Saturday, September 15, 2007

Tuggings with a Side of Sneaky and JUB

Today is Smoke-free Day 89.

Like yesterday, today I still have quite a few of those tuggings. I do think it's fair to say that starting with the end of my taper off Chantix (around when I was at 0.25mg/day or 1/4 pill), it started becoming noticeable that one of my not smoking tools was missing. Still, I think I was as ready as I was going to be to go off Chantix, but I understand why some stay on it longer than 12 weeks and opt more for the 24 week plan or hear that suggestion from their doctors. Just like I strongly believe that which day is the best target quit date on Chantix varies from person to person (some Day 8, me Day 13, others Day X), I also believe the same about how long different people might need to stay on Chantix to feel secure enough to venture off of it.

Even with my own semi-elaborate ranking system of types of desires to smoke (from little tuggings, to medium sized urges to flat out huge cravings), I'm experiencing something that doesn't really fit any of those today, and yesterday, too. It's like tuggings but with something that goes a little deeper but really isn't much stronger, if that makes any or zero sense. The good news is that it's still easy enough to shrug off, but there is something at work in my scary head. I think I'm sticking with sneaky as a component of this feeling.

It's like the same as yesterday where the sneaky thoughts get in there with ideas like - why am I bothering to quit if I kind of miss smoking (answer: because of really icky diseases, death and being robbed of my money plus 100 more reasons), how bad would just one really be (answer: very because I'd likely start again as in the past), wouldn't that first one taste so good (answer: maybe, and maybe even probably, but then I'd be a smoker again), couldn't I just smoke now with a promise to quit later since I know I can do it (answer: nope, already did that already for years and years on end - I'm too old for the bullshit anymore).

This is the kind of sneaky I mean. Even today. The good news is that each question and answer lasts less than 15 seconds, and I know that I'll make it through until bedtime, even a super late bedtime because it's Friday, and I'm very well rested and have lots of coffee ready to go (still love the new coffee toy).

JUB - Just Until Bedtime, one day at a time, that's all I've ever asked of myself this whole quit to this point, and that's all that's required. Ever.

I'm not meaning to discourage folks if it comes across that way, just being honest about where I am today. I smoked well over 20 years, and I'm not quite 3 calendar months quit (that will be Tues 9/18), so I think it's both fair to still have some moments when it's not perfectly smooth, but I think it's awesome that it's really not any worse than just those little bitty tuggings with a side of sneaky because that ain't half bad considering the same 20+ years vs. not quite 3 months.

(This is why I love writing and blogging my way through this. I didn't get it when I started, but once I kept stabbing at it enough to articulate my feelings, now I do get it.)


  1. You are hardly discouraging!!! What I love about your blog is that you tell it like it is...the good, the bad, and the ugly! Quitting is not easy and it is definitely no picnic in the park. I joke about Chantix being my "magic pill", but we all know, there is no magic pill to quit smoking. Chantix definitely helps with the cravings and the awful heebie-jeebies of withdrawal, but we can't stay on it forever! At some point we will all have to get off of it and maintain our quit on our own. For me, I plan to do it sooner than later. I still plan to start tapering in my 3rd month. I'll just have to fight harder if, no make that WHEN, the cravings come, because I know they will come! This is the biggest fight of my life and I ain't going down easy!

    Like you, I smoked for 20+ years, so it's only normal that we get cravings! Scary, but I smoked for over half my life!!! Damn! Just saying(typing) it out loud, makes me ill! Anyway, I know I can't just stop and not expect some cravings. I'm sure The Evil Addict is not a happy's been in control for long! As ex-smokers, we've taken back control of our bodies so it's going to take time for us to feel normal again.

    You hang in there, Maggie!! Keep up the good work and keep on posting the honest, not-always-pretty words of an ex-smoker. As I've said before, you are an inspiration! Keep on doing your thing! Btw, love the JUB acronymn, first I've heard of it! Cool!

  2. Sorry to hear that Maggie. Don't worry about discouraging people, we are all going through the same things. Your quit is your quit. If it hurts, it hurts. No sense going through it alone.

    I still have strong desires to smoke from time to time, like you, I put them off. It is what it is, we were, and still are, junkies. We are compulsive smokers, there is no "just one". There is nothing bad about that, it just means we have to work everyday to stay away from them and stay strong.

    The other night I had a nice struck me as important...I saw some smokers in a bar, and it occurred to me "I don't ever have to do that again".

    I don't think it will ever truly go away entirely, but we can make it. Everytime you resist, you take a little more energy from the addiction and make the quitting a little stronger. The problem is it takes a damn long time :)

  3. MsTek, thank you, and yep, over half my life, too. Very creepy thought. I love how great you are doing, and I know you'll do awesome, too, when you do head off the Chantix. Just getting the head start of some months under my belt has helped tons in staying quit. JUB kind of came to me since I'm always thinking in terms of bedtime - you heard it here first ;)

    Nathan, agree with everything you said, especially about feeling how we feel and it being how it is for each of us at any given moment. You nailed it with the thought of never having to go the active addict route again - I've thought the same and find it so very, very true. I do expect that my whole life there will be remnants of the old smoker in me, but with way, way, way less influence as time without smoking marches onward.

    Thank you both for your support and your insight, too. Good stuff.

  4. Maggie....I wouldn't say your discouraging at all.
    I totally understand that its gonna be a fight even when I stop the chantix.
    My dr is talking about me starting a antidepressant he seems to think I am depressed since I gave up smoking! WHich could explain a lot.
    Maggie I like you smoked a long time. But we still have a long time to live and we can stay smoke free. I still get urges. I still miss them. we will.....but we can continue to live smoke free now and go on with our lives right?!!! Keep up the good work maggie......I know you can do it

  5. JUB - yep, I heard it here first! I tend to think of things in terms of bedtime too, so I'll probably use it at some point. But, I'll never forget where I heard it from and I will always give you your props! :-)

  6. Just thought I'd check in on you, Maggie. Sounds to me like you're about on congratulations. Those tuggings you talk about will be with you for quite a while, but they're so brief that they're managable. When I was quitting I tried to focus on the plus side of it...besides the health issue. My house smelled better, as did my clothes. I wasn't having to take my curtains down every month and wash the nicotine stain out of them. When I cleaned my computer monitor, it was just dust, not that icky brown stuff. And I loved telling people (especially my doctor) that I still hadn't had a cigarette.

    You're going to make it girl, and I think you've come far enough that you can honestly say now that you're a non-smoker.

    I wish you the best.

  7. Thank you, Tabatha, and keep on going we both will!

    MsTek, you are awesome.

    Good to see you, Cranky Daze, and yep, hanging in there and not missing the ick covering a bit.

  8. vMy goodnesss, please let got of this worry about discouraging others. I think it's much more discouraging to watch Superman (or, rather, Superwoman) quit smoking. Your truth comforts those of us (that would be ALL of us) who finding quitting to be the biggest battle of our lives.

    As usual, you continue to rock out.

  9. P.S. Looking at that post, I appear to be drunk. I am not. Just waking up!

    P.P.S. Am I getting old or are these spam-bot blocking words getting more difficult to decipher?

  10. Thanks, Danielle. It's OK to drink in the morning - I won't tell ;)

  11. MAGGIE... you are doing soooo incredible! I appreciate your comments on my blog ~ your encouraging words mean so very much! I know what you mean with the tuggings.... thats a perfect way to describel them. Since I am traveling ,I have no way to refill my rx... I thought I would make it back ust in time to refill for my scond package ~ but, i got called out early and was ill prepared. Needless to say, instead of being left with NO chantix in my system at the end of this crazy ass rotation I am in the midst of, I have begun tapering... I am taking 1 in the am and 1/2 in the pm. I do notice the tuggings a little more often ... which has encouraged me to definitely have the rx filled once I am back in LA!
    Never discouraging to read your words... Thank you for them!

  12. Maggie...I am so thankful that you are sharing you thoughts with us all..I am trying Chantix again...I have just moved up to the .05mg twice a day...I'm doing my own program I guess you could say...I too have smoked the majority of my lifetime....I can totally understand the thoughts of compromise that go through you mind...I do that now just starting the Chantix....I read your blog at least twice a week for inspiration I have it on my deskstop...Hang in there...You are leading the way for many of us....God Bless

  13. Thank you, No More/aka Lisa! So great that you are doing so well, and I love reading along.

    Awesome, all4, to hear that you are starting down this path, and it really does mean a lot to know that my experience can be of use to others. For me, just knowing there are so many of us out there truly helps.


Talk to me.