Okay. Maybe not.
I quit smoking (again) on Saturday morning. Have you ever tried to quit smoking? I'm jumping ahead of myself...have you ever smoked before?
It's fabulous. The taste of it, the smell of it, the feel of it between your lips. Ugh. I would kill for a cigarette right now.
Aside from all of it's fabulousness though, is a stigma. After moving into the new house, I stepped out onto the deck to have a smoke and I heard this voice from nowhere (maybe it was God) say, "Oh no. She's a smoker." Pause. "No, I'm watching her right now." Pause. "On the patio." I looked everywhere to see where the voice was coming from, but I couldn't find it. I slowly put the cigarette out and slinked back inside.
Another time, I was smoking in a parking lot, with Q near by. Some old guy walks by and mutters (very loudly, probably because he was deaf...) "Bet she smokes with the kid in the car too." It's the stigma. I'm a trailer trash momma.
Your clothes smell, your hair smells, your hands smell, your breath smells.
Then there's the whole it-could-kill-you thing. How can something so wonderful be so lethal? How? This is my main reason for quitting. Q saying, "you know you're going to die if you keep smoking, right?" Damn public service announcements -educating our kids. I think PSA's should mind their own business.
I quit smoking a year ago. And I was pretty good for 5 whole months. And then I thought I could have just one more. That's the lie...you can't just have one more. It leads to another, and another. Plus, I substititued candy for cigarettes, so I gained about 20 lbs. Everytime I craved a cigarette, I'd eat a chocolate bar instead. The first time someone asked if I was expecting, I laughed it off (and asked what she thought I was expecting...) When the second person asked when the baby was due...It was all I could do to keep from ripping their head off.
I guess everyone has a different reaction to quitting smoking. I'm going cold turkey. Nothing else has worked in the past. It just prolongs the inevitable...smoking again... I've tried accupunture, nicorettes, the patch. They just keep nicotine in my system, and make me crave it more. My withdrawl consists of insane nausea, combined with bouts of dizziness. My lungs feel as though someone broke every single one of my ribs and then jumped on them once more just to be sure. Not to mention the overwhelming desire to punch the guy who cut me off in traffic, yell at the wind for blowing my hair into a mess, or any other number of completely irrational outbursts that could possibly release a tiny bit of angst I'm feeling. So, I'm on day 3 of feeling like I need to puke. And the world is spinning. Even when I close my eyes.
And this is not even the worst of it. Once the physical withdrawl symptoms disappear...then the mental/emotional ones begin. Smoking is a relationship. I know this sounds ridiculous to some. But it is a relationship. It's like the abusive boyfriend that you keep going back to because after he hits you, he tells you he loves you and all you remember is the wonderful things about him. Quitting is a process. Breaking the routine. The first coffee without a cigarette, the first beer without a cigarette. The most haunting thought ever is that I can never have another smoke again. I look at people who are smoking, and I think,"Oh! They're so lucky! They're allowed to smoke."
Once this wave of nausea passes, I will be reminded of the fact that as the nicotine leaves my body, the following is happening:
- 20 minutes: My blood pressure and pulse rate return to normal
- 8 hours: Oxygen levels in my blood return to normal.
- 24 hours: Carbon monoxide has been eliminated from my body. Lungs start to clear out mucus and other smoking debris.
- 48 hours: There is no nicotine left in my body. Ability to taste and smell is greatly improved.
- 72 hours: Breathing becomes easier. Bronchial tubes begin to relax and my energy levels increase.
- 2-12 weeks: Circulation improves throughout my body, making walking and running a whole lot easier.
- 3-9 months: Coughs, wheezing and breathing problems get better as lung functions increase by up to 10%.
- 5 yrs: Heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker.
- 10 years: Risk of lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker. Risk of heart attack falls to same as someone who has never smoked.
I want to drop kick everyone who says I can do it. If I wanted your opinion, I'd ask for it. I can jump from an airplane too. Doesn't mean I'm going to. And stop having faith in me. Okay? Okay.