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18 March 2009

Who's better than you today?

I get these anniversary emails from Quitnet and they always ask the same question: Who's better than YOU today?

My latest stats: 1,461 days smoke-free; 29,224 cigarettes not smoked (mind boggling); nearly 7-1/2 months of "lifetime saved"; and $5,113.50 not spent going up in smoke.

The best part? The stress. One of the biggest reasons I smoked -- and I'm pretty sure that it's the same for most smokers -- was to relax and relieve stress. In many ways, and for a very long time, it worked. Both mentally and physically, I'd remove myself from whatever was going on -- "take a break" -- refocus, regroup. take a time out.

At some point, though, rather than relaxing and letting go of the stress du jour, I'd be overcome by guilt and the stress of smoking. Every time I walked out the door and lit up I'd hear voices in my head and statistics would flash before my eyes. I was just trading off one stress for another and, truthfully, the stress I'd feel about smoking was worse than just about any other kind.

I'm feeling pretty darn good about kicking tobacco's butt and refusing to let that stupid little cigarette have such control over me. I miss smoking sometimes, but -- truthfully? now? -- not as much as I thought I would. I'm never gripped by a craving anymore, and rarely feel an urge. Sometimes... but rarely.

Considering how many years I smoked, there's very little photographic evidence, which is good I suppose. The photo above was in the same stack (taken the same day) as the one I posted the last week and I immediately noticed the cigarette. I had quit during my pregnancy with Maddy -- the only one of the three that I quit altogether -- and I stayed quit for a while after she was born. I thought I could be a "social smoker," but quickly found out that I couldn't have just one and it was 12 more years of smoking before...

I started blogging and made some internet friends and one of those friends, Ann, one day said, "I'm thinking about quitting smoking." And I said, "I'm in!" The gauntlet was down, the whole internet knew about it -- and was so amazingly supportive, Cara was indispensible -- and here we are, four years later!

Indeed. I'll take my day!!

Comments

Wow, Vicki -- I'm so proud of you! I've been lurking on your blog since around the time you quit smoking. Reading about your progress gave me a much-needed push to quit (and stay quit!). (3.5 years!) Thank you so much for sharing this part of your life with your readers. I suspect that I'm not the only person you've inspired.

I did my own math - I believe (can't remember for certain) that I quit for good in 2002. And, you're right - it feels fantastic.

Congratulations!

Wow! Great stats! Congrats on doing such a great, healthy thing! Way to go everyone!

Dale and I were watching some old videos the other day and I was smoking in one of them. It looked so strange!
Congratulations on 4 years!!

Wow! Four years already? Good for you. It seems like just yesterday we were all offering support. I'm so proud of you.

Seize the day and enjoy it! Your description of the stress/smoking vicious circle was very apt, and I remember it well. Glad we can both forget about it now!

Woo hoo! Congratulations! What an awesome accomplishment. There ain't NOBODY better than you today!!

Hats off and congrats to you! I also KICKed that NASTY habit after smoking for 20+ years. I have been "smoke free" for the past for the last 5 years and truly don't even think about it or miss it anymore... ever. Nice huh?! I applaude you! for sure :)

I think I'm going to consider it our anniversary, if that's okay. Thanks to you and Ann quitting - I found two fantastic friends. And hopefully BECAUSE you quit, you'll be around for a very long time. I need you guys! LOVE LOVE LOVE!

Congrats!
Erm, how much of that $ saved was then spend on yarn? :)

I am proud of you! Happy to know you will be with us and with your family that many more healthy, non-hacking years.

Yay for our Vicki! I'm glad, though, that there is at least that photographic evidence. It just seems "real" somehow.

I'm not with those people who get upset to see smoking in movies, saying Hollywood glamorizes it, etc. I recently saw the movie Revolutionary Road, and really was almost gasping in shock at the heavy and excessive smoking that I saw in the movie, when she was pregnant, etc. But that IS the way it WAS in those days. Shocking to us now, but it is what it was.

Vicki! I didn't know that you were a quitter too until I read Ann's post today! SO, A GIANT CONGRATS to you and Happy Anniversary Sister!

Mazel tov!

So glad for you that cigarettes aren't part of your life anymore. Congratulations on your success!

Congrats! I quit in 1980 for good. I had quit in 1972 but started again in 74. It is way better to be a non-smoker

Good for you - I quit so long ago that at this point I forget that I was ever a smoker. And after all these years it still feels amazing. Way to go!!

I used to Q for my quit, too! Congrats, I'm so happy dancing for you!
(((Hugs)))

Congratulations for the big milestone!

Hi, I am Susies husband and a "wish I could be a true died in the wool non-smoker". I have been trying to quit. I have days with none, then fall and bum one, then get back on and keep on. I told my son, daughter and wife that I am going to keep trying. And I will. But this old dog is pretty set in his ways and maybe it takes reading success stories like yours to keep trying. Your prayers in this matter would be coveted.
Thank you for the encouragement,
Scott

Congrats!! I hit 2 years on 26 March, my oldest child's birthday. After 40+ years! I used meds where I picked a date to stop - his birthday was coming and I knew that was the day. Started on the meds 8 days before. Stopped wanting to smoke by the 5th day! I put the extra money on my mortgage every month!

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