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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Becky's first try

Okay, so I've never blogged before, but I think this is a good idea, also. It always helps to talk/write about the hard stuff that you are going through. The benefit of an online blog is, even if no one else is reading, you can pretend like someone is!

So Lisa and I are going to work on this together - me quitting smoking, her working on snacking and dieting. Hopefully, ideally, it'll work for both of us, and then she can be my inspiration to then lose weight! I've discovered, though, you can't quit too many things at once, otherwise you are just setting yourself up for failure.

About me and my problem: I've been smoking for a very long time. Don't tell my parents, but I was 10 and in the 5th grade when I picked up my first cigarette. I was walking home with another girl named DeeDee. Her mom let her smoke (how disgusting is that?) and I kept telling her, don't give me a cigarette. Don't try to pressure me into smoking. She kept saying, okay, fine, I won't. About halfway home, I asked to try one, and that was it from there. I didn't really like it at first (does anyone?), but I spent the weekend at her house that weekend, so I got adjusted to it. We started off on menthol cigarettes (I used to call them the peppermint cigarettes).

I wasn't really what you would call a dedicated smoker for the first two years; in fact, I "quit" for the first time the summer I was 12. i picked it back up again when school started because my friends were smoking, too. We used to go to the woodsy area behind the middle school in Cedar Hill and meet with some high school girls and smoke there. I got yelled at by one girl because I wasn't inhaling, so I was wasting the cigarette. She taught me how to inhale and I've been a smoker ever since. My parents found out about it when I was about 15, so that's when they think I started. Awful, isn't it?

I am now 28. I've been smoking for 16-18 years, depending on how you start counting. I remember when I used to be able to buy 2 packs of smokes with a five and get change back. Through me, at least one friend has started smoking and still does to this day. These are my reasons for why I'm quitting:

1. It makes me smell bad and turns my teeth yellow (as if I don't already have enough problems with my teeth).

2. It's expensive! (over $6 a pack now for Marlboro. Calculate that out: a pack ever 2 days, on average, so I end up spending about... $1100 a year on cigarettes. And that's just me, my husband smokes too.

3. It kind of makes me into a social pariah sometimes, cause nobody wants to be around the nasty.

4. I'm having problems breathing already, and I cough a lot, especially in the morning. I don't want to die of lung cancer, or live with emphysema, etc. Not being able to breathe sucks and I don't want to have to live my life like that. I hope that it's not already too late, although the medical profession assures me that within ten years of quitting, my body has finally recovered.

5. Believe or not, you non-smokers, but smokers usually have no sense of smell and a dulled sense of taste. I would like those back, please.

6. The biggest reason to quit - my 6 year old daughter thinks that it's cool. She wants to be exactly like me when she grows up, including smoking. She's used straws or sucker sticks to pretend to be smoking, just like mama. It's a compliment to have someone want to be just like you, but not in this way. The only way I would ever be okay with Dakota smoking is if they managed to miraculously fix all the problems cigarettes cause. As a matter of fact, while I'm wishing, make them healthy for you! That would be ideal. Then I could smoke all I wanted.

And here are my excuses:

1. I have no self-control. I'm a stubborn person, but apparently not when I am fighting myself. If it's something that I want, I give in way too easily. Hence the addictions that I have.

2. Breaking the habit. Now this is not the same thing as fighting the addiction. Within two weeks, all of the nicotine, etc, is out of my system, and I no longer (apparently) have a physical addiction to anything. It's the habit, though. I smoke after I eat, when I'm alone in the car, when I need a break from what I'm doing (or from my kids), when I talk on the phone or in person, when I drink (going to the bar mixes two of those, which makes it that much harder).

3. Hand-to-mouth fixation. Yes, this is an excuse, but I still believe that its a valid one. I was born sucking my fingers. I quit sucking my fingers when I really picked up smoking (yes, that means I sucked my fingers in intermediate and junior high. No judging here). I like to eat as well, for the same reason. I really have to fight against this. I don't want to use suckers or hard candy as a replacement because int he first place, I have sucky teeth already. Also, I don't want to replace one bad habit with another.

4. I like being a smoker. Even with all the reason listed above, for the most part, I like being a smoker. I like taking breaks from what I'm doing to read my book and smoke a cigarette. I like sitting around after I'm done eating and smoke a cigarette, especially with other smokers. Smokers are a very social group. We are the only ones who understand each other and don't bitch about it, so we always have at least one thing in common with strangers.

I think I'm ready to quit. As long as I can keep my reasons to quit in front of me, and not my excuses. Especially my kids. I've gone through 1 day without smoking already. It wasn't that bad, although I would have liked a cigarette after the kids went to bed. The first couple of days, honestly, aren't the worst, though. It's the couple of days after that. You are starting to adjust to life without smoking, learning to deal with shit in different ways, when suddenly, something reminds you that you aren't a smoker and you are never going to be again. That's the point that I usually give in and have a cigarette.

Here's for day number 2. Thanks, Lisa, for doing this with me, by the way, and giving me this outlet to write about it. Here's to us. We can do it!

Never give up. Never surrender!  :D