I think I have an addiction.

I quit smoking cigarettes last Monday. Good decision, right? Healthy, smart, better for me in the long run. Plus my car smells like smoke, and my coat smells like smoke (and wet dog but that’s a different story). I don’t want to smell bad, right? No problem.

But really, the reason I did has more to do with the best friend I am in love with. He doesn’t like smokers. And if we’re going to get married and have eight kids and dance the funky chicken at our 50th wedding anniversary, I should quit smoking, right? Makes sense.

So Sunday, I took my pack of cigarettes (18 left…my god!) and cracked the pack in half, emptied my ash tray, and threw it all in the trash. Great. Excellent.

It was until Wednesday that I started having illicit thoughts about cigarettes. God, to have one in my mouth…how beautiful. I had no money because I didn’t get paid until today, but I thought I could easily pick up a hitchhiker and have them pay me with smokes. I don’t even care if they’re menthol. Just one ciagrette. We all die eventually, right? Sure thing, might as well die smoking. It would certainly be worth it!

I made it through Wednesday and was feeling good. No smoking, great, smart decision. But then I was just sitting here at my computer, not smoking, reading a thread. And my brother came in to grab a CD really quick, and he had a cigarette dangling from his lips. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life. Screw the Mona Lisa, forget Guernica, that cigarette rivaled the Sistine Chapel. So I begged and pleaded, had to explain that the reason I didn’t have one for him last week was because I quit smoking. Ten minutes later he gives me one, and it’s menthol! Holy God! All I could think was, must smoke, must smoke NOW!

So I run upstairs to the sun porch to smoke it, since my mom won’t let me smoke in the house. It’s four degrees out there, no problem, I’m smoking! Woo hoo! But my dogs had followed me out, and before I could even look for a lighter they started whining to be let out. So I take them out, and it’s raining, so I start getting wet, but it’s all for the cigarette, right? Yeah! Two minutes into the ordeal, I plaster my face to the window and just stare at that ciagrette on the table, ten feet away, and think about having it in my mouth, taking that first minty fresh inhalation…in a few minutes. Just a few minutes.

I come to consciousness three minutes later and call the dogs. Unfortunately, they realized I wasn’t paying attention and took off. So I run off the porch in the pouring rain, clad only in socks, pajama bottoms, and a t shirt, and start screaming for them. I run around the front of the house, calling for them, run into the neighbor’s yard, just thinking about smoking that wonderful ciagrette. I find them on the other side of my court and get them in the house. Finally!

I grab a pack of matches and start lighting one. It immediately flickers out. The next ten do the same thing. Great, I have a lighter in my bedroom for candles! I run inside and search all over my room, but cannot find it. I turn my room upside down, but it’s just not there. I start looking under my bed and dig through twenty years worth of books, clothes, paints, and more books, and finally find it - looking like an angel sent from heaven. So I dash out to the sun porch and try to light my cigarette again. It won’t work! It’s out of fluid! I go through ten more matches, all of them flicker and die (is there a breeze in here? I think). So I dash back to my room, grab my car keys, and hightail it for my car. But the neighbor’s had company and I had to park half a block away. I dash through the rain and get in my car, soaking wet and shaking, and dig around for my lighter. Then I remember that two days ago I had cleaned out my car and tossed the lighter in the trash.

I run back inside and start digging through the garbage can in the kitchen. Sure enough, at the bottom is my trash bag from two days ago, and I tear that apart and find the lighter. So I run to the sun porch…there’s that ciagrette, just sitting there, looking like heaven, like the freaking Last Supper. So I put it in my mouth (yes! yes!) and light up. I somehow managed to burn my right thumbnail, but didn’t care. Finally it was in my mouth.

Ahhhhh. Like a first kiss, like a long cool drink of water on a hot summer day, like the smell of clean babies. Hallelujah!

I sat there shivering, wet, and puffed away on that bad boy right down to the filter and then some. Didn’t care - I could barely hold it in my hand, but I couldn’t stop! It was so perfect, so refreshing, so incredibly awe-inspiring! Yes! Yes! Give me more!

Now I am sitting here with stinky breath, soaking wet, cold and shaking, and my fingers smell bad. Plus my right thumbnail is black. I am running late. I am so happy right now I could run naked through the streets in rapture.

Yes, my friends, I think I have a problem.

And as if it’s a sign from heaven, this thread appears.

I was just about to start a thread talking about how my life has turned around. Career is looking up, money might just sort itself out in the next few weeks, love life looking up immeasurably, yes I am in a good mood for the first time in five friggin’ months. Hell, I might even kick this cold in the ass. The bad luck streak is at an end (knock on the holy cross). I’m even trying to give up smoking. Trying meaning, I’m smoking a lot less and liking it more. <sigh> And here, my arch-nemesis (no pun intended) is going through the same thing.

I offer pax, Nacho. In this, we are sisters.

Everyone needs a good vice!

But one small comment. You did NOT quit smoking Monday. You paused. Quitting is done, finis, splitsville, ain’t-gonna-happen-no-how-no-way stopping.

Good try, though. The reasons sound real, the scenario wasn’t too good. GET HELP FROM DRUGS! If you ever REALLY want to quit, get those patches, whichever is up to you, but you’re not breaking a habit, you’re cutting off a bodily craving.

I (sadly) won’t date wimmens who smoke. At least I try not to. It ain’t pretty, IMO, and it don’t taste good, neither.

Next time you feel like giving it a shot, don’t give it a shot. DO IT! Take no prisoners, be a rabid bitch from hell until your body gets over it.

Nym, I am SO glad you are feeling better and things are looking up, but I’m gonna have to hold off on that long-term relationship until we sort out the inhaling of the by-products of burning vegetable matter issue. We can still have great sex, but if you wanna marry me, we got some talkin to do.

I can be a great support group for stopping, if invited to be, and when you’re ready to REALLY stop. Warning: I can be brutal.

Same for you, Nacho

I managed to quit smoking by turning to Skoal. It took years of repeated failures, but by sticking to my gums–I mean guns, I finally broke the manual habit of smoking.

And then I went to New Zealand, vastly underestimating how many cans of the ol’ Classic I would need. I ran out a full week before we were scheduled to leave, not a can within seven thousand miles, except maybe at a naval base. No problem, I thought, I can chase away Old Nic with the eight cartons of Marlboro Reds we brought along…

That’s when I discovered I hate smoking. No kidding. I used to be an American Spirit-rolling, twenty fat smags a day monster, and now I can’t stand it. I don’t mind the smell of smoke, I don’t mind smoky bars, I don’t mind smoker’s breath, but I can’t do it anymore.

That’s something for quitters to look forward to, I guess. It only took me about two years without a single one to get to that point.

Oh, what did I do back there in Kiwiland? I bought a couple of nice Cubans and chawed 'em. You should have seen the stunned look on peoples’ faces when I’d whip out a mangled cigar and take a big bite out of it. Hated it, but it was still better than Marlboros.

Well, Nym posted here, so I had to. :wink:

I have so been there and done that, Nacho. Three of us at work are in that sorta-quitting-but-not-quite space, so it’s rough. I quit for a few weeks at the beginning of January, till I started working again. Now, we have this magical drawer at work that holds the “community cigarettes”, and it’s always full… sigh.

I am so weak.

I feel your pain. But I discovered a nearly painless approach to quitting ciggarettes, without having to buy all those patches. I hate patches. They make me feel weak…like I can’t quit without help. So what I have done to avoid running around bumming a cigarette or scrounging in the bottom of my car hoping I dropped one a while back. I started switching to lighter ciggarettes. I went from Reds…to Standard…to lights…to ultra lights…I now smoke Carlton 1.0 mg tar…1 mg nicotine. I smoke one pack a day now…and gradually smoke less. I have a friend that quit this way. He said it was much less painful than cold turkey. I think the trick is to ween yourself off of them. Gradually your begins to produce the chemicals that nicotine had replaced. Once you get rid of the need for nicotine, its much much easier to stop. Hope this helps. Heres to not smelling like an ash tray.

Well, Carina42 and I both managed to quit on the same day. That thread is here. It’s hard, and cold turkey has been the best way for me. I’d used patches, gum, pretty much everything.

Good luck to all of you who are quitting, thinking about quitting, or planning to quit. After 2 weeks, it’s gotten much easier for me, and I can say:

Time since quitting: One week, five days, 21 hours, 10 minutes and 22 seconds. 386 cigarettes not smoked, saving $59.90. Life saved: 1 day, 8 hours, 10 minutes.

And that’s a bunch of money I’ve saved already…and after a year it should be at about $1600. Plus, I’m breathing easier, and I don’t wake up hacking and coughing.

Just a hint for next time: Take the cigarette with you to the car and use the lighter that came with the car.

Excellent idea, but it broke (from overuse? hmmm) It’s jammed now. So I had no choice.

Lots of replies…it’s nice to know I am not alone. You know, I told myself for the longest time that I could quit cold turkey, no problem. I did for about three weeks over the holidays, but started back up when my aunt died in January. Then I quit (okay, paused) off and on every other week. My usual habit is to start again, smoke a pack very slowly, until I work up to three packs a week. Then I get sick of it and start again.
Nymysys, Rasa - Wow! Last two people I expected to see in a thread I started! Yes, I guess we are sisters in the shame and pain - I really do want to stop. But it feels so good! I wish I could be addicted to something more fun, like sex, but no, my habit is disgusting and smelly. Yuck.

This is my new game plan. I am so quitting. I made it through the night (at a dark smoky bar) without buying a pack, although I was sure as hell tempted. I even refused an offer of a cigarette from some guy who was hitting on me. See, I can be strong! I really can.

*Lsura - Excellent thread. I believe I can do it, I really do. I’m just going to try and make it through the weekend, one day at a time.

If my posts get bitchier and bitchier over the next few weeks, you’ll know why. :rolleyes: It’s gonna be an uphill battle.

Holy coding, Batman.

At least it wasn’t the whole thing. :slight_smile:

Nacho, being addicted to sex can also be disgusting and smelly, but only if you do it right! :eek:

I LIKE a strong woman who doesn’t stink!

And a word of advice, change your sig to add a disclaimer that the poster is in the throes of nicotine withdrawal, and nothing should be taken personally!

I resorted to drugs to get off nicotine. I used the patch, the gum, even that thing with needles, you know, morphine. Failed miserably. Finally I found just the perfect drug, after using it I never touched a nicotine product again!

What was it? IV nitroglycerine!! They gave it to me while I was having a heart attack, and after that, I’ve never used nicotine again! And now I carry around nitroglycerine pills I can use if I’m ever tempted to light up or dip again, or even if I have chest pains, but that’s the less important reason.

So if the opportunity arises (crushing chest pain, the inability to breath well, horrible sensation of impending doom) and they give you IV nitro, look at it as a great way to quit!

I’ve been lucky enough to not be an addict, though I’ve smoked on and off for years. I go through cycles… I don’t smoke for a couple of years and then some trauma in my life will make me say “GIVE ME THAT DAMN CIGARETTE” Then a smoke for a couple of months without fail. I actually just stopped about 2 weeks ago… and I go through my little withdrawls (this last week especially, I’ve been craving that long puff!) But I haven’t picked one up… Luckily, I’m lazy. If I don’t have it in the house/my truck/my desk at work, I won’t have one. And it helps that the people at work know I’m asthmatic and refuse to give me one even if I ask.

So I wish you lots and lots and lots of luck, Nacho4Sara! I know you can do it! :slight_smile:

Nacho, a friend of mine took a path familiar to max’s. He calculated how many cigarettes he smoked in an average day, and simply smoked one less cigarette each day. It seemed to be working- he gradually broke his addiction to nicotine, also gradually weaned himself from having something to do with his hands (a big factor with smokers). No major personality changes, being deprived of his habit didn’t turn him from the really sweet guy he was into an asshole.

He got down to two cigarettes a day. Then his girlfriend (with whom he’d been having longterm, non-smoking related problems) dumped him. Heartbroken, he reached for the cigarettes.

If it hadn’t been for the introduction of a major stress factor in his life, I think the gradual weaning process would have worked. Hey, I can identify. I’m basically a nonsmoker, but I’ve been known to smoke a cigar (small, thin, chick-sized cigar) when I’m really stressed. Something about getting just the right amount of nicotene into my system helps take the edge off.)

Try it. Then maybe you won’t find yourself chasing dogs in the rain after a few days of deprivation.