Thursday, August 09, 2007

J's Mom

Today is still Chantix Day 64 and Smoke-free Day 52, and it's nothing less than awesome.

OK, J's Mom. Awhile back, I wrote about my dear friend J, and he is truly one of my best friends, and smoking was just kind of a part of our friendship because we both just loved smoking, we both talked a fair amount about enjoying smoking and how easy it was to be a smoker back in our Japan days, and we chain smoked during our marathon phone conversations (many miles between us, lots to say since neither of us are really the silent type; surprising, I know). J is the one who told me about his success with Chantix (he's now over 5 months smoke-free), and by doing so may have saved my life. I'd never even heard of Chantix and probably asked him 3 times "what's the name of that stuff you are taking and still not smoking, and how do you spell that again?"

J's been a busy guy because based on our recent emails, I think he may have saved his mom's life, too. I'll have to ask him about his other best friend that he told, too.

Here's the thing that struck me and why I want to share this. J and I are in our mid-30's (OK, fine, I'm 35 - practically the definition of "mid"), and if I started smoking when I was 12 years old (yes, 12, I had "issues" beyond the scope of any blog you'll see me author), and if I quit once for a bit over a full year that I'll subtract, by Maggie Math, that's basically 22 years as a smoker and a few random months here and there trying not to be with limited success. Also, I'd gotten myself from close to 2 packs a day in Japan to roughly just under a pack a day because of various circumstances, and I kept it close to that for quite awhile (unless there was alcohol or a phone marathon or other trigger involved - then double that ratio for better accuracy). Many people have smoked lots more than the 22 years I did and smoked plenty more than me while they did it.

Enter J's Mom, who is a part of my family even if I've never met her and who smoked for 35 years. This is her experience told through J (with minor editing to protect the innocent names, or something like that):
By all means...share my mom's story on your blog!!!!!!!

Mind you, for my mom, it’s been quite a difficult struggle...Chantix has helped tremendously, but she took it for almost 1 full month before quitting altogether!!! Mind you, during this time she had cut back to about 3 cigarettes a day, after smoking 2 packs a day for years!!! It was just the psychological attachment to the cigarettes that she couldn't get over...chantix can't fix everything...the will power has to kick in at some point. AND it eventually did with my mom...after realizing that she could go a full day without a cigarette, it gave her the realization that her attachment was, at that point, mental and not a physical dependence. At first, she gave her husband a pack of cigarettes and told him to hide them from her...but that if she was dying for 1, he would agree to give her 1 in the evening. She didn't know where the pack was located and she didn't want to know. This worked for a few weeks...some days she'd have one, some days she wouldn't. Eventually, she decided that enough was enough and she stopped altogether. Now, this proves that Chantix is not necessarily a "miracle" drug, but at the same time, I feel that it still has miracle-like effects...because my mom had tried quitting over 15 times w/ out success. She wouldn't even make it 3 or 4 days with other cessation methods (gum, patch, inhaler, lozenge, Welbutrin, etc...).
I'm not sure just how long it's been that J's Mom has been entirely smoke-free, but timing-wise I'm thinking about as long as me, probably even a bit longer. She doesn't read my blog, in fact, neither does J, but this is me giving her a great big hug. And J, too.

All of us running around and breathing and stuff. Crazy. Awesome.


  1. Thanks, for the leaving those comments on my blog. Its encouraging to get supportive comments after only my first post (now I only wish people would comment on my non-anonymous blogs ;))

    I started reading through your chantix posts, and I am glad that everything seems to be working out for you. I know there is no magic pill, but I can only hope I am as successful.

  2. Thanks,QFG! I look forward to reading about your experience, and I do think you can do this!

  3. I love hearing others stories about there quits and am glad your friend J not only helped you but his mother too.

  4. Thanks, Tabatha! Yep, I was thrilled when he told me.


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