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Free from the dreaded demon Nicotine!!

January 14, 2011

So now that I have done the stupid prerequisite, “I am so happy I quit smoking!!” garbage, let’s get to the truth.

But yes I did, after 20+ years of smoking I have been off them for almost a week and a half. I don’t know too much about the science or the figures. I started the habit when I was pretty young still (under 10), but started in earnest when I hit my early teens. Now if you do the math, I am still relatively young in the big picture. But this also means I have smoked for 2/3rd’s of my life.

If you are a smoker, you already know just how damn good it can feel to light up. And you already know about the physical and emotional hooks. And you probably have gotten all the rotten lung, bad teeth, failing heart crap too.

And if you are like me, it didn’t really matter. I know what I did was bad for me. But it was sorta hanging out with the motorcycling, drinking, and other bad health choices that I make on a daily basis. No better, no worse.

Then this economy came around. And my steadily more expensive vice, that has been unfairly taxed to death (haha, I made a funny), suddenly became the target of every state’s economic recovery. So last year this time, I paid about 4 dollars a pack in California. Now that I am in Utah, I am paying about 6. So my 40 something dollar cartons are now at 60. And the best deal is in another state where I can save maybe 3 or 4 dollars a carton.

So let’s do the most generic math. I smoked a pack a day. That meant a carton lasts 10 days on average. With a generic number of 30 days in a month (yes I know there are more days and less days, but let’s work it from this angle). I am spending 180 dollars a month. So over the course of a year I was spending at least 2100 dollars.

I guess what happened is that smoking has finally gotten too damn expensive for me. I was finally priced out of one of my favorite pastimes.

So it’s been 11 days as of this writing since I stopped smoking. And I have a few observations I would like to share. I am not scientist, nor am I a doctor. Instead I am a smoker that is trying to stay away from cigarettes.

Don’t overplan it. Why? Because you won’t do a damn thing. Next month, next week, maybe tomorrow…. We have all used it. And when that deadline came around, we had another one. If you are serious, do it. Maybe give yourself a day or two, but don’t give yourself too much rope to hang yourself with.

Avoid advertising it. First it makes you sound like a punk. And second, it makes you sound like a punk. Yoda once said “Do, or do not. There is no try.” Wise little muppet.

Cold turkey works the best. Huh? What? You heard me. This isn’t the first time I have tried to quit. And every time I did the whole Tell the world, stock up on something with nicotine crap. So here I was sucking on gum, lozenges and all that other garbage. You know I felt like I was on a Methadone treatment. Shaky, nervous, knowing I was still putting nicotine in me, but it was not enough!

This time I just ran out and didn’t get more. And it sucked for a few days. The whole can’t think, bad sleep, grumpy nervous crap. But it does pass. And without the crutch, it passes faster than with the smoking aids.

Just realize and accept the fact it’s gonna suck. That’s right. This sucks. I am not happy about it, I am not feeling free of the demon. Now, I know I am doing the right thing, both physically and financially for me and the family. But like hell am I feeling self-righteous about it. It was something I had to do. And right now I know the difference between my head telling me to have one and my head telling me I have almost made it two weeks. I am now at the point where I can get the urge and make it through. But really, when that feeling does come around, I don’t like it. I know what I want to do. I am just not doing it.

Now, this isn’t to say that it isn’t better at all. But don’t believe that crap about the whole two or three days later and the urges will be gone. Or give it a week, or two. The truth is, if you are like me, you have been at it for a long time. I smoked when I was happy. I smoked when I was sad. I lit up every time I worked on a car, went outside, took a trip, got the mail…

You see, smoking held a regular part of my existence. And to think that it will be easy to cut it out and just go into normal non-smoker life is ludicrous. But it does get easier. And who knows, maybe in a few more weeks I can honestly say that the urges have gone away.

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