettes are, I smoke about 30 a day, but the last time I bought a box was about 5 years ago.

    I usually just sponge off my friends. They love it.

  9. shebee says:

    Angel – awww, you’re my favourite cheerleader.

    Stef – wahaha, you should only snatch them in case I steal one. Having a bad day today.

    Aims – awww I love it, you’re my favourite mantererer. *Ommmmmmmm*

    Shaun – Thats coz you’re classy, bud.

    Red – hi & welcome! Chicks? Dude, I’m not a dude. I don’t give a flying fuck about what the chicks think. Unless I went to school with them. Those things were just horrible man.

  10. shebee says:

    Also, you’re totally busted for not reading the entire article and getting the bigger meaning of the post.

    😉

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