Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Not Punishment

Today is Smoke-free Day 134 (disclaimer - I think this is the last day I'll be mentioning it since my feet feel firmly planted back on track, unless tomorrow I decide it should stay - we'll see) .

I quit smoking 19 weeks ago on June 18th, 2007. Wow. In some ways these weeks have flown by and gotten so very much easier, and in other ways at other times, there are moments when it's not as easy. Even just this past weekend for no good reason I would have loved it if I could have smoked without consequence. I know that's not possible, so still, I remain smoke-free, and I remember that this whole quitting smoking thing is something *I* decided that *I* wanted to do for *me* for a host of very, very good reasons. Those reasons that I decided to take the Chantix path, then made the big leap to flying solo after tapering off Chantix, are the very same reasons that I bother waking up to each day deciding that I'll stay quit, at least Just Until Bedtime (JUB, as I've called it in the past).

It's not that I *can't* have a smoke because I'm being punished, even when it almost feels that way. No, it's a decision I make each time I would love to smoke but don't. If I really wanted to, I could, in fact, have a cigarette, but only in exchange for giving up things I've gained and getting back stuff I don't want. And it's not worth that.

In a quick off the top of my mind nutshell:

ICKY ME AS A SMOKER STUFF I DON'T WANT BACK: coughing through the night and scaring Tom (and the kitties), having to go out in the cold to spend money I don't have on poison, constant fear that cancer is just around the corner (still could be, but I like my chances better now), smelling like ass butts, standing in the bad kid outcast corner of society as if I'm not intelligent enough to understand how crazy and yucky it is to smoke, standing in the cold Oregon rain like a junkie getting my stinky fix

GOOD STUFF SINCE QUITTING THAT I REFUSE TO GIVE BACK: deep breaths all the way to the core (or the Next Level of Lung, as I've also called it), being able to laugh all the way down to my toes without it ending in an embarrassing and painful coughing attack, smelling so damn delicious all the time, feeling like I've accomplished a huge feat and can take on anything (well, many things, anyway), knowing that my cilia (that you all know I love more than is normal) are just loving me back big time, already $400 (modest number that's probably a bit higher) not spent on smoking (even if I'm not sure where it went...), knowing that the next $400 will also not be spent killing myself, generally just knowing that I've made the absolute best decision I could have ever made for my long-term health, kissing and snuggling with Tom without having to make "de-stink" attempts that always failed, so many more reasons

Nope, not worth trading all of the above for poison in my lungs (and entire body, actually). Despite anything my addicted little brain chooses to tell me at certain moments, I'm not being punished by not being "allowed" to just "enjoy" smoking. Turns out that I'm actually being rewarded for an excellent decision that I make over and over and over and over Rover to stay quit now that I've gotten there, and my reasons are simply fabulous and totally true. Proof in the pudding just as I'd hoped and all that. Damn, I've gotten smarter since quitting.


  1. Great Post! You have 2+weeks more than my quit, but I read your blog for continued inspiration. My Good Stuff: how wonderful my cooking tastes, how wonderful my garden smells (and me too!), no more snoring, wrinkles disappearing, skin healing and softer hair! But I am most proud that I have helped 4 people at work to quit too!

  2. Maggie, you continue to be an inspiration - that post was AWESOME!! It's a great reminder for all of us reformed smokers that the benefits of remaining smoke-free far outweigh the risks of starting again. You hit the nail right on the head with both the health reasons for not smoking AND the personal reasons. Have a great day!

  3. And Maggie, I want you to know that I really do like the person you are and I am absolutely certain we would be good friends.
    I read your words and I know damn well that you are right but somehow I am in a faze where I think about cigarettes and smoking all the time......I tell you, I think this last prescription was bogus and I've simply been taking expensive sugar pills for the last two weeks. Seriously.
    I have done a copy and paste of some of your words just so I can read them daily.

    You have been a trooper and my inspiration and I know you have helped a whole lot of other ex-smokers on their way to living a better life.
    You should be real proud of yourself and your husband should be even happier cause you are one hell of a woman and I'm glad I met you.

  4. Robert, congrats to you on your quit and inspiring others, too!

    Thank you, Bob. Yes, so many reasons.

    Aw, thanks, MamaFlo. Your words mean a lot. I love reading about your experience, too, and I do hope it gets easier soon. It will.

  5. Maggie - you are truly an inspiration. Today is my first day smoke free on Chantix. I am both hating it and loving it, looking forward to what it will feel like to be a nonsmoker. (I'm 42, and have been smoking close to 30 years). I found your blog the day before I started Chantix, and it answered a lot of questions that I had. I really appreciate all of your posts.

  6. Anonymous, Congrats on your first day smoke-free!! I hope that you will update sometimes or even start a blog where people can read along with you. I wish you the best!


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