Love me, I just quit smoking…

Nicotine

Nicotine via Wikipedia

Yes, I realize this space is not for me to share personal experiences, but I thought I would share with my fellow T/Sers my struggles. This is also a ploy to get some cyber sympathy, some pats on the back and words of encouragement… so please leave them below. I need them.

I started smoking when I was 16 because I thought I was a bad-ass, and I was rebelling against my parents and my catholic school institution. I don’t think I got addicted then, it was more “let’s go to Central Park after school and smoke cigs before we go home”. In college it was a different story as access was easy. I was 18, and shopkeepers could not refuse my requests. My health deteriorated over the years, my clothes began to reek, and I lost my sense of smell.

Which brings me to today, 6 days clean. My body has already flushed out the nicotine in my bloodstream, but I  am going out of my mind craving a cigarette. I am one of those smokers that use a cigarette as a coping mechanism…. if I am stressed, outside I go for a puff. It’s all I’ve been able to think about for the past couple of days.  I cannot concentrate, I cannot type, and I have forgotten how to spell. See that word “deteriorated” above? It  took me 5 minutes to figure out how to spell that word correctly enough for spell checker to even recognize what I was trying to spell.

Normally when I write something, I take a break to collect my thoughts outside, and when I come back in, I can edit… now I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to write?  I can’t even do the things I love doing, like having a nice hearty meal or playing some video games, without craving a smoke. I’ve heard mention that I will no longer be a social outcast, but what if that is who I like being?

I am a moody mess. I have a constant headache. I want to transform into Godzilla and destroy everything. I want to drown Chicago in my tears. I hate everyone, and my usual interests are annoying me. I’ve been getting angry at the little things, not the big big things…. and the whole world smells outside. Chicago’s odor is disgusting. I am waiting for this mythical “everything tastes better” because it has not happened…and I cannot take how putrid the streets smell. Please don’t let me turn into Rorschach! I need some positive side effects!

I am doing this cold turkey, and my suspicions about the gums and pharmaceutical companies that make them are feeling justified with this latest bit of research:

The Nicabate and Nicorette franchises of GlaxoSmithKline and Pharmacia & Upjohn are highly visible juggernauts. They are advertised prominently in pharmacy point-of-sale displays and on TV. Chapman argues that they impart a subtle message: “serious” quitting requires external support, and unaided attempts to give up are doomed to fail. “Smoking cessation is becoming increasingly pathologised, a development that risks distortion of public awareness of how most smokers quit – to the obvious benefit of pharmaceutical companies,” writes Chapman in an analysis in the online journal PLoS Medicine yesterday. “The persistent message that … stopping unaided will be futile” undermined people’s “confidence in their own ability to change”.

via Help may not be a patch on willpower when giving up,  Sydney Morning Herald (terrible title, I know)

The article goes on to mention that 75% of smokers that quit do it without any aids. See? I’ve always known the patch was bullshit. (And yes, I realize that this post could, and should have been, about the link above, but you can go suck it if you have a problem. My pain is important, goddammit!)

The smokefree.gov site has been the most helpful website, mostly because it does not include a picture of a cigarette, but smiling people. It is cheerful and bright, and I like to imagine Obama struggling with his nicotine addiction when I look at it. Every news article that I read on cigarettes features a picture of a cigarette, so I have not been able to read them without freaking out (and Zemanta on my right is not helping by showing me pictures of cigarettes- which means I need to end this NOW).

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26 Comments on “Love me, I just quit smoking…”

  1. stushea says:

    You can do this. You’ve survived periods, weird family shit…it’s easy for me to say “be strong,” because I’ve never had to quit smoking, but after a short time, the physical stuff will start to ebb. Make sure, though, that you take care of your health. Get busy. Work out. Run. Run as hard as you can, if you have to. Believe in yourself.

  2. markbolton says:

    Quitter. (smirk) Is that what you want to do with your life – be a quitter? Why not suck it up and see it through to the end? You made a commitment, at some point in the past, to be a smoker. Now, at the first signs of trouble, you’re just going to throw down your pieces and quit the game?!? How do you ever expect to succeed in this life if you quit every time you start feeling bad? 🙂

    I’m kidding, of course. Stay with it Fruzsina! You’ve already gone longer than I ever have – 4 days – and I was using the patch. I’ve tried it all and have yet to find my answer. I’ve been smoking for longer than you’ve been alive, and it gets harder to even think about quitting as time goes by. Now is the time for you to do this. Don’t fall into the “I did it this long, I’ll go longer next time” trap! Do it now and rid yourself of this burden.

    Break things! Yell at people! Abuse your loved ones! Do what you have to to beat this thing!

    As for me, I’m thinking about suing my insurance company because an addiction to nicotine seems to be the only addiction (to both legal and illegal substances)for which they will not pay for in-patient rehab. And I think that may be my only hope – 30 days locked up in a room with no access to smokes.

    YOU CAN DO THIS!

    I wish you success!

    • Fruzsina Eordogh says:

      Thank you for your kind words, stusthea and markbolton.

      markbolton: That is horrible… I did not know that about insurance companies. What are their reasons for denying coverage?

      • markbolton says:

        Fruzsina, First let me apologize for letting my mouth (fingers?) get ahead of my brain. The suing my insurer comment was meant to stand alone with a smiley. I was kind of kidding to stress the point of the rest of the sentence regarding the unavailability of in-patient rehab for smokers.

        A Doctor (who shall forever remain nameless)once told me that he/she was willing to state that I was addicted to some other substance so that I could go to rehab to quit smoking. We were discussing my inability to quit and I brought up the point I made in my previous post. I didn’t take him/her up on the offer due to what may be other ramifications of being labeled as drug addict or alcoholic.

        Neither of us knows of any in-patient addiction services for smokers. We don’t think they exist. You’d think someone would have opened up a chain of rehab centers for nicotine addiction given that there are millions of potential customers out here.

        Then again, maybe it’s the massive size of the problem that prevents this from happenning. Can you imagine how much money the insurers would lose if they had to pay for these services for all the smokers they insure? They’d all go bankrupt! They’d probably save money in the long run, if they could withstand what would be one hell of a hit up front.

        I don’t know what will finally make me give them up, or if I ever will. I rant against big corporations and buy one of their deadliest products. I love going out to eat, but rarely do because I don’t like being unable to smoke while I wait for my meal. Smoking made me miss the moment of my mother’s death – I had gone out to the hospital parking lot for a cigarette at the time. You’d think that alone would make me toss them – but no. And even with all that, and the harmful effects of it, there are still times when I actually enjoy smoking. At least that’s what my addicted mind tells me.

        In short – I’m a fucking mess!

        Stick with it Fruzsina, you don’t want to be where I am. You can do this – You MUST do this – YOU WILL DO THIS!

  3. Caitlin Kelly says:

    Yay! This is very, very good news, no matter how U*&^$@@$ hard it is right now. My poor mom has tried to quit for years and none of the drugs or patches worked — and now she has COPD. Not fun. Not good. My stepmother died at 63 of lung cancer after many years of heavy smoking.

    There ain’t nothing sexy about lung cancer. A healthy, sweet-smelling, high-energy Fruzsina is a glorious thing. Hang in there!!!!!

    • Fruzsina Eordogh says:

      Thanks, Caitlin! Part of my plan is since I have made my quitting public, I can’t relapse…(the world is watching!)

      I am very sorry to hear that about your family members…damn tobacco companies!

  4. vickielyna says:

    You are my hero. My mom started smoking a 13. After 55 years and COPD she finally quit cold turkey. My hair started to get a little Anderson Cooperish. While supporting her through the process. In the long run it was worth it. At the time it was crazy. She started with the gum. Got addicted to them. Chewed enough gum to have smoked 10 packs a day. Then she did the patch (after we weaned her off the gum). She would forget she was waring the patch and smoke. Had to wean her off those too.
    I never smoked so at times it was hard to understand all she was going through. But I did understand compulsive disorders having been in recovering from some myself. Like eating disorders. So when she was in a “if I don’t have a cig I am going to kill someone” or “at least destroy a plant”. I got it.
    When she went cold turkey (oh did I mention no hypnosis this time either) (the hypnotist would cry for her) I new the bravery and true guts and character of my beloved mom.
    It takes great bravery to look you demon in the face and say ya I want you but I want me more.
    She never smoked again her taste buds came back. The COPD became almost non existent. And the rest of us could breath. But it was one of life lessons that will always be imprinted on my soul.
    To love yourself more then your addiction is such a wonderful thing. (Especially at midnight when cake is calling).
    I love people who brave the hard paths in life and keep keeping on no matter the obstacles. It is how I spell inspirational.

    Thank you for your bravery!

  5. Scott Bowen says:

    Possessing the sheer will to quit cold turkey is worth the cold-turkey route. Think of what having that kind of will power can do for you later, in other situations. You started smoking to look “bad ass”? Be a real bad-ass now: be so scarily willful that you turn into the new, next version of yourself who can bend spoons just thinking about it.

    And, for what it’s worth, as a non-smoker I’ve never enjoyed the bottom-of-the-astray taste of kissing women who smoked. Not a turn-on. Women smokers also snore like old men — another totally unattractive trait.

  6. michaelruark says:

    Mark Twain once said “Quiting smoking is the easiest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve done it hundreds of times”. Giving up smoking is like dancing. Two steps forward and one step back. What ever you do, no matter how many small relapses you may have, never give up!
    The only way I was ever able to permanetly stop was to stop associating with people and places where smoking was present. It’s as much a life style change as it is an physical addiction. Now you can begin breathing to live instead of living to smoke!

  7. solfish says:

    Bukowski would be very disappointed.

  8. Laura Heller says:

    Ah, the myth of things tasting and smelling better. Not true. Things tasted pretty good to me before and as you’ve already discovered the world is filled with very foul smells. But YOU will smell better, so will your closet and your home. All of which is very nice. It took me 25 years, but I’m nearly three years clean. I used a crutch, Chantix, but it took away all the emotional torture you’re feeling now. Once you get past the first couple weeks though, that will subside on its own.

    But you’ll have to find another way to satisfy your desire to be a bad ass outsider. I recommend punk rock and boxing lessons.

  9. andreaitis says:

    Hey Fruzs – this music video is guaranteed to get you through the rough patches. Guar-an-teed.

    I give you Los Campesinos: You! Me! Dancing!

  10. Pat Weldon says:

    I am in the same boat , i quit for 3 weeks , then succumed to having one here and there for now , it is sickening and i hate them , your GODZILLA parapraph rocks!!!!!! Accept the fact that we will go some what crazy , it might help ,

    Tootsi pops help , finding a place to take a non smoking break at work helps , working out , prayer , accepting insanity , screaming at people about your suffering helps , hating cigerets , walking into the apartment of a smoker who does not open their windows and breathing helps alot , then pikeing helps , i really enjoy your writings , and reading this just helped me very much , thanx

  11. victatious says:

    Well no one really quits any addiction, they only trade it for another. The trick is to find something that will benefit you. Like sex, working out, work, ect… All the crap your body is experiencing is all physical, its all mind over matter. And from what I’ve read about you, you can accomplish a lot when you put your mind to it. As for your student loan situation, f-ck them. I’m proud of you for pressuring what you what out for life. Live your life however you what, it only money. Its very refreshing to see a beautiful, intelligent, educated women voicing her opinion. I’m jealous of the man who steals your heart. Don’t worry if you truly what kids, a house, the whole nine… it will come once you meet the right man. Good luck to you

    P. S.
    Everyone hates dogs in clothing 🙂

    • Hello victatious,

      You wrote:”Well no one really quits any addiction, they only trade it for another”, I don’t know if that is really true but when I go by AA meetings during their breaks, there is always a crowd smoking and drinking coffee (I am pretty sure it is not decaffeinated. So maybe you are right.

  12. Ms. Eordogh,

    You wrote:”I need some positive side effects!”. That would be you not dying from lung cancer or other horrible cardiopulmonary diseases. That is problem, all of the positive side effects are negative, what you do not do or not feel. Of course the negative side effects are all positive, what you crave and think. If you stick with it, you will find the smell of cigarette smoke not disgusting but actually painful.

    In a Medical Physiology class I had to perform an experiment. We were given a toad. I held the toad’s head down and inserted a needle into its brain and spinal cord and scrambled them. I then cut off the toad’s head and tied its arms and legs down to a board. With a scalpel I cut open its chest where I could see the heart beating. I put a hook through the bottom of the hear and attached it to a device that would measure the frequency and intensity of the frogs heart beat.

    Here is where things got interesting. I put a drop of nicotine on the heart. It started beating faster and harder, quite dramatically. When I added a second drop, the heart slowed down and beat less intensely. However after a little while, heart would start speeding up and intensifying its beating. Another drop of nicotine slowed it back down.

    At high doses, nicotine keep the heart beating in a normal fashion but at low doses, it produced rapid, intense beating. It does the same thing to the human heart. Had the toad not lost its head, it would have been craving nicotine. Don’t lose your head craving nicotine.

  13. Rick Norman says:

    Post it as announcement when you’ve hit a milestone, like a months, 6 months whatever. Keep up the non smoking. What helped me when I quit smoking cigs and weed was drinking alot of coffee. Like, a pot a day. Although that made me sick too. Whatever you can do to get your fix but then you have to rid yourself of that newfound addiction replacement. I still pick up a few monsters when I gotta drive around Chicago for work though…

  14. dougem says:

    you go girl! i hope you make it because i’m doing the same thing only i’m just in day 4..you remember day 4 right? you have the urge to kill anybody for any reason. if you make it i will! you can be my role model. but hurry up please and tell me it’s all better now because i hate this and the damn cig companies.

  15. dougem says:

    This is funny? lol

    What Happens to Your body if you stop smoking Right now?

    I think one of the main reasons it’s so hard to quit smoking is because all the benefits of quitting and all the dangers of continuing seem very far away. Well, here’s a little timeline about some of the more immediate effects of quitting smoking and how that will affect your body RIGHT NOW.
    • In 20 minutes your blood pressure will drop back down to normal.
    • In 8 hours the carbon monoxide (a toxic gas) levels in your blood stream will drop by half, and oxygen levels will return to normal
    • In 48 hours your chance of having a heart attack will have decreased. All nicotine will have left your body. Your sense of taste and smell will return to a normal level.
    • In 72 hours your bronchial tubes will relax, and your energy levels will increase.
    • In 2 weeks your circulation will increase, and it will continue to improve for the next 10 weeks.
    • In three to nine months coughs, wheezing and breathing problems will dissipate as your lung capacity improves by 10%.
    • In 1 year your risk of having a heart attack will have dropped by half.
    • In 5 years your risk of having a stroke returns to that of a non-smoker.
    • In 10 years your risk of lung cancer will have returned to that of a non-smoker.
    • In 15 years your risk of heart attack will have returned to that of a non-smoker.
    So, you have more immediate things to look forward to if you quit now besides just freaking out about not being able to smoke.
    See alternate version
    ________________________________________

    Alternate Version
    A smoker co-worker decided to write an alternate version (it wasn’t me, that’s for sure).
    What Happens To Your Body If You Stop Smoking Right Now (ALTERNATE VERSION)
    • In 20 minutes your nicotine levels have dropped enough that you begin to want a smoke…
    • In 8 hours the craving is driving you nuts and smoking is the only thing you can think about…
    • In 48 hours all nicotine has left your body and you start to shake…
    • In 72 hours your tolerance for bullshit has dropped significantly and your co-workers have noticed a slight change in your personality…
    • In 2 weeks your friends, family and coworkers now call you “Mr. A**hole” or “Miss Bitch” and are begging you to start smoking again…
    • In three to nine months the trial will be over after you kill the last person who asks you “How goes the no smoking?”…
    • In 1 year your jail-house ‘protection’ costs you 1 pack of cigarettes a day (how ironic)…
    • In 5 years you are being sold in prison for 2 packs of cigarettes (again, how ironic), but your prison tattoos look fantastic…
    • In 10 years you’ve now developed a jail-house heroin habit…
    • In 15 years the justice system labels you as unredeemable and commutes your 25 year sentence to life. But on the bright side, you’ve kicked your heroin habit and to help with the withdrawal symptoms, you’ve started smoking again (how very ironic)…

  16. […] As for moodiness, I have found I am more prone to crying (I’ve read White Fang  multiple times, but  the other day I started bawling when Beauty Smith beat White Fang until he couldn’t get up), but I am no longer prone to anger like in my last post. […]

  17. winston62853 says:

    Congratulations, how is your quitting going? I smoked for 25 years and when I quit, 28 years ago cigarettes cost $10.00 per carton and I was smoking 2 packs a day. I quit cold turkey because I had tried many times before to quit by smoking less and less until I was done. That never worked. A few days ago while I was waiting in line at a store, I looked at cigarette prices and discovered that my favorite brand when now costs $58.00 per carton or $6.90 per pack. At 2 packs a day, that would be 60 packs or 6 cartons a month times $58.00 equals $348.00 per month. That’s more than I pay for a car. So I figure by quitting smoking, my car is free. By the way, my screen name, Winston was given me by a friend because I always had a Winston in my mouth. Best of luck to you. Winston

  18. […] If you are Jewish, Muslim, or a vegetarian, you now have another reason to quit smoking! […]

  19. […] can read about my first 10 days here, and my status update after a month […]


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