Cart before the horse
I'm sorry, I have to barge right in with an update. If you have not been to Ann's for her "Oprah and a Cheesecake" post yet today, then go. Right now. I'll wait. I haven't even finished reading it yet and I had to come back over here to point you over there. Go now, learn somethin', then come back.
I've had the books on the left forever; well, since the '80s. More Knitting In Vogue has always seemed a little incomplete -- 'til now! As of yesterday, I know what precedes the "more"! Susie has been so supportive of the quit effort and I've been enjoying her blog (go see her daughter's wedding dress, and she's looking for advice about blog hosts). When she made a recent haul at a thrift store, she looking to give away some of the excess. I raised my hand. She sent them out via UPS and I was tracking the package through the new Bloglines package tracking feature (though it never showed as updated, the info was there when I clicked by chance), so I knew they'd be waiting for me when I got home last night. Nifty.
She also sent the container of espresso beans atop the books -- how did you know that I love those, Susie? How did you know that my supply is dangerously low?? And look at those cute stitch markers. Sweet. Thank you, Susie!
I was on the phone all night with the twins. It's the first time I actually talked with my quitter sister since we quit (we usually email daily)! It was very interesting, as we've both approached it in very different ways. I'd barely put the phone down when it rang again. I can't knit and hold a phone in the crook of my neck -- it would lead to traction or at least a neck brace -- so the knitting was put off (way off) last night. When I finally did sit to knit, I decided to get started on a baby bootie. Good grief, I barely got started and I was almost finished! Teeeeny. Isn't it cute? I'll knit the partner tonight, then knit another pair with larger needles (bigger bootie) and I'll still have plenty of Kool-aid yarn to knit another bunch o' booties!
Speaking of smoking. Five weeks. FIVE WEEKS TODAY! Can you believe it, Ann? My sister said to thank you, by the way. If you had not been my catalyst to quit, I wouldn't have been hers, and we'd still be controlled by stupid cigarettes.
Did I mention that one of the strongest urges I've had to date was after my first knitting class on Saturday? I had some weird anxiety building up as the date neared -- my first-ever class, concerns about ability, meeting a blogger, being a blogger -- all of that was fine, no one pointed or laughed at me for any reason. I was able to execute, to some degree, every knitting move that I was asked to do -- with Joyce Williams or Lizbeth Upitis or Lily Chin -- classmates, even -- looking over my shoulder! It was all extremely enjoyable, but incredibly intense -- learning new things, knitting with other people, looking at the incredible work of others -- when that class let out, I wanted a smoke. A month earlier, I would have been out the door like a shot, the cigarette lit before the door closed behind me. I would have been contemplating, relaxing, absorbing, relaxing, going over what I'd learned, relaxing.
It was at that very moment -- that VERY MOMENT -- that Amy Lu (the fellow blogger) asked, "So, how's the quitting smoking going?" I was in the midst of resisting an urge and I think I told her about it. Then I think I said, "It's going okaaaaaay." And then, along with the other Amy, we went out to lunch!
It's Kt's 20th birthday today. Twenty years ago today, I woke up at a little after 4:00 a.m. I started writing numbers down on a piece of paper (which I still have): 4:19, 4:25, 4:29, 4:35 -- 5:17, 5:23, 5:30 -- 6:53, 6:57, 7:03, 7:10 -- some of these were written in DH's hand, some of them have numbers following them, signifying duration, I think, and a couple of have the words "very mild" written after them. There's one line that reads, "Shower 3 or 4." Yep, it's a record of my contractions. They pretty much started off at 5 +/- minutes apart and stayed that way all day. I sent DH to work, and called my doc (the only person I know from Saskatchewan) to see if I should wait and keep my regularly scheduled appointment that day or just come in whenever. I kept track until 11:24 when I left the motel. I drove myself -- in a manual transmission Subaru, hitting the clutch between contractions -- the 15 miles to DH's workplace so he could take me to the hospital. At 10:00 p.m., I finally gave birth to a 6 lb. 10 oz., 20" redhead. Happy Birthday, Katherine!
It's one of those days, people. I've got lots more to say. Most of it is about smoking, though, so I'm going to use that nifty extended entry feature...
I had an email from someone who has been both supportive of my quit and planning one of their own. She asked how I was doing and if I'd post my progress. Sometimes I feel like I write about it too much, and sometimes not enough (y'all probably can't wait 'til the birthdays are over and my sister has her baby so I'll stop with the reminiscent birthing/nursing stuff). Well, here's how I'm feeling as of now -- this is basically my email reply to her.
I walked to the mailbox at work today -- always was a primo smoking time -- and it was okay. I take a deep breath and put one foot in front of the other. I used to pop a piece of gum or a mint for that walk, but didn't really do that for long. A man who rents another part of the building was smoking outside his door; he chuckled and told me that he was "on break." I told him that I quit that break -- five weeks ago. Five whole weeks. I can't believe how quickly they've added up! He asked me what it was like, we talked about triggers a bit, the patch; I told him that one of the best things was having the kids off my back and he said that there are a lot of people on his back about it, too.
When my sister called me the other night, we chatted about the kids, work, her pregnancy, the doula, blah blah blah. I finally said something about not smoking and she said, "Oh, I was wondering how it was going, but Mom said that you don't want to talk about it!" Ha. Mom and I did stuff together those first few weeks when it was so hard, when this very sister pissed me off so badly and made me wish I could buy one cigarette. Mom would ask me about smoking and I'd all but bark at her. It was kind of like I didn't mind talking about it, really, but I didn't want to be asked about it -- I'll talk about it on my terms, and don't remind me. You know?
I'm not going to lie or sugar-coat it. If it wouldn't be disappointing to so many people who live with me and have supported me, if it wasn't so bad for me, I'd go out on my back porch and light one up right now. It would probably taste like crap and I'd probably pass out from being so dizzy! I miss it and I probably will for a long time -- maybe forever -- but that's the way it is. I don't smoke.
It is easier -- it's not on my mind 24/7 like it used to be. For a while, it was the first thing I thought of everyday when I woke up. I never smoked the minute I got up (or in the middle of the night like some people I know) -- I'd never smoke before I had my first cup of coffee, and usually it wasn't until I was actually leaving for work (mid-way through the second cup) that I'd light up for the first time. It feels really good to be free of that choke-hold and not live my life around when I can have my next cigarette.
Driving home in my car at night is probably the worst time for me on a regular basis, but even that's getting better. Driving to work isn't as big a deal, but going home -- relaxing, letting my hair down (see a pattern with this relaxing = smoking?) is the strongest trigger and the biggest urge I have to face-down everyday. It's probably getting easier because I know it's going to happen -- I know that it will come, I know that I won't give in -- and it's like a token appearance now. "Hi, I'm your urge, I know you don't want to see me, but I can't stop coming and just thought I'd try again" -- all half-hearted like, and weakening. I don't drive home the same way that I used to and, truth be told, I've "smoked" a straw a few times. I've bent it or stopped up the end a bit, as suggested in the comments over a month ago, just to have a drag. It's not the same because I'm not holding it the same way, but I do think it helped.
I inhaled, but I never smoked the whole thing. ; )