Saturday, July 07, 2007

How Not to Make Phone Calls

I'm on my 19th day smoke-free, 31st day on Chantix. In theory, I'm about 1/3 of the way done with Chantix on the 12 week plan and have barely scratched the surface on number of smoke-free days that lie ahead in my hopefully extended life (everywhere else I looked gave even longer as non-smoker vs. smoker, but this was quick and fun, so I'll take just the extra 5 years for now) . Of course, it will all have to be one day at a time because while I'm thrilled that I might actually live longer, thinking about not smoking while doing it still fills me with lots of mixed emotions. Right now I'm just working on this 19th day knowing that it buys me some extra time in the end.

But what I really wanted to talk about is this little phone call issue I'm having. I haven't called anyone in at least 19 days, other than a quick call to Tom, usually to discuss coffee or fast food (need to stop the fast food - different topic, different day). Work calls don't count - I've made those, and there is nothing about them that is remotely interesting, trust me. The calls I have not made are the ones to friends and family. They all live far away, and I usually try to keep in better touch, but I haven't built up the strength or confidence or willingness to fight the battle in order to do it because I was a huge phone call smoker anytime the call went over about 10 minutes. I smoked more while on an hour long phone call than I ever would while not on the phone, probably about as much as I smoked while drinking (which I'm also not ready for at all yet - so I guess drunk dialing is definitely out for awhile). I know that my family recently visited DC (I've never been), some of them for the first time, and I'm dying to know how it went and what they saw. I thought about calling last night, but at the mere glance over to my phone, I thought of smoking, so I didn't call. Another friend, the one who told me about Chantix, has probably returned from a trip to Italy, and I really want to know how it was and also just catch up with one of our marathon phone calls talking about things that normal people wouldn't actually say out loud, but thinking about that makes me really want to smoke.

I've found solutions to most of my other triggers - drink water and breathe until it passes, sometimes chew gum (but only for a short time because my jaws used to hurt whenever I quit smoking in the past from excessive gum chewing, and it was annoying), go to Target, take a walk, brush my teeth, etc. Unless I want to be considered a creepy heavy breather caller or share my business with all of the people as I walk through Target (which no, I don't want, and they are grateful), I haven't yet come up with a good strategy for the phone thing. I might have to resort to cutting up a straw and pretending to smoke, but since the hand to mouth habit itself has gotten better, it actually seems kind of silly. Don't get me wrong, it would be better than smoking, and I just might cut up a straw or two before dialing.

Meanwhile, I'm just in my own little out of touch world. But hey, I'm smoke-free and feeling good.

1 comment:

  1. I don't really ever talk on the phone...but I do know all about the trepidation associated with triggers. Hang in there, when the time is right, you'll face it. Until then, write them a letter telling them to get an email address :)

    Good luck!


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