Friday, January 2, 2009

The Trouble With Smoking

I heard a news story today about how they changed the paper on cigarettes so if they aren't puffed on they go out. Its a new safety feature or some shit. But it got me thinking on what great blog material I had here and how you all can be my personal cheerleaders.

I started smoking when I was 13 years old. I am 33 now. After 20 years I think its time to give it up. I am sure I started for all the same reasons any teenager starts smoking. They think its cool, it helps them fit in. You know, peer pressure bullshit. After 20 years I want to quit for all the same reasons most adults want to quit.

It smells. I hate the smell on my clothes, in my hair, on my breath. I am quite sure my poor husband gags every night when crawl into bed after my bedtime smoke.
My teeth look like hell. Years of coffee, soda, red wine and cigarettes have taken their toll on my pearly yellows. I have to have a ton of dental work done in the next few months including replacing some old veneers. I cannot have super white veneers mixed in with yellow smoke stained teeth. I just can't. If I succeed at quitting I can use all the money I save to bleach the hell out of my teeth so they are pretty white again.

One night this summer while we were on vacation in Wisconsin we were playing a drinking game along the lines of 20 questions. When it was Shawn's turned he asked my when I planned to stop. I know it's an innocent question but he had those puppy dog eyes when he asked. The memory of those puppy dog eyes have stayed with me.

I smoke a pack a day easily. More if I am super stressed so you can all imagine I have been hitting it hard since I've been dealing with my Dad's house. When I think about the fact I spend roughly $5 a day for 365 days a year that is a grand total of 1825.00 a year. Do you have any idea how many Coach handbags I could buy with that kind of money? In 2 years I could buy a hot tub to go on the deck we built especially for a hot tub and never actually equipped it with said warm and relaxing. I know it is unlikely I will actually put $5 a day away but maybe I could open up a savings account and just move $35 a week over.

The big kicker, the reason among reasons, the hail mary of reasons I want to quit is 2 fold. Number one my kids. I know they are breathing the shit somehow and it isn't good for them at all. Hannah and Ed both have asthma and cigarette smoke is just about the number one worst thing for them to breath. Not to mention the long term effects on all of them including the hubby.

Number 2 is myself. Did I mention my kids inherited their asthma from me? Yeah. I am also worried about cancer and emphysema. My Grandma Fritz died of emphysema when I was 14. It was awful to see my wonderful Grandma struggling to breath. Constantly hooked to an oxygen machine. I want to be there for my Grand kids for as long as I can. I don't want to leave them before they are 16 or god forbid before they are ever even born. I want to watch my kids grow up and have babies. So, it is in my best interest to throw this 20 year habit out the window.

I know it won't be easy. I smoked through half of my developmental years. I don't think I will know how to act without a cigarette between my fingers but I am determined to learn. I love the feeling of lighting up a cigarette and taking that first drag. The taste of the first drag is indescribable but I hear you can actually start tasting food again once you quit so maybe I can become addicted to the taste of garlic. Mmmmm garlic.

Quit date: February 1


Kat January 3, 2009 at 12:11 PM  

One word. Chantix. That stuff is amazing, aside from weird dreams and feeling slightly nauseated.

Cat January 3, 2009 at 4:12 PM  

OMFG I'm so excited! I'm so excited that I won't give you any shit at all for stealing my blog title! YAY FOR MICHELLE!

I've heard good and bad things about Chantix, but I think you may need to try some aids like Chantix or Nicorette or hypnosis - you've done it for so long that quitting without a substitute may be just 100x more difficult.

But with or without, I know you can do it! We'll have pink lungs together :)

Cameron January 3, 2009 at 9:41 PM  

The K/Cats are right....Chantix works. I've been smoke free for over a year, and I smoked for about 16 years, over a pack a day.

It's not easy, but here's the deal. For a regular smoker (one that has a smoke before they do anything else first thing in the morning), the first four hours are the hardest. If you can make it even four hours, you've done it.

Chantix works, it causes some weird dreams and maybe a little bit of nausea, but the side effects are minor. And you can get it without going to a doctor if you wanna go that route.

It'll cost more there, but offset your copay and it's pry about the same.

Follow the directions, and DEFINITELY join the support web site that comes with it. You register and track your progress. They give you tips and tricks along the way.

FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS....on quit day, throw out your ashtrays, all your lighters, your cigarettes. Soak the smokes in water so you can't dig them out of the garbage.

I really don't even know you, cept Cat MADE me check you out the other day, but I'm always excited to hear people wanting to quit. Oh and hey, I followed you on Twitter and got no love in return...WTF?

My last tip of advice, do something other than smoke. I treated myself to breakfast instead of smoke. I chew on sunflower seeds all day long. You have to find something to replace the habit. Chantix takes care of the addiction, you have to fix the habit. Good luck!!!

Myshka January 3, 2009 at 10:26 PM  

I follow Cat's blog (read: stalk), ergo, I follow you, because you are also as sassy and awesome at writing. You CAN quit, by the way. I quit cold turkey on Jan 1 of last year (after smoking for about 8 years), and made it a whole year. I still crave them, but I did it. You can. And you will. My husband, on the other hand, has yet to quit, and he's been smoking for 16, so... If it helps any, I replaced ciggies with alcohol. A red wine hangover beats ashtray kisses any day. Good luck!! :-)

rachael January 3, 2009 at 11:03 PM  

That is seriously brilliant news! It really can be done, I know it doesn't seem like it now, but I promise, there will come a time when you don't even miss it.

Shari January 4, 2009 at 12:12 PM  

You can totally do this! I quit just shy of 10 years ago. It was hell, I won't lie, but it realy was so worth it in the end!

Kim January 4, 2009 at 7:12 PM  

Yeah Michelle that is awesome that you are quitting smoking!!! I quit with chantix, I love Chantix!! it is a dream pill come true!!!
Since your planning on quitting in January, you should start Chantix this month, cuz it takes a couple wks for it to work anyway! this is month 5 for me, being smoke free!! I know you can do it!!!! Im so happy for you!

Anonymous January 10, 2009 at 10:48 PM  

Hi. I've been scouring blogs today to see if I could find someone else on the same path as myself, rather than any government or corporate quit site. This is great and good luck with everything. I gave up just before Christmas, using patches, so I'm about three weeks in without folding (miracle for me..but not out of the danger zone). I'm still missing the after breakfast one..and every night I whine to my husband about how much I'd love to have an after dinner cig. On the plus side - my energy levels are definately up. You can do it!

Michelle January 10, 2009 at 10:57 PM  

Good luck to you Anonymous!!
It sounds like you are doing well so far. I have been smoking for 20 years so I know I have a rough road ahead but I know I can do it and so can you! Thanks for stopping by!

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I am Mom to 4 of the most kick ass kids ever! I learn shenanigans from them every day.



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