Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Our Own Paths

Today is Chantix Day 91 (or day 2 of the 0.25mg dose while tapering) and Smoke-free Day 79. I'm still not noticing much difference while tapering other than some extra tuggings (not even quite urges and certainly not cravings) this weekend (and maybe even this morning), but some days are like that, even on the full dose, so I'm not convinced one way or the other whether it's related to tapering (ask your doctor), so I'm just mentioning it.

I got thinking yesterday after reading Sue's post because she made a hugely valid point when she said that her quit "may not be as easy or quick as someone else's." It is so true that each of us will have our own unique combination of experiences along the path of quitting. It makes sense when you consider that we each go into our own quits as completely different people. Sure, there are some similar experiences, plenty of them, in fact, but not all apply to all people or always to quite the same degree. I think this is important to consider when reading about others' experiences while comparing and contrasting to our own.

Some are ready to have a few drinks in a bar with friends on quit day or within a few days of quit day, and others are on Day 79 smoke-free and still haven't (though it's around my corner). Some have 5 years worth of life as a smoker, while others have 45 years worth of thinking as a smoker heading into this process. Some need to get all cigarettes or smoking paraphernalia gone before quit day, while others keep cigarettes around for a few months or even forever (again, not suggesting, just saying). Some get a little (or a lottle) gassy on Chantix, while others get to enjoy the dreams and have zero bloating. Some get all deep and philosophical and feel that quitting smoking extends into other areas of their lives where there is action to be taken (for me, this seems to be related to cooking in some mysterious way yet uncovered - working on a few theories - while others get up to or into far more deep and interesting stuff), while others simply just quit smoking with the rest of life otherwise remaining basically, and perhaps even blissfully, intact overall. Some can't imagine quitting on Chantix Day 8, while others can't imagine still smoking even a minute beyond that date if not quitting even sooner. Some have health issues already beating loudly at the door of their quit, while others just fear they might get the visit from the C-word (the 6 letter one) fairy "someday." Some have just the right amount of loving support around them, and some have none or too much that's not the kind they would like or from whom they like it. Some folks are at stable periods of relative calm in their lives during which they can put as much focus (or not) as they wish on quitting smoking, while others have a veritable crapstorm circling around them every morning they awake fresh from a crazy Chantix dream, yet they want to fight this fight right along with all of the other crap they are battling, too, to just be done with it once and for all and all at once. Bold folks, those. Some are fairly certain this will be their last quit, while others have fears (founded, unfounded, or in between) that it maybe won't be. Some who haven't quit in the past might not know some of the tools that will help them the most those first days and weeks, but those who have quit before also know just how easy it really is for themselves in particular to become a smoker again.

My point is simply that as similar as we are in quitting smoking (and even doing so using Chantix), and as much as we can learn from each other (and thank goodness for that, again, because it has been such a huge part of my quit), each of us has our own path to actually walk in becoming a non-smoker. I can only share my own experience about how my own path has been with some thoughts about what someone else's path might maybe could be like based on that, but we each get to feel what we feel (with or without sensible reasons) and do what we need to do. As long as your path keeps heading to Not-a-Smoker-Ville and doesn't involve harming people too badly along the way, then that's probably the right path for you, whatever form that path takes considering the twists of variables above and then some. We'll all get there and release a bazillion floaty things of some variety - perhaps we should just bring our own because I'm not sure which floaty thing will really float your boat.

7 comments:

  1. Exceptional post Maggie, and so true. My buddy, who is also quitting with me, wants to hang out in the smoking break area during a break and chew gum. I on the other hand, want nothing to do with it.

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  2. Thank you, Tim! I've done both on different quits ;) The best part is that you'll both still make it as long as you keep not smoking.

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  3. Hi Maggie,
    Great post! The struggle with this addiction really hit me after reading it. I understand our freedoms, rights and all of those valid constitutional issues but really, why are cigarettes, loose tobacco, chew, dip, etc still for sale? The drag on the health care system is enormous and there is no "safe" consumption of this drug. I'm sure economic considerations will ensure the continued nicotine commerce but it's just a shame that thousands of people will exercise this particular choice.

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  4. I was going to post a nice comment about what you wrote, but then I read wack-a-do's comment and got all riled up. But since I don't want to cause a smoke-free bar brawl here on your comments, let me just say in answer to her question....

    NEVER - because chocolate, steak, and coffee would be next - I DO NOT NEED THE GOVERNMENT MAKING MY CHOICES FOR ME.

    *crawls off soapbox and turns back into nice, sweet Tasina*

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  5. Great Post Maggie. And, congrats on making it this far. I agree, we all approach life differently. It should follow that we approach quitting smoking in our own unique ways. I'm thrilled that I've been able to share in your experience and other's too!

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  6. Excellent post, Maggie! You make some really good points!

    On a totally different note, guess what's cooking in my oven at this very moment??!! A UNO's frozen pizza!! I found it, just by chance, in the frozen section at the grocery store! I wasn't even looking for pizza! I'm sure it won't taste the same as a fresh UNO's pizza, but hey, I'll take a frozen Chicago pizza over any other pizza, any day of the week! I think my timer just went off! Mmm, mmm, mmm! :-)

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  7. Wack-a-do, good to see you! The addiction is a crazy thing, and I am angry that the tobacco folks have gotten away with finding ways to make it all more addicting, even if I do tend to agree with Tasina that I wouldn't want to see an outright ban especially when there are plenty of other things legal that are dangerous and illegal that aren't as dangerous. It's a tough one, but I'm glad I've withdrawn from the game and hope others do, too.

    Thanks, Sherri! I enjoy reading along with your experience, too. It helps!

    MsTekLady, OMG. All that cooking I've been putting in my freezer of late, and I'd gladly trade it all, every meal, for just one bite of Uno's pizza. Dear Heaven, why am I so far away? Hope it was delish!

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