Friday, August 31, 2007

Normally Nothing

Today is Chantix Day 86 (or day 1 of the 0.5mg dose while tapering) and Smoke-free Day 74. I'm happy to report that I still am noticing nothing different with the reduced dose, so nothing really to report on that, and I see that as a good thing ;)

Yesterday was a very busy day and more of the same in the evening, but not wanting to smoke through any of it was certainly welcome. When things were this busy in the past, I always felt like I needed my little smoke breaks in between every single task. Smoking was my reward for completing one thing, and my encouragement before doing some other thing, especially if it was something I didn't want to do. Most especially if it was something at work that I didn't want to do. My brain became so used to the evil nicotine reward system I'd created that it was strange once it was gone. I mean, what exactly is it that "normal" non-smoking folks do in between, well, anything? I couldn't just go stand next to people's desks to watch them for my answer, but I didn't really need to anyway because I already knew but just didn't quite understand how I could do the same after training my brain to want poison (along with the poison that nicotine alone already is). So what is it that these normal people do in between every single task?

Normally, nothing. Nope, not a damn thing. They just start on the next one without thinking of smoking. Wow.

Sure, maybe once in awhile have some sips of coffee or talk to someone or take a potty break or grab a little snack, but it's all more random since none of those things have quite the same pull that going and having a smoke had, and it's not the first thought literally with every single task accomplished like it was for me. Every time, I'd wonder if it had yet been an hour since I'd smoked since I thought about every hour was fairly reasonable.

So, what goes in the place where smoking used to be? When I first quit, plenty of water and breathing filled those gaps. My walking with the work ladies took the place of one of my smoke breaks. Going a little nutty and wishing I could smoke but knowing it wasn't an option filled in some of the other blank spots for awhile, too. For just awhile, though, because eventually, at some point not even that far into this whole not smoking thing, I started acting like and thinking more and more like a person who doesn't smoke, and then I was, dare I say it, almost "normal." Not only did I not "need" my poisonous little treat in my reward system, but I didn't even really need to replace it with something every hour, either. I can just function, work, live life, do my thing and all that other stuff. Sure, there are still times when the thought of smoking pops up where it used to, but each day is more progress, and now most days are just fine rewarding myself less directly by just knowing that whenever, at any point in my day, if I want a deep breath or a belly laugh without coughing, I can have it because it's right there for the taking just because I don't smoke.

And now a couple more links added to the side that I'll be adding these to my list of Linky Loos soon:

Current, Regularly Updated Blogs I Read Daily:
  • With Chantix and a little bit of Hope - Hope's blog. Since Hope hadn't been posting posting back on her quit date of August 18, 2007, she's been recapping what we missed as she keeps moving forward.
  • Lisa Quits - Lisa's Blog. Lisa looks forward to smoke-free clothes with a quit date of August 30, 2007 and an end to a habit that's still disgusting even when the cigarettes are of the more lady-like variety.


  1. You are so right on about the reward system. And I have been wondering what you have just answered. (What do "normal" people do?) I can't *yet* fathom not having that reward/break but clearly it is not necessary. Thanks again Maggie!

  2. Thanks for the link :) I do the same thing at work- invoicing done- check
    time for a smoke before I take out the mail.

    Now I check out blogs in between tasks. lol

  3. Great post, Maggie! As a new quitter, I'm still trying to figure out what "normal" people do! I haven't had any cravings, but it still feels like I'm "missing" something at break times and at meal times...I know that's just out of habit and those feelings will eventually go away, but for now, it's like, ok, no cigarette, what next? Just goes to show you how much control smoking has over one's life. Ugh!

  4. Thank you, everyone. It is so odd how the whole habit side of smoking just permeates daily routine, and it's so nice to be starting to see the other side even if I'm not all the way there yet.

  5. Maggie, just wanted to stop over and say thanks for your support on my blog. It's been a help to have someone there to support me and knows what we're going through. Great blog.

  6. Thank you, Tim. I'm wishing you the best on your quit!


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