Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Just One or Three

Today continues to be Chantix Day 69 and Smoke-free Day 57, and thankfully, I'm back to just barely feeling tuggings today, if that much even. Yes, it's that good again. No urges, no cravings (never even reached cravings level on the worst parts of the past weekend).

I shared this below today as my comments where I just meant to write a sentence or two. Since it turned into what it did and so that I never lose track of it and in case you don't read all the same places I do and might find it helpful, I'm sharing it here now, too:

Today is 8 weeks smoke-free here, and the Chantix continues to help, even if it doesn't do it without my cooperation. It was a hell of a weekend. I would have given anything to have a smoke without consequences, but I know better.

I quit once for well over a year. Had a drink or two one night, and had a smoke. Just one. Just once.

It took another few years before I had the guts to try quitting again sometime in late 2004, I think.

Then I went a few months smoke-free on yet another quit attempt. And we went to Reno. I was having free drinks, playing video poker, feeling free, on vacation, me time and all of that. The guy next to me was smoking my brand or at least something menthol. What the hell, the cost of smokes at the casino was only double what they would be at home, and I wanted it badly enough even that many months quit, that I convinced myself it was a bargain and plunked down my money telling myself that it was just a one time thing, the last pack I'd ever buy anyway. I'd be OK. I was still a non-smoker. Only other people actually start smoking full-time again after playing with fire like I was. I'd done it once before without starting again, so this time would be no different. I was smarter and different than everyone else, and I'd proven to myself that I actually could get away with a smoke or three every once in a great, great while.

I lied to myself as I got on the plane to come home with the remainder of pack number who knows how many I'd paid double for by then (but it was more than just that one last one, for certain). I lied to myself first by saying the rest of the pack wouldn't even make it onto the shuttle from hotel to airport. I was leaving it all behind in Reno. Then it became OK, at airport, one last smoke, and then goodbye forever. Then, OK, in my bags, but as soon as I finish that one, I'm done. I mean, I still was a non-smoker, right?


Dead wrong.

That all happened in February of 2005. This is August of 2007. In between, I've quit a few months here and there because I obviously I'd started again here and there. I believed each time that I could have just one. Sometimes I was right as rain, and it was just that one. In fact, once I had one very, very early into a quit deliberately because I was craving one so badly and knew that a guy at work smoked the most awful brand and that it would be disgusting. I did have just one, and it was horrible. That was the precise reason I had it. That time, it worked. I do not recommend this to anyone - I'm just saying that's how that went. This time, thankfully with Chantix, I haven't had to resort to such a risk, and I don't have the guts to even take that chance.

Back to every time I've told myself that one puff was no big deal. Clearly, my plan went awry, no matter what lies I insisted on telling myself.

What hurts my heart to think about is that while I lied to myself, I also lied to the person who loves me the most, and I said the same lies out loud to him. "Don't worry. I promise. It's just here. It's just in Reno." The look on his face when I lit up once we got home still haunts me.

This is just my own experience. Everyone is different. I will be posting all of the above on my own blog as a reminder to myself because it's one more tool for me to use on days like this past weekend when a smoke sounded so damn good, and I need all the tools I can get. Thankfully the tools I had on hand worked just fine this time.

'Nuff said.


  1. I so totally know what you mean. I also had quit a few times. And then I would go to the bar for a few drinks, I'd bum a few, buy a pack out of the vending machine at atleast a dollar more. Sometimes I would leave what was left on the bar...other times it was a new start to an ugly habit. It always sounded so innocent..."it's just one" I would tell myself. But one turned into one pack, one pack turned into one week...and so on. You are not alone on that one. You also were not alone with the cravings this past weekend. I was there too...and I was also taking in some deep breaths. We will make it. One day at a time...just like all those supposed "one only" incidents. But this time it's not just "one only"...it's only forever...without the smokes!!

  2. I've never quit in any meaningful way since I started. This is really my first time. I hope it sticks.

  3. Jaime, yep, it sounds so innocent... Glad you made it through the weekend, too!

    Tasina, you can make it stick! Not kidding yourself about having one is a good start - that's what always got me.

  4. Maggie, as you know I went down the same road as you. Just one night, just this pack...well maybe I can be a social smoker.

    Well, I can't. I know this now. It will never be ok for me to have a cigarette, not one, not ever. And I think you know that about yourself as well. It's hard, but we are making it. One night, minute, moment at a time. Stay strong.

  5. It's crazy, Nathan, isn't it? I think you said you were even quit longer, like four years. It's always just kind of there waiting if we get bold enough to tempt it.

  6. maggie as always I feel so inspired by reading your post.

  7. Thank you, Tabatha. I'm always inspired by your journey, and I'm glad to see you doing so well. Just good stuff.

  8. You know, I think I tried to quite before, but was always kidding myself. 48 hours was all I made it. Just one, it's so easy to say. I wore the nicotine patch and still smoked. I don't want to smoke, I know in my head I shouldn't. I've made it this far and I don't intend to smoke even just a puff.

  9. Amen, Sherri. Once you've come this far, no point in going back.


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