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Six months 15 years ago   Quit Support

Started Jun-23 by CreakyBuddha; 273 views.
CreakyBuddha

From: CreakyBuddha

Jun-23

Hello all.

I wrote the following at six months quit. I think it does a good job of telling where I came from and what I have experienced and endured, as well as offering encouragement to those that are struggling.

Maybe it will inspire someone to try to quit. Maybe it will put someone to sleep.

So if you have some time to kill, read on:

A previous life

Pick a day, most any day in the past 30 years, and this is pretty much how it went. Wake up with a pounding headache from too many beers and chain smoking. Stand up and lean against the bed while I get my bearings before I can walk to the bathroom. Suck down 2 cups of coffee and smoke at least 2 cigarettes with each cup. Take a shower to wash the drunken funk off and get dressed. Have a couple smokes for breakfast while waiting to go to work and then have one on the way to work. Every 20 to 30 minutes we walk outside, rain or shine, baking or freezing, and suck down a smoke. Lunchtime comes around and we have one. We have a couple more waiting for the hour to be spent. Again, every 20 to 30 minutes we walk outside, rain or shine, baking or freezing, and suck down a smoke. When it is time to go home we light up on our way out the door. We eat some dinner and have a smoke right after. At about 7:00 we go to the liquor store and buy a six pack and a single tall boy and 3 packs of Marlboro reds. Soft pack please. Go home, sit down, pop a beer and proceed to hit that bong and chain smoke until all the beer is gone. This was usually about midnight. Sleep the sleep of the drunk, which is not really sleep. Then do it all over again.

I had years in there where I did not drink and smoked a lot less. Moved all over the country for work. Changed careers. Got married. Got divorced. Got married again. Went to school. Finished school. Got a better job. Same things millions of other people have done. The one constant was smoking. Whether I was married, divorced, drunk, high, sober, happy, sad, cold (San Francisco), hot (Phoenix), depressed, manic, clean-shaven or looking like Captain Caveman I always smoked. Who my friends were at work was pretty much dictated by who I took smoke breaks with. Outside of work my friends were people who I smoked and drank with. Smoking defined me. It put me with my group. It was who I was. I smoked more than I did anything else except breathe.

Smoking was what I looked forward to with my coffee in the morning and my beer at night. Nothing was complete until I smoked. I did not begin anything until I smoked. Every break was a smoke break. Any free minute was time to smoke. If I had 10 free minutes I would smoke two because you never know when you are going to get to have another. I would go out in the middle of a movie to have a smoke. I would leave a date sitting at the table in a restaurant to go have a smoke. I did not, and still don't, know anyone who smoked more than I did.

Wake up call

My first trip to the hospital for chest pains was in 2001. They wired me up in the ER and it appeared all was well. No heart attack anyways. Probably gas. Sure. I wheezed my way through an echocardiogram that week. I was only 41. Way too young for this crap? Not so said the cardiologist, “I’ll be seeing you again if you don’t make some changes”. I quit drinking for two whole weeks. Did I quit smoking? Sure. For about 12 hours. Moron.

My second trip to the ER for chest pains was in 2004. I had had episodes of odd chest pain between this trip and the previous trip to the ER but nothing like these. The ER doc said my story was too good. I had earned an overnight stay in the cardio unit. They checked me in and got me all connected to the monitors. They started drawing blood every 3 hours to check for enzymes that damaged heart muscle gives off. I was wired to a monitor that you carried around with you. I surely could not sleep with that thing on me so in the middle of the night I got up and took a walk. There were a few people in there my age or not much older. I asked the nurse about them. Without giving specifics about who was in for what she said "bad habits" mostly. I took that to mean alcohol, drugs and / or smoking were what brought most of the younger people here. Of course I promised myself I was going to quit. I did not want to end up like "them". I was already one of "them" though.

My wife and my 14-year-old son came to get me the next day. I will never forget the look on his face when he saw me all wired up to that thing. He looked worried and he looked confused. He was too young for that look. I was angry with myself. I think it would have registered different with him if it was 70-year-old grandpa lying there. Nope, this was 44-year-old dad.

What kind of example was I setting for him? I had to change. I had to quit. What did I do as soon as I got home? Yup. I went to the 7-11 and got me a pack o' reds. Needed something to help me think. I would slow down. I would only smoke a pack a day if I did not drink. Because that was the worst, drinking and smoking you know. I smoked three times as much when I drank. Just to give it a chance off I go to AA. It helped if only because I did not want to end up like most of the people I saw in there. Quite a few of them had already lost their families, jobs and it appeared quite a few teeth to alcohol. Some had hit rock bottom, been on the streets, etc. I surely did not want to go through that and I did not want my family to go through that. One thing that stuck in me when I went there was that everyone smoked. The place was nasty with cigarette smoke. I don't know how a non-smoker could go there and stand the place. I went for about two months. I got tired of the attitude I constantly received from a couple of the biker types. They seemed to be peeved that I was not getting a sponsor, reading the book and following their 12 steps. I quit going.

I started out again with just a few beers on the weekend and went from there back to every day in short order. This included going back to smoking almost 3 packs a day.

I can't give a specific reason or event that explains me starting up again. Nothing big happened that I can remember. Maybe it was just because I was bored and unhappy. I did not care much about anything at the time. I had forgotten the fear, the pain, and the look on my son's face. Maybe I buried those things. I felt weak and overpowered. I had started feeling physically better after a time of not drinking and not smoking as much. Now I was right back to feeling downright crappy all the time. The only time I felt good was after a few beers and that was all in the beer buzz. My body was rebelling against the constant abuse, worse this time. My chest hurt, my stomach hurt, my head hurt constantly. I could not walk up a small flight of stairs without getting winded. I had odd pains down my arms and in my back. It spiraled into a bigger binge this time. The binge lasted about two weeks.

I looked in the mirror one day and saw an old man. A w
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modanjim

From: modanjim

Jun-23

Thank you so much for your story. 

The trials, tribulations, and truimphs are part of the quit journey and your story has inspired me to continue to power on.

 Your story is definitely on my re-read list when things get tough.  Im sure you have helped other with your story as well,

Thank you again

Maureen

04-15-2020

You've proven that you are no sissy! What an inspiring post and it truly will help others take the plunge and stop poisoning their bodies. Life truly is so much better as a successful quitter. Nice job!

"Quitting isn't for Sissies!" I quit poisoning myself Sept. 27, 2013

DbAnne

From: DbAnne

Jun-23

How long have you been quit?

In reply toRe: msg 4
CreakyBuddha

From: CreakyBuddha

Jun-23

15 years Jun 1.

CreakyBuddha

From: CreakyBuddha

Jun-23

Thanks. I have alot of things I wrote back then and I think they might help those who are in the middle of the struggle.

Loreficent

From: Loreficent

Jun-23

Well, post them on here! 
This forum is invaluable for so many and all the past stories and reading about the trials and efforts of those with some time under their belts is often very helpful for many of us. 
What brought you here 15 years later? I know this forum has been around a while, and can gleen from reading around that it existed in another form prior. Was this the place you found back then? 
It is true what you said about the “if I can do it anyone can” ringing hollow in a way. Each of us here has our own story and generally they include some form of hindsight to include the fear that held them back initially. 
Thanks for posting and sharing. Looking forward to reading more about your past and current journey. 

CreakyBuddha

From: CreakyBuddha

Jun-23

Love your nic!

15 years ago there was a site called Quitnet I was on.  Helped me so much.  

I was looking through my collection of scribblings from back then and figured they could help someone in the many phases of the struggle so I found this site. 

I met some really interesting folks back then. When you are going through the same traumatic experience, and that is what giving up nicotine is, you form some close friendships.  I see some interesting characters here. Hope to make some new friends and help whoever I can.

Loreficent

From: Loreficent

Jun-23

Oh dear...now I’m gonna likely regret asking this, but, what is a “nic”?
Yes...please post some of those writings. 
I write way too much about nothing and mostly do it at times and sitting in places I would have been smoking. Often about things I am recalling as pleasant as I am distracting myself. 
Have been walking hours daily which is nice too. I walked before I quit for an hour or two usually, but now it is up to 3 or 4 hours a day. Or more. Better than spending that time smoking. Or eating. Have this plan of doing a part of the Pacific Crest Trail in 2022 so look at it as prep for that. 
I love love love what you wrote about noticing the smell of your wife since quitting. That was really sweet. I’ve always had an exceptional sense of smell, even when I smoked. People would note that and ask how it was as I was a smoker and they weren’t but I would notice way more than they did. I do notice it on me though. I love not smelling like cigarettes!! Don’t feel like I have to wash my hair every night before bed so my partner doesn’t have to put up with smoke smell. He is very gracious and never said anything about it before, and now he just kisses the top of my head when I come to bed and says “nice...”  Makes me feel good. Not sure how he put up with it as a non smoker before. 
Yeah...the little things noted are good....and inspiring.

CreakyBuddha

From: CreakyBuddha

Jun-23

Your name - Loreficent. Isn't that a take on 'magnificent'?

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