Saturday, August 21, 2010

24 Hours Without a Cigarette…

Work was hard without a cigarette.  I’ve smoked pretty continuously for 22 years and it is going to be a tough habit to break. This is going to be much harder than I thought.  I seemed to have more anxiety issues without that old crutch of mine – the nicotine calming the synapses in my brain and just my general demeanor as well.  I had a few Klonopin in my pocket and took one around lunch before I was to get off from work.  I felt better in thirty minutes, but worried about trading one addiction for another.

The last time I paid for smokes many years ago a pack of twenty “little cigars” was a dollar.  They looked just like a cigarette, but tasted like a cigar.  It was ten dollars for a carton.  They circumvented all the sin taxes being labeled as cigarillos.  They quickly took them off the market when they proved to be too popular at Fat Albert’s and other establishments in town.  The government wasn’t making money off all our “sins”.  They were so popular that Fat Albert’s would always have trouble keeping them in stock.  I was lucky to get them when I could.  

I stopped by dad’s pharmacy after work.  Angie, his co-pharmacist, was working – dad being in Thomasville, Ga. for one of my cousin’s open houses. The nicotine gum was as expensive or more expensive than smoking. I also realized I would just get hooked on the gum – chewing it constantly.  I am going to have to do this cold turkey and sweat it out I decided.   I am determined, though.  $38 dollars for my favorite carton of cigarettes equals to about five hours of work.  That is close to a whole day’s wages of gathering carts.  Too costly for my frugal inclinations. 

“Get a prescription from your doctor for Chantix,” Angie chirped happily from behind the counter trying to help.

“It’s just an anti-depressant,” I replied dourly. “I think it has more of a placebo effect than anything.  I need to just make up my mind and put them down for good.  I am trying to lessen my dependence on psychiatric drugs.”

Angie smiled as I asked if I could get a diet Sprite.  I always ask before I get something for free when dad is not there not wanting to impose on my father’s employees.  I grabbed two Sprites out of the cooler at the front of the store and headed home.  I looked longingly and wistfully at the Circle K convenience store on the drive home wanting to stop and buy a pack. “Damnit!” I muttered. “You can do this!” as I drove onwards in determination.

The Drama Over Puppy Chow…

Maggie and Sadie are both obsessed with Caramel’s Puppy Chow.  They had a fight lined up for who was eat next when I put out more of Caramel’s Puppy Chow down after work.  It must taste better or something.  I chastised the two saying, “NO! NO! NO!”  Maggie sulked off to the den while Sadie sat there wagging her tail not to give up.  I had to referee as Caramel ate her fill being very hungry. After Caramel ate, I put the bowl of food up on the washer in my laundry room.  This is turning out to be a constant struggle for Itchy and Scratchy not to become bloated on Puppy Chow.  

She’s Always Glad to See Me and It’s Nice…

Stacey says my supervisor is infatuated with me.  She gets so very jealous about it and I don’t talk about her when I am around Stacey. My supervisor is a very cute, petite woman with a wonderful smile. I would say she is in her late forties.  She won’t tell her age.

My supervisor gave me an affectionate hug as she arrived at work this morning.  I was standing out in the parking lot wiping the sweat off my brow after gathering a long string of carts. Man was it humid this morning.  You could cut it with a knife. 

“How’s my favorite worker?” she asked, continuing to cling to me. 

“I quit smoking,” I told her trying to tell everyone I knew so it would help me commit to this.  The peer pressure is proving beneficial. 

“That’s wonderful!” she exclaimed. “That was about my only problem with you.  You take lots of smoke breaks and my big boss grumbles about it when he sees you out to the side smoking on his rounds.”

“I smoked years ago when I was a young woman,” she then told me. “Everyone smoked then.  You could smoke anywhere.  There’s a lot of negative stigma to it now.  It makes you look dumb and ‘dirty’.”

I agreed.  It is a stupid habit, but boy could it be enjoyable and pleasurable. Smoking at work had grown to be hassle, though.  I constantly worried about it – wondering when I would get my next smoke break.  I had become obsessive as I am obsessive compulsive to a certain degree.  Luckily, I am an all or nothing fellow which flies in the face of moderation.  I will either smoke three packs a day or none at all.  This can work in my favor at times. Especially when it comes to addictions. 

16 comments:

Diana said...

You are right, you CAN do this. Quitting smoking is tough, especially the first two weeks. Then the nicotine is out of your system and it is just the craving you have to deal with. I think the little calming pills to help should be alright since they are Rx ed for you in the first place. Perhaps your doctor can tell you better. My husband quit cold turkey 4 years ago and he says you have to just get it set in your mind and "glorify not smoking". When he would get a craving or really want one, he would tell himself, "NO. I don't do that anymore. I am a non smoker now" He swears it works and has helped several others to quit. Best of luck to you! I believe in you!

ps, If you slip up, try again, don't quit quitting.

This IS The Fun Part! said...

When a friend quit recently, he chewed on straws! His favorite were the brightly striped ones from McDonalds - they are sturdy and more substantial, he claimed! We tease him a lot about being the local Straw Gourmet! He could give you a full review on every fast food straw out there!

Are you ignoring our requests for pictures??? At some point, you are going to have to listen to the pleas of the masses and post pictures of the new baby! We just can't stand it much longer!

I hope Stacey doesn't think I'm a threat! I may honey, sweetie, baby you to death - and tell you I love you - but I promise, it's a friend to friend love - or motherly love. My son is your age! I'm married! I'm OLD!!!! 63!!!

But I may not love you much longer if I don't get to see a picture of that puppy soon!

Grannie

Syd said...

Good luck with quitting. I think you can do it also. Cold turkey may be the best way. I quit all caffeine. No more coffee. I haven also given up meat. Not so hard on both of those.

Sharyna said...

In defense of Chantix, it is NOT an antidepressant. It only works on Nicotine. Fred used it, liked it, it worked. But a close friend who was bipolar and a drinker, had horrible experiences where she wanted to commit murder/suicide while on Chantix. I'm sure they have a website with all the med facts. And YES, pics of the new baby! While she still smells like a puppy. Oh, I wish there was smell o vision!! New Puppy Smells! Yum!

Beth said...

Talk to your doctor about it. Ask for her suggestions, especially given all the drama with your meds this week. It may not be the best thing to do right now. Maybe you could limit yourself to a few a day?

Peppermints will help as will chewing gum, but choose the sugarfree stuff if possible. It IS hard to quit, and you will have nicotine withdrawal for several days, and cigarette cravings for a year or more, blast it. I quit years ago but it was tough and I remember.

justLacey said...

I think the nicotine withdrawal is easier to get over than the actual ritual of smoking. It's tough and I would say the first 6 months were the hardest. After a year though, I couldn't stand being around it so somewhere in there you get over it.

amelia said...

I used to suck on straws which helped me quit. I think it was the drawing in action that really helped.

PipeTobacco said...

Hello Sir:

I am glad things seem to be progressing well for you. In regards to writing about your father... I think you should simply write about what you want to and write about what thoughts and emotions you are feeling. No one here (as far as I know) gets tired of any of your writings.

As for cigarettes... they are expensive indeed. If you stay committed to quitting tobacco entirely, that is grand. Yet, if the quitting becomes too much of a hassel for you since you have other things you are focused on... rememeber the much lower cost available to you if you switch over to pipe tobacco and a pipe. The cost would be roughly only 33% or less (depending upon your region's prices) compared to cigarettes.

PipeTobacco
http://frumpyprofessor.blogspot.com

glittermom said...

I quite 8 yrs ago and it was the hardesting thing I ever did..They say quiting smoking is harder then quiting heroin..Good luck and dont give up..

glittermom said...

On a good note they say its easier for men to quite then woman...go figure...

Tee said...

You can quit. If my aunt quit anyone can. She smoked for 60 years, then right before surgery went cold turkey. I never thought I would see that.

Smart move not to say much about your supervisor to Stacey. However, I think your supervisor's behavior toward you is totally inappropriate.

Grannie you aren't old. Just mature.

Mary K said...

www.whyquit.com

They saved my quit. I stopped on October 14th, 2002 cold turkey with no nicotine replacement.
I'm still nicotine free to this day.

You can do eeeet!

Lena said...

We have seen what u can do when u put your mind to it!

Good luck with kicking the habit!

And since your boss said the big boss was upset over your frequent cigarette breaks that is a real good motivator!

Carol said...

Personally, I think that this is the last hard thing you should take on for awhile, you have been through a lot.

Cheryl said...

Quitting smoking was the hardest thing I've ever done, and one of the things I'm most proud of. I used the patch and it helped. I do think it's easier for men to quit than women, though I don't know why that is. If you have the opportunity, you might want to talk to your doctor about quitting. You should quit, for health and money reasons, but you've taken on so many changes in such a short period of time that this could be hard. It's a crutch you might need for a while. BTW, in my part of the country, cartons are close to $60, even for the cheapest generic brands! I don't know how people pay for it.

Blogger said...

I got my first electronic cigarette kit off of VistaVapors, and I enjoy it a lot.