Date With Destiny
2005-08-21 18:59:23 (UTC)

Romancing the smokes

From CPerry on 8/21/2005 12:45:49 PM

We every one of us romanticised smoking, went through a
period of mourning in our early quits. Did you ever hear
of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, the woman who pioneered the
hospice movement? She's the same person who came up with
what is called 'stages of grief' -

1. Denial and Isolation.
2. Anger.
3. Bargaining.
4. Depression.
5. Acceptance.

The reality of change - what we are all doing here - is
that we will also have to do the work of grief, to greater
or lesser degrees. After all, for years, we practiced
denial and self-justification, expressed or felt anger at
those who criticised our smoking; we may have bargained a
bit by trying to cut down, changing the location or brand
we smoked (I did) - felt 'what the hell, I've gotta die of
something' - and finally, perhaps, accepted the truth:
that smoking is lethal, and that there is ultimately, only
one outcome...

What I did, to be frank, is to get pissed off. I tried to
quit, CT & with no preparation... I was from hell,
stressed-out, bitchy (I'm a librarian, and just imagine
approaching me at the reference desk and having me bite
your head off!) It didn't work. That scared me, and
angered me... I began to learn about smoking & what it did
to the body... I learned about the tobacco industry, and
their heinous practices... and as I did these things, I
began to consciously think, every time I lit up, looking
at the cigarette: "This is poison." "This is poison." But
still, 20 times per day, I lit poison and inhaled it. Oh,

And I watched the behaviors of myself and others. I began
to notice that I'd planned dinner around having a last
cigarette before eating... that my passage to meetings,
too, was interrupted before & after by a trip to the
smoking area. That car-trips were measured by how many I'd
smoke - or how many I did not. All that, and more.

Observing my junkie behavior turned out to be good
preparation for my quit.

But I was scared. I'd never quit before, except for that
one hastily-aborted time... I wanted to assemble all the
best weapons I could. I had moved beyond denial, but I had
little faith in my own ability, my strength, and will-
power (after all, that had never done a damn thing for me,

So I did more homework. Found wellbutrin, NRT, the Q. I
kept learning, not giving myself the 'out' of ignorance...
and then

I leapt for it, an act of faith
not knowing if I could, no idea
but just taking one moment, one hour, one day at a time
with the hands and help of others around me,
with laughter and shared celebration
and I built from there.

You CAN DO THIS. We're talking about a life here.

4 1/2 years