We are smokin' the not smokin'
The blog changes lives.
One day, a little over five years ago, my then strictly-blog-friend Ann on Long Island wrote me an email that went something like this: I told my friend that I'd quit smoking with her. You wanna quit with us?
I thought for 2.25 seconds and wrote back: YES!
Then I called up my sister and said: I'm going to quit smoking, you wanna?
And she said: YES!
Then I told my family, made an admission and announcement on the blog, and commenced to plan my strategy. Let me tell you, I still remember how thoroughly I thought through all of the different scenarios and triggers and planned and plotted and made decisions about how to deal with each and every one. By the time Quit Day rolled around, I was very well prepared. The triggers that snuck up on me were the ones way further out -- like when football season rolled 'round again and the Packers scored their first touchdown of the season and I actually started out of my chair to go out on the back porch for my usual and customary celebratory smoke during the commercial break. Heh. Wow. That was so weird.
Anyway, there was so much blog love and encouragement, it was incredible -- and, gulp, that meant there was gonna be no turning back, not with all those eyes on me from near and far! I have fallen down on a few other things over the years, but there's not much riding on whether I finish a knitting project by a certain date or post a photo-a-day.
One bright star in the galaxy was my then strictly-blog-friend Cara. She and Georgie went shopping and sent me a box full of quit-smoking aids -- gum, sunflower seeds, little stir straws, Dum Dums -- there was so much that I felt I needed to share and sent a portion of it back east to Ann.
Cara and Ann were then completely oblivious to each other, blog-or-otherwise. I remember talking to Ann about celebrating at some point -- maybe at the five-year-mark -- by meeting and getting together for a weekend someplace in between Wisconsin and New York... like, maybe Ohio.
Well, as luck would have it, DH and I had an opportunity to visit New York City in June of 2005 -- just three short months into the quit -- where I was able to meet up and spend some time with not only Ann and Cara, but also with Kathleen, Nancy, Cassie, and a bunch of other bloggers, many of whom are not really blogging any longer. It was a memorable and magical trip. I'd only been to NYC once before and the circumstances were so different. Now, of course, I've been there... three more times? No four! Three times for Rhinebeck, and another time with Katie & Maddy.
I can hardly believe it's been five years. The first days, weeks, months were hell... But since then? I really can't believe, after having smoked for as long as I did, that I haven't missed it more, that I don't have more urges than I do... dare I say it? ...that it's been so easy. I stayed far, far away from anything smoke-related for a very long time -- just removed myself from anything, -place, or -one that could lead to temptation. It's almost like I'm indifferent now. I was in close proximity with someone who was smoking recently and it registered, but I barely had a reaction -- it smelled neither good nor bad, didn't make me want to have one, whatever; I was a little happier when it was finally stubbed out, though. I'll tell you my story, talk about my experiences, probably tell you more than you want to know, but I won't lecture or preach; I make my choices in any given situation, other people make their choices.
As of this morning, my QuitNet numbers:
- Smoke-free for 1,826 days
- 36,523 cigarettes have been saved
- That's over 1,800 packs not purchased, saving me $6,391.00
- I'm stayin' alive for 9 months, 8 days, and 23 hours longer
Anyway, Yay us! We are AWESOME!! Congratulations girls! And thank you.