Friday, November 7, 2008

I quit smoking two years ago today


Today marks two years since I last had so much as a drag of a cigarette.

I quit cold turkey the day before we left on our Disney Vacation, giving myself 24hrs to ride through the worst of it before departing. I'd been smoking a pack or more a day for ten years, having taken up the habit in the weeks preceding our wedding.

[To be honest, quiting smoking was obviously easier for me than losing weight: even if you reach your 'goal' weight, you still have to eat everyday, forcing a decision. You don't *have* to smoke once you quit]

Sticking to it was made simpler by the fact that it's damn hard to smoke at Disney. There was a shortcut across the park, right behind Cinderella's castle, that was a smoking area. That was hard to navigate, but it was a clear exception.

I didn't think the decision would stick, but it did. For a long time I counted the hours since my last cigarette, but when I dropped that practice (after a thousand or so hours) I knew I was heading for success.

That's not to say a single drag wouldn't toss me back into the habit. I still swoon over the smell of a cigarette at times. Not often, but when it happens it's . . .well, it's like getting really horny after taking a vow of celibacy. It's awful.

And there are times I miss how damn appropriate and iconic it is to have a cig, anti-smoking propaganda be damned. Plus there's all the built-in breaks. "Sometimes I wish I still smoked," I told an employee, gazing wistfully at her co-workers puffing away outside. "I could have 10 breaks a day, instead of, you know, just an eight-hour one in my office."

But 90% of the time I can be around smokers and not even think about picking one up. Frankly, it was too painful to go through withdrawal again, and the blow to my self-esteem would be life-threatening.

Ah, well. Here's to not having to search the couch cushions for a lighter!


Estela said...

I quit for the third time in July 2006. It is hard still to be around other smokers BECAUSE smoking was a social thing for me. But I really, really hate the smell. Between the smell, the non-smokers and my honest desire not to contract lung cancer, I think I've beat it this time. Congrats on two years without a cigarette. I can appreciate the accomplishment this goal is. :)

Astaryth said...

Woo Hoo! Good for you!

jeanne said...

Thats great news....I too have quite it has been maybe 12 years...
I had quite many times before and would take "just one" and I would be back to smoking...I like the smell and sometimes would stand near a

The weight thing I do beleive strongly is much harder to control...Its everywhere (food) when you drive down a street, you see it on tv everywhere..

Good luck on the weight and keep up the good work on not smoking..

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Congrats on your milestone. It is a little over two for use. See the counter at the top of Nutwood Junction.

Beth said...

GREAT JOB, Dan. Ken mentioned that it's a little over 2 years for us. The exact date was August 5, 2006. I see that you recall your exact quit date, as well! Around that date, I wrote about quitting, and I believe I mentioned then that there are times that I catch a whiff of smoke, and it's almost a visceral craving...but as quick as it comes, it's gone just as quickly. I can now honestly say that I don't miss it at all.

When I wrote that entry, one of my friends commented that with quitting, I had probably saved my own life. I hope you appreciate the comment as well, and realize that you did the same.

Love, Beth

Joann said...

Dan, I'm SO PROUD of you!! Your kids will appreciate it SO MUCH more than you know, right now. My dad quit when I was 12, cold turkey, just like you, from 1 - 2 packs a day... he quit because I asked him to. That was the biggest love sacrifice I ever remember, and there were many.