Wednesday, June 18, 2008

One Year

Today is smoke-free day 367, if you count the first day as Day One. Throw in a leap year, and in Maggie Math it's time to celebrate the first of what I hope will be many anniversaries of the day I chose to give up every single bullshit reason not to quit smoking and to just do this thing.

Today, One Year, Smoke-Free, Me!

I feel like this should be a really super special post full of really deep insight or something, but really today will be a continuation of those days before it, a continuation of the same things I've been writing about here for the past year. I will commit to myself not to smoke today, one day at a time and then just keep that commitment, even if there may always be certain times I'd still love to be able to smoke with impunity. This is a choice I make daily for reasons I used to read from a piece of paper for courage but that are now becoming more of a living and breathing part of this new smoke-free me.

This year I've started living life more fully, beginning with that first post about my decision to try Chantix and the days leading up to my quit day post on June 18, 2007 (Day 13 on Chantix because I set my drop dead no matter what quit date further out since I felt I needed more time - some people just do). If you are interested in reading from the start of my journey, you can start with the archives page for June 2007, and read from the bottom up, month by month. I've had a lot to say, and the search box is your friend for specifics topics. Also, my email address does work, and I don't bite. Unless you look too delicious. Or taste like a latte. Yummy!

Other folks' blogs and articles I've found helpful along my journey are in my Linky Loos, and this particular portion of this particular site is a really great starting point for information and inspiration. One of many excellent bits on that page is this about what happens when we quit smoking:

20 minutes after quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drops.
(Effect of Smoking on Arterial Stiffness and Pulse Pressure Amplification, Mahmud, A, Feely, J. 2003. Hypertension:41:183.)

12 hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
(US Surgeon General's Report, 1988, p. 202)

2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
(US Surgeon General's Report, 1990, pp.193, 194,196, 285, 323)

1 to 9 months after quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.
(US Surgeon General's Report, 1990, pp. 285-287, 304)

1 year after quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's.
(US Surgeon General's Report, 1990, p. vi)

5 years after quitting: Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker 5 to 15 years after quitting.
(US Surgeon General's Report, 1990, p. vi)

10 years after quitting: The lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker's. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix, and pancreas decrease.
(US Surgeon General's Report, 1990, pp. vi, 131, 148, 152, 155, 164,166)

15 years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker's.
(US Surgeon General's Report, 1990, p. vi)
And so, here at one year smoke free, still counting the days every single day because this works for me, my risk of coronary heart disease, an issue of particular concern in my family, is half that of a non-smoker.

What it didn't say is that at 1 year after quitting:
I have met some of the most wonderful fellow quitters (and even just fellow people who blog because this experience has led me beyond just not smoking) whose words have helped me along my journey and without whom this would have been so much tougher and likely not nearly as enjoyable. You all know who you are - if I've read about your quitting experience or you have ever left me an encouraging comment, that's you. From the bottom of my heart, sincerely, THANK YOU.

At the request of several of my favorite readers, I will come up with a way to celebrate in style, Maggie style, likely involving coffee, but for now the laptop back in April and the bloggy redesign were both pretty much rationalized in advance of this day. It may sound simple to say, but waking up another day, being able to take a deep breath all the way to the bottom of my lungs, not coughing no matter if I'm laughing so hard that I pee my pants and feeling like I'll make it to bedtime without sucking poison into my lungs is reward enough for a girl like me.

25 comments:

  1. It's just so brilliant - well done!
    Chris x

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  2. Woo Hoo Maggie! Congratulations! I am sooo proud of you!

    This is definitely a difficult journey for us all and it's so refreshing to see a 1 year milestone reached. You keep going one day at a time and I'll stay right behind ya. :)

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  3. Wow! ONE YEAR! WOOOOHOOOO TO YOU!!! High five! Snaps! I love it I love it I love it (leg kicking wildly in air!)

    Seriously, though, all celebration aside -- that's awesome. And what an amazing list that is. I'm actually surprised there are even smokers left with information like that floating around. You're doing awesome, day by day is the best way to go. It must be a tough road to travel -- you should be proud of yourself for conquering it this far!

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  4. Maggie,
    You can call it a year or you can call it "Maggie Math" but all I know is you did it! One year off of the evil drug nicodemon and one year better health because your not outside inhaling garbage into your lungs! Its fuuny, who would have thought that I would have been on the net looking up stuff about Chantix and I would end up part of this quitting network? Your blog was inspirational to me and it is still a safe haven when I feel like a cigarette "sounds good."

    Maggie's Mind was the first Chantix blog I started reading and you were one of the people that made me really believe that it was possible to quit smoking! You were kind enough to e-mail me and let me know I could do it and told me all about Chantix...the good, the bad whatever! If I am still blogging on November 11, 2009 I will be able to celebrate a year too! (Blogging for me is kinda like doing meetings for drug addiction) Thank you for being there when times were tough. I love being able to give it back to others trying to kick the habit!

    Again, thanks for being there for me and a ton of others! You rock Maggie and I really appreciate the bond I have developed with you over the last seven months! Happy Birthday and I hope to see you post about many more to come. I wish you togetherness with Tom to celebrate this milestone. I bet he is thrilled for you.
    Peace,
    Diva

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  5. Yay! Yay! Yay!
    Congratulations on 1 year!!!!

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  6. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Thanks for sharing and supporting...

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  7. hmm, I just tried to leave a comment and it errored out. Ah well.

    Congratulations Maggie. Truly inspiring.

    2 more weeks for me. Seems like forever ago that we ran into each other out here blogging about Chantix.

    Congrats! Spoil yourself today!

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  8. Congratulations! I just learned (by accident)that my husband has a prescription for Chantix to help him quit dipping. I didn't even know that his dipping was regular enough that he would need help quitting, so it was a little upsetting to find out that way.

    I'll be spending lots more time on your blog reading past posts to for encouragement - for both of us.

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  9. Maggie, I'm so proud of you. Keep up the hard work and it pays off. I'm amazed at the differences I can feel in my body after almost 3 yrs.

    YAY! :)

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  10. Major congrats. This is quite a milestone.

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  11. I've already told most of you this, but it's worth saying again and again and again - Thank You. This kind of support really helps.

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  12. Maggie,

    I cannot express to you what an inspiration you are to me. I'm going to remind you again of that day I was feeling so alone in my quit and then you showed up out of the blue with your kind comments. I cried so hard when I read your words. You did my heart more good than you can possibly know. Just to know that there was one other human being out there going through what I was going through and understood perfectly all my fears and doubts...you made me feel connected when I was just spinning along all alone. You are such an amazing woman. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for offering me your friendship and support. Congrats on your year my dear friend. *great big weepy hug*

    Tasina

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  13. Aw, Tasina, I am *so* glad that I found you. You have no idea. Reaching out to you that day helped me more than you know - the things I said to you were the very things I needed to remember myself. So, thank *YOU*.

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  14. It's eerie how from the first moment I started reading you online, your determination seemed so solid and your willpower so well above anything I've seen before. It makes me want to cry for you at this special crossroads. So I sit here like a wuss, with tears in my eyes, and honestly just run out of words. How could I ever tell you how much of a role model you have become for me and for so many others, I'm sure? I hope you continue this fight and never have to do the whole quitting again. If anyone can do it, as I see it, it's you.
    Respect and cheers!

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  15. You really are an amazing writer, you know that, right?

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  16. Congratulations! I am so happy and proud for you!!!

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  17. Stan, thank you. You have been there since the very, very, very start, and I appreciate your support so much.

    Thank you, Janet. Wow. I'm not even sure what to say, so just, um, very much, thank you.

    Thank you, Annie!

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  18. CONGRATULATIONS!!!
    Mother Humper, of all the days not to read blogs!! I'm sorry Maggie but you know that my soul was with you on this 1 year Anniversary and beyond. You really are a beacon of light and I love you.
    Deb

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  19. Maggie, you rock.
    Honest to Pete, I don't know where I'd be without you.

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  20. MamaFlo, no worries. You have been so encouraging all along, and I appreciate it so very, very much. Someday I hope we get to meet.

    Aw, Jude, thank you. I'm so thrilled to see you hanging tough. I love your determination because it reminds me to stay tough and keep going!

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  21. Yea, Maggie!!!! (Sorry, I'm a bit late - playing the catch up game.)

    Congratulations!

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  22. Good, good, GOOD FOR YOU!!

    Congratulations!

    Keep 'er goin'!

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