Saturday, April 22, 2006

30 Days

I have been smoke-free now for 30 days. This ties the second longest period of abstinence in the last year and a half or two years. The record is one day short of two months, so I'm just over half-way there. Since about the two-week mark, it has been a much easier journey than the first two weeks. Actually I prolonged that initial discomfort for about one week because I smoked four cigarettes at the end of what would have been the first week. If I had not become sick long enough (36 hours) to make me re-commit to not smoking, I would still be smoking today.

It is odd that for the last two or three days, I have been feeling as though I may have acted somewhat rashly – that perhaps I was a bit too hasty in deciding to quit. Maybe, I am thinking, I just needed a little break and now that I have proven to myself and the world that nicotine doesn’t have a hold of me, I can smoke just one if I want to. Or maybe, I should just quit fighting the urge to smoke and just concede that I am a smoker and accept whatever the consequences may be. After all, I can stop if I really want to, didn’t I just prove that?

Right! Perhaps I should have prefaced all those justifications with “And now, a few words from our sponsor…” One is too many. How easily I forget. I know I can’t stop anytime I want, I have proven it over and over again. I have what I consider to be a pretty good run of non-smoking going on. I sure don’t want to have to do it all over again. It is crucial that I don’t get complacent and underestimate the power of nicotine. I have to remember what it was like at the end and not the “good times.” That almost sounds crazy now that I read it: “Yes, the good old days… lighting up a smoke and letting the good times roll!” It sounds like a cheesy Winston advertisement.

It isn’t logical. If it were, nobody would smoke. Nicotine may be the most addictive substance known to man - more so than any of the illegal street drugs. All I can do is take it one day at a time. So far, I am working on the 31st day in a row and I am glad that the nicotine did not talk me into giving up today. It will try again tomorrow, but I am re-energized for battle now, it won’t even come close. It is, however, very patient. It will wait for an opportunity. My job? To make sure that opportunity doesn’t come knocking.

10 comments:

CyberKitten said...

Well done. Here's to the next 30 days.

Luckily I never got the habit - even with my addictive personality.... [grin].

neal said...

Congrats on making it 30 days. Don't give in to the weakness thinking that 'oh, one cigarette won't do me in'. I gave up chewing tobacco for almost 2 months and gave in thinking 'one dip won't kill me'. It did! I know how hard it is to quit and I need the right mindset to do it. I can't just say today I am gonna quit. Something has to be 'just right' for me to have any chance of actually doing it.

Bar Bar A said...

AWESOME VICTORY, MIKE!!

WELL DONE, YOU!

Ellen said...

A champagne glass is raised in your honor for such a great achievement. You are a stunning example of determination and willpower. Keep up the good work!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Mike--I wish you would read my post of April 21, 2006...it was all about smoking and the results of same. I speak now, as a NON-Smoker, having smoked heavily for 24 years and having stopped for 12 years more than I smoked. But I am living with the results of those years of smoking now, and I urge you to re-committ each and every day. Congratulations on your 30 days. Keep up the good work. Your lungs will thank you.

OutInLeftField said...

Congrats to you and I send you hugs and good luck wishes for many more smoke-free days.

Meantime.....I want a smoke so badly now! Stress does funny things....and it makes me look up to the fact even more that you can stay cig-sober.

mckay said...

hang in there!! if you can do it, then i can do it. i'll now start my own crackdown on mastering my own cravings. one day at a time :)

The Zombieslayer said...

Nicotine may be the most addictive substance known to man - more so than any of the illegal street drugs.

got a friend who was a bulemic, intravenous coke addict, and alcoholic. beat all those, but still can't stop smoking.

kate said...

ok so does the lack of postings have anything to do with the lack of smoking? I am in no way advocating smoking... but perhaps a blog or 2! *wink

cheers! Kate

Vancouver Voyeur said...

Congrats and hang in there. My kid sister has the early stages of emphazema (sp?) and still hasn't been able to quit for long, even knowing it is definitely killing her sooner rather than later. Like CK, I never started smoking or drinking, because not only do I have an addictive personality, I come from a long line of addictive people on both sides of my family. I figured the deck was already stacked against me so why tempt fate? Having dealt with other addictions in my life (food, relationships, control) I know that addictions are conquered in small increments on an hourly or daily basis. When that voice starts telling you that just one won't hurt, IMMEDIATELY start doing something else to occupy your mindy, body, hands, mouth, whatever to silence the voice. Pretty soon you'll be able to tune it out without much effort. Good luck and keep at it.