Thursday, June 12, 2008

Day 1: (Roughly) T+15 :45

It's a start...

Before I say anything else, I have to express my utter amazement and profound gratitude to the people who have given their encouragement and support in this little adventure of mine. And thanks in advance to any that might join them before it's done. I expected quitting to be hard. I've tried it enough times to know. And I figured I'd get some help from friends or family in the way of support (that or a straitjacket). What I didn't see coming was the number of people who turned up on these pages.

Some of you I know from the blogosphere, one of you from the meat-o-sphere, and some of you I've never actually met at all -- live or via satellite. But special shout out to my friend JC who not only lent her own voice to the cause, but recruited a host of others with a post on her own blog. Not only did she bring the cavalry, she may have doubled my readership (maybe more!).

Big Wins
Puck drop for this event was at roughly 6:00 pm EDT yesterday. The first 10 hours or so went pretty easily thanks to a new supply of those clear patches and being in a situation where smoking was really not an option. The next couple of hours were a little bit tougher, but manageable because I was driving home from Greensboro, had no cigarettes with me and ... it was between 4:00 and 5:00 am, so the options for getting any were a little more limited.

My first major victory came at about 7:00 this morning. Maybe you won't get it, but the victory was that the flip-top box wasn't the second thing I grabbed (after the alarm button on my clock). Maybe that doesn't seem big, but to me it's like winning the Battle of the Ardennes. That was always a weak point, and always caught me with my guard down (because after all, I wasn't fully awake yet). So the fact that it happened at all is a win. The fact that I'd only gotten about 90 minutes sleep made it a big win.

Little Wins: The Law of Unintended Consequences
It's funny the things you notice. I hear a lot of people say they notice smells -- especially the smell of smoke. Well somewhere in the state there's a wildfire burning as I speak, and the smoke has created a haze over Our Fair City that smells something like burning electrical insulation or overcooked disc brake pads. (These two smells are remarkably similar, as I found out during a trip to the mountains a couple of summers ago. I digress.) I probably would have noticed that in any case (it's not exactly subtle). But what I noticed that I found ... not odd really, but interesting was my pockets. Specifically that they didn't feel quite right because they were empty. Or at least devoid of the usual flip-top box.

It was an alien feeling. But it prompted another "unintended bonus" of quitting. If I pull this off, I no longer have to factor the presence or absence of a pocket into shirt-buying (or wearing) decisions. My collection of tour shirts might actually see the light of day this now (except for my Pat Benatar "Inamorata Tour '96" which doesn't fit so well now). This is big news people! Imagine the cred I could have showing up at the dog park with my Evanescence "The Open Door - 2007" jauntily displayed. (Probably about as much as I got at the actual show. If they'd held a contest for "Oldest Participant Not Acting As Chaperone For Bratty, Squealy Teenagers" I'd have aced the field.)

Another bonus: I'd often suspected that cigarettes had a role in me waking up every morning feeling like someone had stuffed cotton balls up both of my nostrils. Maybe that's actually so, maybe not. And maybe it's just the lack of Any Real Sleep last night that's responsible for the fact that this morning I woke up able to breathe through my nose. It's too soon to tell. (Do you suppose this might fix my snoring issue too? That would rule!)

And Finally
Forget "One day at a time". For now, it's "One hour at a time"... sometimes "One minute at a time". It's still hard, but it helps to know that once the actual physical withdrawal is over, I don't have to feel this way anymore. There will still be issues but they'll be manageable.

T+16:30... almost a full three quarters of a day, and still sane.Stumble This!


JustRun said...

Here via JC. Stick it out. Hang in. Good days and bad days... all that other cheerleader stuff. :)

Seriously, though, as someone who grew up with a smoker that STILL hasn't tried to quit, I have to say I'm proud of you. Yes, even as a complete stranger because as someone waiting for someone they love to quit, you have NO idea how much it means. Way to go!

Tracy Lynn said...

Dude, I quit earlier this year, and I did hypnosis, which, to my total shock, actually worked.

And I had smoked for over twenty years.

You can totally do it, dude.

Cravey said...

Aha... the clock is running!

I honestly don't remember when it started to get easier, but it was at least within the first week.. so hang ont to that - and one hour at a time is totally appropriate.

Good on ya!

Mojo said...

@justrun: Hope whoever you're waiting for finally decides he's/she's had enough. Some of us never do, or for whatever reason are just never able to.

@tracy lynn: I've seen hypnosis go both ways with other people, but I've never tried it myself. If I crash and burn with the current plan maybe I'll try that next. And I don't want to talk about how many years I've been at this (but it's way more than 20).

@JC: I've heard the physical stuff subsides in about 72 hours and the mental after about 2 weeks. I just try to hang on to "once this really hard stuff is done, I won't have to feel like this any more."

and finally @Allayahs... Thanks. Really. Alot. It really does make it easier to have ya behind me. It's actually pretty humbling (which Cravey will tell you I can always use more of).

PS: Up to T+22:30 give or take a few minutes now.

mamie said...

Friend of Peggy Payne's here telling you to keep up the good work. I quit one year, seven months, 21 days and some hours ago. I still think about them all the time, but pity is beginning to creep in when I see others smoking. Used to be envy so pity is progress. You go!

mamie said...

PS - I gave up the booze too and it was NOTHING compared to giving up cigs. But I know without a doubt that if I had a martini or two my resistance and good sense would vanish and a cigarette would magically appear.

Mojo said...

@mamie: Thanks! I think you're the first of Peggy's friends/fans to visit me here. Nice to meetcha.