Thursday, August 02, 2007

Worth Seeking Out Poison?

Today is Chantix Day 57 and Smoke-free Day 45. Today is the first day of my last month of Chantix!

When I checked in at GetQuit (the Chantix support plan website) yesterday as I do everyday because I'm one of those odd folks that actually finds some of it helpful and enjoy having a place to "check in" each day, the topic was about being far enough along in my not smoking to go ahead and try being in a smoky situation.
Now that you’re this far along, you may want to try a little risk. After all, that’s real life. You can’t avoid being around smokers and smoke forever. So it’s a good thing to practice.
I know that many of my fellow bloggers, others reading along with me, and even the friend who first told me about Chantix have been doing this almost from the start simply because people around them smoke or the places they typically go just happen to have smokers that are allowed to smoke in there, so it was just sort of natural that it happened that way, and it sounds like they/you all have done just fine with that. That's a step ahead of me, and frankly, I'm impressed.

It's not to say that I couldn't do it or that if I caught so much as a whiff of smoke (which, actually, I do sometimes, under my window), suddenly I'd be buying 2 packs of smokes by bloody noontime or anything drastic like that, but I just have absolutely zero desire to actually seek out smokers or smoky situations just to take some kind of "risk" and "practice" (or breathe the second-hand poison that I swore to God for years was all "just hype") since these are simply not people or situations that are naturally occurring in my current life. Most of the people and places in my life have always been or have gone smoke-free.

Several years ago, most of the people I knew smoked and most of the places we went were smoky. Perhaps then it would have made perfect sense to take this step, though, like many of you, I would have already done that already (yes, already twice; it's a family thing) at this stage of the journey.

In the past few years, very few of the people I've known have smoked (and they all looked at me like it made no sense at all that an otherwise fairly reasonable girl like me would smoke), and I was always the one lonely loser in the corner (how I felt, anyway) all alone feeding my addiction and wondering about proper etiquette when I wasn't sure what I should do with my stinky butt (no, my other butt) because there was no ashtray or even a garbage can in their fresh and pretty little garden-like yard I'd just polluted. Putting the butt back in the pack just smelled too disgusting to carry around, leaving it on the lawn would be rude and just not being a smoker would have been the easiest solution if only I'd already quit.

Anyway, ramble, ramble, my point is just that while this may have been decent advice earlier in the quit for people with smoker friends (or earlier in the decade when you could still actually smoke at a ballgame or in bars all over the country - in Washington state law prevents smoking even within a certain distance from buildings so that even in the fast food drive-through you can't smoke in your car!), the people I'm around and the places I go are basically smoke-free, and I am way more than OK with that. When the day comes that I have reason to be with a smoker or in a smoky place - probably not with Tom because he flat out can't breathe in places like that, so we never went there anyway (except for Reno), even if he was sweet enough to bring me a latte yesterday because he rocks (thanks, my love!) - I am confident that I, too, will be able to rise to the occasion and make it through in one smoke-free piece.

I will not be deliberately seeking out smoky/smoker encounters, but I also won't deliberately avoid people or events out of fear either. Our annual trip to Reno in February is still on my calendar, and I'll either be around smoke before that time or I won't, but it won't affect that trip one way or the other. This time I will not sit next to someone smoking menthols while I'm winning at video poker and very buzzed on free drinks and romanticizing what's actually a decent shot at lung cancer as I convince myself that what I do in Reno stays in Reno (wrong city, but an addict will tell themselves anything; I did) - that was my thinking when I once chose after a few months quit that I could have just one (very expensive in the casinos) pack of smokes, but I understand very clearly now exactly what happened and why without doing any "research" or "practice" in advance.

4 comments:

  1. Congrats on the last pack of Chantix Maggie! You are an inspiration since you are always a little ahead of me in the quit.

    I agree, I would likely have done much like you have and avoided places like bars and other smoky environs. However unlike you, I don't have a significant other...so dating means going out...means smokers.

    Honestly, if you had to go out I think you'd feel much like I do. I get a twinge of regret now and then, but overall I am fine. I think the effort we have put into these quits makes us realize how much we want to hold onto them no matter how "great" that cigarette looks.

    Good work Maggie! You keep leading the way, and I'll be right behind you!

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  2. Thanks, Nathan! Yep, the effort already into this definitely helps to make it less appealing.

    You are just rocking right along, too. Such good stuff all around!

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  3. yeah I am not far enough along to just go to a smoky situation....the other night I had to go to my brother and him and his wife both smoke....I almost got sick at the door I called one of them out I couldn't go in...then I finally went in and it wasn't so bad..but they weren't smoking right on my either. Now I cannot go to my mother in laws yet her house reeks of smoke she actually sent a bag of tomatoes the other day and I had to have my daughter take the bag out it stunk so bad. But anyway....
    Maggie you are doing great and I look up to you....you have done great and continue to do good. I only hope that it goes as good for me.
    have a great night!

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  4. Thank you, Tabatha. It's amazing how the smell lingers. I'm fortunate not to be around smokers, but you are doing awesome and have such a great attitude even with so many smokers around you!

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