Monday, October 20, 2008

Failure Is Best Handled With Humility

darn it all All good things have their dark side.  With all my best intentions and efforts, I have failed to quit smoking this time around.  As much as I had prepared and built myself up to quit, I failed to recognize one important factor, the mood swings.

I was rolling along just fine when out of nowhere I became a raging madman that would bite your head off as soon as I look at you.  I was not a nice person at all.

My family was prepared for this though.  They knew what I would become, and that is why they hate it when I try to quit and actually encourage me to continue smoking.  I'm just an unbearable asshole when I try to quit.

This got me thinking, again.  Perhaps some medications are not so bad.  Perhaps I should look into some.  I've been referred to a couple, but at the end of the day, a lobotomy sounds like the best option.

I'm going to regroup and try this again.  Failure doesn't need to be part of the process, but more often than not it will be there.  That's ok, in fact it may be a good thing in some respect.  I understand more about my addiction to nicotine now, and how it affects my mood when it's taken away from me.  Even days later when you think the worst is past!

I can rise above this, and I'll try it again (family shudders) when I feel I have things all set and ready.

Maybe I'll schedule a vacation the next time.  Perhaps I'll isolate myself in a 8x10 concrete cell for a week.  Perhaps I'll invest in some medications to use as a crutch during the first few weeks.

Either way, I'll share my ups and downs with everyone here.

You know this means that we cannot remove big tobacco from the world just yet.  We don't want the world becoming anything like I was over this past weekend.  That would be a HUGE no no and quite bad for everyone.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Approaching the 48 Hour Mark

It hasn't even been a complete two days and people are coming out of the woodwork to wish me well and offer up some encouraging words.  Most of them are ex-smokers as well.  I can't list everyone, but I do want to say that you should feel free to leave a comment here for all to see.  Thank you for showing your concern and support to me!

Most notably, I have been referred to a site called Why Quit that has some amazing material.  I just finished reading the Quit Smoking Tip Sheet to help find some encouraging words to help me out RIGHT NOW!

I've just finished lunch, and normally I would saunter outside, sit on the rail of the building and puff away, but not today.  No, today is a different day.  Where yesterday was simply a battle to make it through the day, today is more relaxed and calm.  I'm not so ignorant to believe that I have this licked yet though.  Each day from here should get a bit easier and easier.  Where I need to watch myself is the psychological aspects that might trigger my response to light up.

I can't wait for my lungs to start purging all the gunk and goop I've accumulated over the past 25-30 years.  My girl will love me for that...

24 Hours and Bit Beyond

good morning The greatest thing about sleep is that it gains you more hours on the 'Quit Clock' without even trying.  After yesterday's fiasco where I basically broke down and turned into a raging bull, I find myself a little embarrassed.  I couldn't control myself and allowed myself to get out of control, what a conundrum. 

I recently found out that Karen over at Chaos Free Living has also hopped aboard the quit smoking band wagon.  I'm glad I'm not alone.

Day 2 of the battle to quit smoking brings with it the possibility that one could slip right back into the same old habit.  I find that it is these days that I might find it easy to forget that I have quit smoking and catch myself in the act of heading outside to smoke...only to realize that I don't have any cigarettes on me, nor do I have a lighter anymore.  These are dangerous times for me.

I would love nothing more than to have a smoke right now, so I must resort back to my list of reasons why I don't like smoking and why I want to quit smoking, to help remind me of why I made these decisions.

I am much more calm about things at the present time.  The day is just starting, the sun is rising and it's a brand new day.  I like that I am not smoking.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

18 Hours Without Nicotine

I'm a raging asshole.  It's only been a little over 18 hours now and I now have scraped knuckles from hitting walls and the roof of my car.  I am missing one rearview mirror, and I nearly have put my head through the bathroom wall.

And I'm not kidding either.  Nicotine withdrawal is a bitch.

My hand is  bit swollen, but I'll survive that.  One thing I didn't expect was becoming so incredibly agitated in the middle of traffic.  I'm usually quite cool, but take away my nicotine and forget it.  I'm a raging asshole.

Right now my brain is going through some serious withdrawals.  I'm incredibly flippant and angry, never a good combination.  I have an incredible amount of rage right now that I would love nothing more than to aim that directly at a few of the big tobacco ass maggots.

Hours later....

All the above was written immediately after my drive home.  It is now hours later and I must say I'm incredibly disturbed by the level of emotion the above contains, but I felt it really captures the moment quite well.

If anyone takes anything away from this I'd like it to be an understanding that smoking cigarettes is a very strong addiction, and next time someone lights up and you feel like tossing an arrogant little 'cough cough' their way, think twice.  There might be someone who has just quit standing right next to you waiting to pop you one.

I'm now ready to sleep off the remainder of this day and start another one tomorrow.  So far so good, but I won't be so arrogant as some to call it "Mission Accomplished" just yet.   I would have to be the most ignorant asshole in the world to think that.

I still have my humor, thank my stars for that.

Day 1 - The first 12 hours

anger and pissyness I am now on the better part of half-way through my first 24 hours and I have yet to pick up a smoke.

I have not been the nicest of creatures however, and I've had to explain to a few people why I'm being a snatch today.  I quickly tell them that I have quit smoking and zip it!  I don't want anything to come from their mouths.  No words of encouragement, no 'oh that's great Wayne', nothing.  I want nothing from anyone as I start my journey.  The people I talk to can only encourage me to light up, not stop.  If anyone but myself was able to make me stop smoking, don't you think it would have happened long time ago?  Yup, so as far as my personal interactions with fellow human beings today, it isn't going to happen.  If it does happen, it doesn't go nicely.  It's not a self-realizing thing, it's just the reality of my temperment.

To me, receiving those type of well wishes really make me want to smoke.  It starts me thinking about it....stressing about it.  To the point where I will pick up a smoke if you don't shut your gosh darned trap!

Sorry...but that is what it's like.  I'm the biggest snapper on the west coast right now, and you had best stay out of my way while I'm in detox mode.

I have my gum by my side and I will fearlessly consume about 50 sticks today alone.  I have gotten up to walk around the entire office as well. 

If you leave a comment or have already, I am ignoring everyone today.  I'm not singling anyone out, it's just what I need to do.  The whole 'group hug' mentality will only sicken me today.

Here is to another smoke free 12 hours.  Today's goal is to make it to bed without having a cigarette where I can sleep off a bit more of my edginess.  Till then, just keep thinking happy thoughts and send those my way.

I Have Quit Smoking Today

celebrate When my eyes opened this morning, I had instantly felt like today would be a good day to quit smoking.  I feel strong about it, and I have already passed a few tests. 

When I woke up, I did not have a cigarette.

I'm enjoying my coffee stooge-free thus far.

Wish me luck today!  I need to tell a few people around here to leave me alone for the next few days, else I rip their heads off.

I can still smell the soap on my fingers from the shower I had this morning.  Normally I would already reek like an ashtray.

I will need to review the reasons why I want to quit to ensure I'm constantly reminded of why I shouldn't smoke.  I have 22 things I hate about smoking and 40 benefits of quitting smoking in my pocket.  I can also draw on this article that details 97 Reasons to Quit.

From this point, I will begin to journal my experiences over the next two weeks.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Noticing Routines To Quit Smoking

cigarettes smoking routine Noticing and acknowledging the routines you create around smoking can help you quit smoking.  Don't believe me?  Think about the routines that you have in your life that involve smoking.  When you drink, do you light up or crave a smoke?  What about when you are bored, do you smoke more? When you consciously notice the routines that you will invariably find yourself in, you take the first step towards helping yourself quit smoking.

The routines and habits that form from years of smoking become routine because we allow them to.  Every smoker will one day light one cigarette right after the other.  Not because you wanted to have that second smoke, but because routine has masked the fact that you have an addiction and you are now chain smoking.

It's a subtle thing.  For example, there have been many, many times that I will have a cigarette with someone and then hop in my car, only to light up once again because I am now driving.  I like to smoke while I drive, it keeps me calm, cool and collected while battling with traffic in the greater LA area.  What has happened is that even though I have just smoked a cigarette before driving, I am now lighting up another!  Two cigarettes in 10 minutes.

It's plainly obvious that the addiction to smoking has negated any reasoning behind the need to continue smoking.  You can say that smoking calms you, but if your routines around smoking are bringing a cigarette to your lips before you actually, really want one, you need to look at your routines.  Besides, one should be the calmest person on the planet if find yourself chain smoking needlessly.  You're not though, are you.

Becoming more aware of the routines you have in your life will help you gain an advantage over your smoking habit.  In fact, by reading this post you will now be more aware of your smoking routines.  You will recognize this each and every time you light up a cigarette if you try. 

How can I say this?  I know, because if you didn't have an interest in quitting smoking, you probably wouldn't be reading this right now.

Take your life by the reigns and take some time to relax, have a smoke and think about the routines you have made that involve you lighting up a cigarette.  If you really want to quit, this will only help you achieve that goal.  When you notice the routines you have built around smoking, you will become one step closer to quitting smoking.

Friday, October 3, 2008

97 Reasons To Quit Smoking

And I thought my posts on 22 Things I hate about smoking and 40 Benefits of quitting smoking were good, here's an article that details 97 Reasons to Quit.  Even Goofy is in there...

With 97 reasons to quit smoking added to everything else, there shouldn't be any reason left to continue smoking.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

How About A Fireball In Your Face?

If there is any time to think about quitting smoking, it's after your lighter explodes in your face.  That's exactly what happened to my girlfriend last night.  She wasn't smoking, in fact she was simply lighting a candle when all of a sudden this *fffffpt!* sound and a fireball the size of a basketball appeared suddenly in her lap.

Like I said, she wasn't lighting a cigarette, but she was using a lighter none-the-less.  The fireball consumed most of her cute, tiny facial hairs, cleaned her nose really good (she must have been inhaling) and tagged a few hairs around her hairline.  It also got her arm pretty good too.  She didn't suffer any serious injury thankfully.

Needless to say, this was pretty freaky to hear the sound of escaping lighter fluid and to look over to see her poking her head into the fireball that appeared in her lap.

She threw the lighter to floor, and I actually threw my laptop down to the floor as well.  Something I would never do otherwise because I baby my system...another story perhaps.  I hopped over to her to make sure she wasn't still on fire, and put out the lighter that was now starting to fry the carpet.

She was only lighting a candle!  She wasn't smoking, as one might expect.  I mean, the chances of something like that happening to someone lighting a candle must be way less than someone lighting up.  After all, we light up more than we light candles, right?

That being said, what are the chances of a lighter exploding in your face anyway?!?!?  It made me think, and until I decide the day I'm going to quit, I'll always think twice before lighting a lighter now.  I almost watched my loved one light herself on fire.

Technical analysis of the lighter revealed that the lighter had blew a tiny hole out the side near the base, which caused it to spray lighter fluid and ultimately explode.  It was a cheap lighter to begin with.  You know, one of those lighters that feel rickety, and have the Made in China stamp. 

I didn't happen to be filming at the time, but I managed to find a similar explosion, albeit a bit bigger than the one I just experienced. 

So, ever have a lighter explode in your face?