Sunday, August 14, 2005

I quit!

Photo courtesy of MorgueFile

Smoking, that is. I kind of misunderstood the whole quit date thing though and extended it a little. I thought quit date meant it was the last day you smoked but I don't think that is actually the case. And, well, I kind of fudged on that a little anyhow. My plan was that my last cigarette before going to bed on Friday night would be my last cigarette. However, I decided that I wanted to save one to smoke in the morning with my coffee and make that my last cigarette. The cig before bedtime is probably my least favorite of all of them and the one with coffee is probably one of my most favorite times to smoke. So......yesterday morning after that one last cigarette, that has been it. And, let me tell you, it hasn't been as bad as I remember but it hasn't been a party either. I can't sit still for very long and being on the computer right now is driving me nuts because this is one of the times I would smoke mindlessly and dang gone it I want to do it. I found if I read that it helps keep my mind off my desire to smoke. So, I've been a vorocious reader this weekend. I finished "One for the Money" by Janet Evanovich this morning and I am a third of the way through her second in the series. Thanks Gigi!

I decided to write about how I started smoking. I didn't get very far. If I can, I'll finish it but who knows with me. I get distracted easily.

I was six or seven. I think. I know we lived in Jerosz’s Trailer Park at the time. My brother, Chris, and I fished butts out of the ashtray and lit them on the burner of the stove. It was the first time that I recall trying a cigarette. I don’t remember if I liked it.  I think it was just a novelty. It was around that time that I first tried coffee too, with lots of milk. I vaguely recall that we attempted to shave our faces once as well. At that age, I guess kids imitate what they see the adults around them doing. Chris and I were close in age. I suppose it was natural that we would try some of this together. Funny, out of my three brothers and me, I think Chris is the only one who didn’t grow up and use tobacco products. My oldest brother smoked a pipe for a while, and my younger brother is a cigarette smoker, then there’s me.

I guess it wasn’t too horrible because a couple of years later I would steal packs of cigarettes from my mom so I could hang out at the baseball diamond and smoke with the older kids of the neighborhood. I was nine or ten at the time. I’m not sure how old the other kids were but in my mind’s eye they were much, much older and I was cool because they wanted to hang out with me. It didn’t hook me though because once we moved from there it was a couple of years before I smoked again.

In eighth grade, I would steal cigarettes and scotch from my mom so my friend and I could “party” before going to the dance at the high school. I’m not sure my mom ever knew someone was siphoning those things off. If she did, I don’t think she suspected me. But, I had gotten smarter by that time. Instead of lifting a whole pack of cigarettes I would take a couple at a time and stock pile them.  I did the same thing with the scotch, except I would replace what I took with water. Funny, the smell of scotch makes me nauseous now. Too bad cigarettes didn’t have the same affect on me. 

I’d like to think that it was peer-pressure that led me to smoke but if I search myself I don't think it was. Sure, when I was smoking with the older kids of the neighborhood it may have been, a little. Mostly, I think it was my latent rebellious nature coming to the surface that motivated me to smoke. I thought I was cool. I remember one time when I was in high school. I’m not sure how old I was, I just know we lived in the cabin in the woods of Pennsylvania. I was home alone and standing in the kitchen. I lit a cigarette. I stood there with my head tilted up like I was the bitch of the block blowing smoke in a stream through puckered lips. I used to try to puff out circles like I saw them do on T.V., but I never could do it intentionally. I wasn’t much good at the French inhale either. I think because I had yet learned to actually inhale the smoke. I was sucking it into my mouth and blowing it back out. As I recall, I tilted my head down to draw another puff when my mother appears on the front porch stomping snow from her feet. I choked on the smoke as I smashed the cigarette out in the ashtray. I frantically waved my hands in the air to clearany remnants of smoke. I wasn’t worried about the smell. That house reeked of smoke. Not only did both my mom and step-father smoke, but we had two woodstoves that periodically filled the house with smoke. If my mom saw me, she never let on. I’m amazed she didn’t though. The house was surrounded by windows.

Even though I had smoked a cigarette all on my own accord at that time, I wasn’t hooked yet. It was still only an instrument of the party scene to me. It wasn’t until several years later when I was seventeen and learned how to inhale that the addiction began. But, that story will have to wait for another day. I’m smoke-free today. Not nicotine free yet. I’m using the patch, but I’m wondering if it helps all that much. That's it for now. I'm outta here to see what kind of trouble Stephanie Plum has gotten herself into and to get the word, "cigarette," out of my mind for a while.

20 comments:

geminiwilder said...

Bravo!!  you've done it!

holy CRAP, i never smoked until i was 18, what the...

i didn't know tiny children smoked like that.  i'm stunned.

what a HORRIBLY UGLY picture up there, by the way.  ewww!

all the best thoughts to you,  Phinney

txsguinan said...

YAY YOU!!!  

Wow; I can understand how cigarettes seem like a comapanion to you ~ my god, they play a part in some of your earliest memories, and are prop in how you saw yourself at various times in your life.  A friend.  I hear that.

But you've chosen otherwise now, and again, YOU GO!  And it's your 'quit' ~ your rules.  Do what you have to do.  Hang out with Stephanie for a while.  Talk about cool...I know!  Trade the pack for a gun and some pepper spray.  And hair spray.  And maybe a Ranger, or the other guy ~ Morelli?  Mmn...Morelli...   ;)

freeepeace said...

Whew!  Congratulations Robbie.  This is a big step.  I love reading your childhood memories.  How did you never get caught replacing booze with water?  Heh...well, if your mom didn't know all that stuff back then, she certainly knows now. [hi robbie's mom]

Keep reading.  If that's what's helping you get through, then what a great way to replace your addiction. :D

::cheering you on::

ryanagi said...

I'm seriously impressed! You are doing great! Just remember, it's not just an addiction - it's a habit. You can get past the nicotine addiction with the patch but it's going to take a while to get out of that automatic habit of lighting up when you sit and have coffee, after you finish a meal, and all your other trigger times.  It's been like 15 years since I quit and there are still certain situations where I think about it.

barebytes said...

Goodd luck and I hope you succeed. Hugs Lanny

momandpato said...

Robbie, Robbie, Robbie !!!!!!   you little STINKER.................Love you anyway.......Momandpato

sanforized6 said...

Good Luck! I quit at age 53 for 5 1/2 years, then, out of the blue I got the urge, and sadly I'm back at it. I'm ashamed, BUT, I've had so much going on, healthwise, guess I figured to add more. I'm stupid. I'm human. rich

thesheatons said...

Good luck. I know it's hard.

Jackie

alphawoman1 said...

Keep it up. You will be so much better in time. For me, (I have quit about five..seven times) the second week is the worst. Never used the patch,always just cold turkey. Use to smoke so much while studying in college. When I would take the exams I would so want to leave to go blow some smoke! I got pneumonia once and that made me quit! Ugh! Good luck, you can do it.

onestrangecat said...

i love janet evanovich!!!!!!!!!!  you should try G.A. Mckevitt

Congrats on your stopping smoking.  
Remember the patch can give you vivid dreams and nightmares.  You may want to take it off before you go to bed.  Ask Pamela (his1desire) she can tell you.

Kathy

st0rmwhispers said...

Well you may not know it but your prior entry on smoking clinched my decision to set a quit date of Sept. 7.  Thank you.  

I started inhaling at 11 and was hooked immediately, otherwise, our stories are so similar it is frightening.  I so loved being the cool badass of the egghead bunch...

Now I am the only idiot left in the group who is still doing it...but not for long!

Congrats on your follow through!  You rock!

lisaram1955 said...

Good Lord, smoking at nine!  I can't even picture it.  I played with Barbies until  I was thirteen.  Smoking didn't mesh well with that particular activity.

Anyhoo, as Gigi says, YOU GO!  I'm rootin' for ya...  Lisa  :-]

yakima127 said...

YEAH for quitting!  I am so happy for you!  Really, I am!!!  I know it is hard; but, you can do it!  You are saving your own life, each and every time you do NOT give in to the temptation...even though you are still getting the nicotine, your LUNGS are already healing...Good job!  Keep us posted!  JAE

lisita15 said...

Robbie, Here I am trying to catch up and here you are writing an entry about quitting smoking. I too want to quit. It is now Tuesday and am wondering how you are doing. Yes, the patch does work, of course, you have to have a plan of action when you get stressed, cause when I used the patch, something happened and I yanked that stupid patch off and started smoking again. Here I am wanting to stop and just having a really hard time with it. Actually it's stopping that I am having a hard time with. Good luck to you and let me know how you are doing. Lisa

babyshark28 said...

whoa.....

I smoked a little bit of a french cigar, I think in 8 or 9th grade.....and I felt so unhealthy from it, I ran around my house a few times to make up for it. :p
and once I swallowed a swig of scotch, 100 proof, just out of curiosity.....and I never did it again. :p

your life would make a great 'growing up' story....

cw2smom said...

Best wishes for a new smoke free life!  You'll eventually wonder why you ever did such a stupid thing!  Well, I did.  I've been off for 17 years now and although it was tough, I immediately started feeling much better.  No more yucky coughing!  You can do it!  Lisa

ksgal3133 said...

I know you can do this and we are all here pulling for you!

Gretchen

andreakingme said...

I'm SO proud of you. I can't begin to imagine how tough breaking this habit is, but wow. You GO, girl.

xo,
Andi

nellemclaughlin said...

I hope this works out for you. Several of our neighbors have recently quit. Some needed a patch or WEllbutrin but were successful. I think it's one of the few things we can do to help our health. Best of luck.

judithheartsong said...

good for you!!! judi