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Monday, October 17, 2005

One-Year Anniversary

November is actually national quit smoking month, but I'm here to announce that as of right now, I've been denying myself cigarettes for just over one year. The anniversary came on October 12th. I don't know how silly a motivator this is, but I decided to quit just before I turned 31. That way I could compartmentalize the filthy habit as something that I stopped doing at 30. We'll see how that works out. I've quit for about a year previously, but I think this is the longest I've gone without a single "slip".

Another big motivator was Soapy telling me that I couldn't. Big props to Soapster for making this whole thing competitive.

And even bigger props to my basketball crew... especially Kelly, Karl and John B., who consistently checked on my progress (even through a couple of earlier aborted attempts) and were encouraging without ever being intolerant. The same could be said for both my parents, but of course, they weren't down at the bar every Thursday night when temptation was rearing its ugly head.

Also worth noting: The hardest parts are 1) Watching movies like 2046 which make you want to smoke every 5 minutes and 2) Waking up from a dream in which you've just smoked a cigarette. It's an overwhelming feeling of guilt and failure until you realize it didn't really happen. The easiest part is the actual nicotine addiction. This probably just fuels my anger toward the drug companies, but I don't think the patch would have been any help to me at all. My strongest cravings lasted months (and still occur now and then) and weren't triggered by physical withdrawls. They were entirely about the psychological addiction aspect. _Rants



At 10/17/2005 07:19:00 PM, Blogger walaka said...

Happy anniversary!

At 10/18/2005 12:50:00 AM, Blogger diane said...

I would like to hear from you, Johnbai, and others who have quit lo these many years, talk about their initial motivation and subsequent stick-to-it-ness. What started you off, and what kept you going to keep off? A forum, please!

At 10/18/2005 01:02:00 AM, Blogger wheylona said...

Congrats--looking forward to reading abot the second anniversary!

At 10/21/2005 05:40:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, congratulations. May I share the anniversary? It's been about a year for me, too. I don't remember the exact day,but the day I really turned the corner was October 17th, three years ago, during a hypnotherapy session. I must be past the 95th percentile on hypnosis susceptibility, because that just turned my mind inside out about smoking. Three hours, then I immediately drove home and got a bad flu (out of nowhere) and a week later I was a non-smoker.

I did end up going back to the habit when I was in Japan, just because. But when I finally did decide to quit again, a year or so ago, I found it super easy. And even though I do get cravings, and I still smoke in dreams from time to time (but never without guilt) I just relate to them differently. I know it sounds corny, but I just don't identify with the craving anymore. It used to be "I want a smoke!!" but now it's like I'm outside my brain, watching myself have a little tantrum, knowing that it's not me who wants to smoke. I feel like it's practice for parenting. Of course this is perfectly corny but it worked wonders. If you haven't tried it, I'd recommend it.



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