Quitting Smoking

Summary:

Smoked for approximately: 12 years… 1994-2006.
Quit: September 23, 2006.
Resource Used to Help Quit: Cold Turkey / www.whyquit.com
Started Running: Mid-October 2006.
Ran first 5k: April 14, 2007 (23:47)
Ran first Half-Marathon: June 2, 2007 (1:56:32)
Ran first Marathon: October 20, 2007 (4:07:28)

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I wrote this shortly after I quit smoking… I dunno why… I just like to write… and I have a bad memory. I have a really good photographic memory… but days that pass… I have trouble. So… I write things down so I can relive them later…. anyway… here is what I wrote then. I include it here on this blog because about 2 weeks after quitting smoking is when I started running again. I say again because I ran as a kid… I ran middle school track and was a track star… I did really well in the 200m and 400m and won a couple of 5ks in my age group back then. Then I started smoking (8th-9th grade) and quit running! Well 20 years later or however the hell long its been… I’m back! Quit smoking and back to running…. well here it is:

“The true story of a nicotine addict, how i quit, and how i realized almost everything i knew was wrong.

Wow… I really can’t believe I’m here. I’m haven’t smoked a cigarette since 9:30am on Saturday… It’s now 12:20am on Wednesday. It’s nearly four days. I think I’ve quit longer than this before, but this time is different… this time I know I will never smoke again. Sure, you think. That’s what I probably thought each time I tried to quit you think – right? Well you may be right, but there is a big difference this time. I’ve come to realize several truths recently. Let me start though with how it all began.

My reasons for quitting…

I’ve always said yeah, I’ll quit one day. Before I’m 30. After this event, after that event… whatever. No concrete date in mind ever… just someday.

Peter Jennings dying, that did make me consider. But that was months ago. What happened recently?

My 4 year old son is fascinated with smoking. Shit. He tells me “I’m a good smoker” while he fake puffs a cigarette. That’s tough to watch. My two daughters (9 and 9) tell me to quit all the time of course. Now though, most recently, my son tells me: “Why you smoking? you going to die…” How embarrassing.

I think I’m running in the hallway at work. My co-worker remarks to two other co-workers – “How good could he possibly run with his 90-year old lungs?” I’m only 28. Pretty embarrassing.

I read that only 1 out of 5 American adults smoke. I guess I’m a fucking loser.

So I decide I will quit. My dad has recently quit. He is over 50 and this is about the 3rd or 4th time he has quit, but he seems to have done well this time. He quit last November, 17th or 18th… 2005. He quit with the help of zyban.

I make the decision one day about 1:00pm to go see the doctor about getting zyban. I get an appointment right then for 9:00am the next day.

I go to my appointment and tell the doctor of my past failed attempts… using the gum, using the patch, trying chewing tobacco as a substitute.

The doctor is great guy… I really like him. He is very personable, has a great memory and is obviously very smart. I let him know that I would like to try Zyban and we discuss various things along this line. He does tell me at this point that Cold Turkey is the best method, but that its ‘possible’ Zyban could help, although not really likely.

He ends up writing me a prescription for Chantix… a new drug out. Some sort of Nicotine inhibitor… he says if I really want to quit this is probably my best bet. What I have come to realize though that he said was that if I was incapable of quitting on my own, this new drug may be a hope for me… anything else (Zyban) was pretty much just false hope. I didn’t realize this at the time though.

I go to Wal-Mart to get the prescription filled… they inform me that it won’t be covered by insurance. Sure… the doctor told me it wouldn’t be… just go ahead and fill it. So I come back in 30 minutes to pick it up, and they inform me that they will get to filling it right away, and it should be ready in about 30 minutes. I had to get to work at this point so I just told them I would pick it up that afternoon. For some reason I never did. I think I was waiting until next payday because it was a little expensive. Well I thought and thought about my conversation with the doctor, and my impending supposed quit. The doctor had stressed several times in casual conversation to set a quit date, so I did. It was to be a Saturday – a day we would be at an amusement park all day, the day after my daughter’s birthday… and I supposed I would be busy enough to not be able to do anything about not smoking.

I decided to ‘try’ Cold Turkey anyway.

Sure enough, I quit that day. Sure I wanted one many times… but we stayed busy and my need was forgotten quite a few times. I had some Icebreakers (candy) ready for the ride home.

When we got home normally I might have stayed up late, or later on a Saturday – on the computer or something. I went to bed to avoid any more withdrawal feelings.

The next day was very weird… I woke up and did ok in the morning. I then decided to go get some beer. I know it is tough to not smoke while drinking beer. Believe me, I’ve done both plenty… and probably never any more smoking than when I drank. I don’t know why I got the beer – I was just going crazy and needed something to “DO”! I’m sure you know what I mean. Well I got a 20 pack of bottles probably about noon. I mowed the lawn – front and back, weed eated, swept, and then got one good idea that was to totally clean out my car and get rid of the smoke stains, accessories in the process. Car still looks great.

I took several naps but needless to say, I ended up getting pretty drunk. Somehow I persevered. While I was in the midst of drinking I started googling about my process… quitting smoking. I wanted to see the list of the benefits. At this point I’d been quit for about 18ish so hours. I knew there were certain things that happened in this time frame.. so what were they? Well I found this list… but I also found something else.

I found a link to Joel’s free book on the Internet. I was immediately hooked. This guy had some smarts, some insight… some new ideas. All of the ‘chapter’ titles looked interesting to me… but I started at the beginning and kept going. I’d like to think I would be where I am now had I never read his book… but I am glad I did.

“NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF” did you guys see that coming? I’m glad you did because you know its true, and I do too now. How many of my past attempts to quit were foiled by this? All of them! Shit how did I never know it was this simple! NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF! EXACTLY! I’ve had a couple rough nights at home… I’ve been keeping busy… but had a lot of urges… at work has not been so bad at all… but at home has been rough. One thing really has kept me going… a phrase to live by (at least for the time being) NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF. I’ll get in a mode… you know… an urge… and really be thinking.. this is it.. I’ve got to smoke – that’s it… I’ve just got to go back.

Then I smack myself in the head with my palm and say out loud, NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF.

I guess I just never realized how bad I was addicted to NICOTINE. Not really cigarettes. My eyes have been opened on many levels. But its late, and I know you want a part two. I will write more later.

Don’t fear that I won’t be back… because I will. I will NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF. Never.”

(the Website I referenced is www.whyquit.com)