Tuesday, October 10, 2006


I had to add a new counter in my profile. I can't keep smoking. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired, and cigarettes are keeping me sick and tired.

I've been fighting a sinus infection/bronchitis for over a month. I'm tired and dragged out all the time, and my brain is mushy. Sneezing, coughing, blowing my nose all the time. I can't shake it, I don't have the energy to find a job with more money so I can get my own place where my son can be with me, and pay an attorney to finally get divorced. I want to sell my truck to get some money, but first I have to get money to fix the driver side window that broke because I was opening and closing it constantly while smoking. So I have these obstacles to moving forward in my life, not to mention just plain feeling like crap. Cigarettes seem to be a significant factor in keeping these obstacles in front of me.

I'm not happy about this. I don't really want to quit smoking. It's not a good time to stop. After all, there hasn't been a good time to stop in the last 25 years, so there's no reason to think this is a good time to do it. I stopped for a couple days, and one day, over the past week, but went and got a new pack each time.

It's a lot like quitting drinking. Every excuse in the world, destroying my life, making me sick, wanting to, not wanting to, and the craving sets in and I'm a powerless slave to nicotine. The difference, for me, is that smoking has never wrapped itself around my soul and spirit like alcohol did. Smoking has, though, taken over my body and brain chemistry more thoroughly than alcohol did.

There's a Nicotine Anonymous group I think I'll try. My experience with smoking is similar enough to my drinking that I think it will help.

Holding myself accountable will also help, I think. That's why I put the counter in. You'll notice it's hours, not days -- hours, I'm afraid, are the time increments I can deal with. It puts my sobriety day counter in new perspective. At this point, I'm striding effortlessly across vast tracts of sobriety time, months racking up fast. I haven't forgotten my earliest days and hours of being sober, though, and cigarettes remind me of them. As they say: years come easy, but days come hard.

So the counter puts me out in public in front of my on-line recovery friends, and now I'm accountable to you for it. Am I grateful to you for this? Hell, no. I hate you all for it. ;)


At 10/11/2006 07:47:00 PM, Blogger NMAMFQLMSH said...

Holy shit...I was just thinking of you and thougth I would stop by to see if you posted and what do you know....
Smoking is the one thing I just can't give up YET.
Stay strong bro and please know how very much I miss you.
I see you,

At 10/12/2006 12:57:00 PM, Blogger K said...

Good for you Phil. I quit smoking a few years ago and I can't tell you how good it feels to be rid of them. I failed several times before the quit finally stuck. The best advise I can give is if you fail today - quit all over again tomorrow. Don't give up and you'll make it. And of course bring your troubles to God, he's got your back bud.

At 10/13/2006 01:55:00 AM, Blogger dAAve said...

Oh Phil. What timing.
I just stopped smoking the day you posted this - on 10/10/06.
I smoked non-stop for 36 years, up to 3 packs/day. Not once did I ever cut down, moderate or try to quit. But it was time.
I did it cold turkey, with 2 months of mental preparation + using the 12 steps + reading this book ...
"The Easy Way to Stop Smoking" by Allen Carr. I am now on day 4 and it's been not only easy, but actually pleasurable. Read the book with an open mind.

At 10/13/2006 02:27:00 PM, Blogger Trudging said...

Hang in there Phil, it is well worth it.

At 10/13/2006 09:29:00 PM, Blogger Gwen said...

Go For It!

At 10/14/2006 09:29:00 PM, Blogger Designer Girl said...

Oh, (((((Phil))))). We hate you, too, sweetie. :P

You and dAAve can quit together! How awesome is that?

Seriously, I wish you all success in this brave endeavor. It is hard, but it's also worth it. For all the reasons you cited, plus more that you'll discover along the way.

I wasn't ready to quit drinking, and didn't feel like a day would ever come when I ever really would be ready, but I just got to the point where I decided to go for it. So, I echo Gwen. Go for it!

At 10/24/2006 10:36:00 AM, Anonymous Sober Chick said...

Hope the smoke free days are going well. I have this struggle with food. Funny how it manifest into different forms of life. However when I am ready I will give it to my HP.

You can do it, you have already begun with the desire to stop and an ounce of willingness.

At 11/04/2006 03:54:00 PM, Blogger jules said...

Congrats of your decision to stop smoking. It's hard to let go of our friends, even the bad ones. Like Sober Chick, I also struggle with food. Once I remember crying in the cereal isle because my favorite cereal was on sale and I couldn't buy it because I was dieting. Doing the right thing rarely feels as good as it ought to.

At 2/28/2007 08:26:00 PM, Anonymous kristin said...

Hi! I just stumbled on this blog and hope it's not too late to comment. I quit smoking 2 years ago and every single word you shared about smoking was how I felt. Everyone has their own way of quitting, but my lifeline was a website called quitnet.com. It's a bunch of wonderful people quitting together. If you have a nic fit, go to your computer any time of day or night, and these people will ease you through it. I quit on a Thursday, and my first weekend smoke-free, I would not leave the house and just read quitnet for hours. I think it's important to indulge any need and impulse when you quit smoking.

The second thing I did was accept that I could never touch a cig again--there were lots of things I COULD do--but touching a cig was not one of them. I then accepted that I would suffer. I lastly accepted that a day would come when I would no longer suffer. That day came. It will come for you.

Anyway, if you want to talk more, I'm at my new, beautiful website that I started a year after quitting smoking! www.holisticwellness.com You'll see I'm now a health nut!
BEST of luck to you!


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