Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Two Leaps, Chantix & Me

Today is Smoke-free Day 113. Was it really 16 weeks ago today that I quit smoking? Crazy.

Wonderful Bay got me thinking when she posted something said perfectly, so I won't re-phrase it because I love it just how it is and said this:
If anything, I credit Chantix with making me a quitter. I still think I was just being polite when I said I was going to try to quit smoking. Chantix made that polite disclaimer a reality. Not me. Chantix.
Now, I'm still taking a bucket load of credit for my part and what i did once it got to be quit day, but I agree that Chantix does get a decent chunk of the glory before the quit and many, many moments earlier in my quit when Chantix really made the difference in making it *tons* more bearable to actually be quitting smoking and becoming a non-smoker. As I've said plenty of times plus some, I'm still sticking with *not* calling Chantix a "magic miracle wonder drug cure," (though MsTekLady is having an incredibly great experience that almost makes me want to say for some maybe it almost is, but even she stops just short of the M word), but for me Chantix really, really helped tremendously with my cooperation.

Here's the thing. In April of 2007, quitting smoking was just one of those things on my list of things I still needed to do with my life (again), but that huge feat, looming in the scary way it does (because I knew how rugged it was), was conveniently always put on the back burner, this time especially because of the very bad news that prompted a change of residence (not a good time to quit smoking). So, I smoked, and I packed, and I smoked some more, and we moved, and I had no excuse other than still just not being ready to go into full battle armor fighter mode because that's what it usually took for me.

It takes a lot of work just to gear up to quit smoking, let alone actually do it for the first 24, then 48, then 72 hours (even then, not out of the woods, but at least on the path) and more from there. I knew this because I'd quit smoking a few times in the past with varying degrees of success (well over a year once). I was not yet there. I wasn't ready. I wanted to quit smoking, sure, but I was not to the point of geared up that I knew I needed to be in order to actually do it. I can't tell you how many times, feeling all silly for being a smoker when I was intelligent enough to know better and finding myself in an uncomfortable conversation about my smoking that I really didn't want to have, I would tell people "I am going to quit; it just won't be today." I said it. I meant it.

I look back now, and I still get it, and I am almost amazed that I'm not writing as someone who is still just thinking about quitting and wanting to quit but not yet geared up enough. The biggest reason is that my dear friend J mentioned his experience with Chantix and how well it was working for him, and I thought, OK, if I just have to want to quit smoking and cooperate but not be as fully mentally prepared to the degree required by previous attempts, I'll give it a go to see if it works, and I went to see the guy that my health insurance calls my doctor to ask for a prescription for Chantix.

Then, I took two big leaps:
  1. I started taking Chantix. From the first pill, I felt a sense that I was on my way, headed down this path, ready or not, I was going to quit smoking in the end, and I felt the confidence and determination come to me almost on their own as I was smoking less because of the Chantix and found myself really gearing up to quit even if I didn't quite love the idea just yet.
  2. I quit smoking. I wasn't ready on Day 8 because it's such a scary damn leap, but I was more than ready on Day 13 (and I'm not alone), and by then this leap wasn't quite so scary even if this still totally counts as a leap because this one is the big one and the difference between saying/wanting/hoping/wishing/promising/dreaming/considering and finally, for the love of all things good and sacred, just DOING! already.
After that, I simply (but not always easily) just haven't started smoking again and don't want to (most moments), even with the full 12 Chantix weeks (plus some with my taper off Chantix) behind me by just over a month now.

Chantix gave me that extra push to just go for it and quit smoking instead of dreading it for the next forever while trying to get more ready, and that made all the difference, especially with my cooperation from there.


  1. Maggie,

    I just wanted to come over here and thank you for the link list I used to create my blogroll on Quit Coping. I realize how much leg work you've put into creating the list and keeping up with the Chantix blogosphere. You're awesome. I truly appreciate the amount of time and legwork you saved me by publishing such a concise list. I hope you don't mind my use of it.

    Not only that but I'm aware that the success of my BlogFabulous Chantix post is in large part due to your participation in the comments. You really are being a bright light to hundreds and hopefull thousands of smokers, including myself.

    Please accept my sincerest gratitude and let me know if there is anything I can do to repay you.

    Tracee Sioux

  2. Maggie......I am so glad that I have come to know a little about you and that you told me about this blog thing. I also have to thank you for all the encouragement you have given to me throughout my quit.
    You are truly an awesome person!!!!
    Continued congrats to you on your quit. I know you can stay quit!!!!

  3. Congrats on 113 smoke-free days!

    I totally agree with you when you say "Chantix & Me" because this is a partnership. WE quit smoking and the Chantix HELPED us do it...and it's definitely a HUGE help!

    I jokingly refer to Chantix as my magic pill, but of course, there is no magic pill to quit smoking...in the end, it is up to the smoker to quit and up to the non-smoker to maintain his or her quit.

    Maggie, I agree with the Tracee and Tabatha, you are awesome! You are a true inspiration to us quitters and I really appreciate you! :-)

  4. Thank you, Tracee. Much appreciated.

    Tabatha, I'm just glad that you are blogging about your journey, too, because I really enjoy getting to know you and reading along. You inspire me every day that you write.

    MsTekLady, thanks, and yep, I know you always stop just short of the word magic, and I love that because I agree with you 110%, but I am *so* impressed at how well you are doing and how much the Chantix seems to really be doing its thing for you. That's just cool.


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