Sunday, October 14, 2007

Put it OUT!

One commenter for my last post asked HOW I quit smoking. I will share with you....

I smoked a pack a day - and on bad days, nearly 2 packs. I smoked when I was pregnant, when I was nursing - fooling myself because I "didn't inhale". I did. I know I did.

I spent many many hours sitting on the front deck with a cup of coffee and a book and a cigarette. I spent hours "on break" at work sitting out back with my work, my diet coke and a cigarette.

The cost went up - and I kept smoking. I smoked with my son in the car. I smoked when I rode my bike. I smoked as I got fatter and fatter, ate less and less.

I make part of my living as a "professional voice talent". Mine may be the best known female voice in town even though no one knows who I am. I voice stuff for us, stuff for radio, and once in a while I hire out to do national commercials or regional stuff. I've been doing that since I was literally 3 years old and sitting on my father's knee making my first commercial for a local bakery.

One day, I was sitting in front of a microphone getting ready to read a script and doing a quick run through under my breath.. and running out of breath. So I sat up, gave the thumbs up to the engineer, took a deep breath and started reading. I ran out of air before I ran out of my first sentence.

"Suddenly", I knew I had to quit. I say suddenly in quotations because I'd been getting hints for quite a while. My son had a cough. I had a cough. My hair, clothes, car and front porch stank. My parents and friends who didn't smoke didn't want to hang around me. But it took failure in a professional setting to really hammer home what everyone else and my own body had been telling me for a long time. It's time to quit.

Ironically, even though I enjoyed smoking, I really WANTED to quit. I hated how I felt. I had no energy for anything. I got dizzy with little exertion. It was scary - and I was tired of being scared. So I made the decision and went cold turkey... for a day.

Nope. No good. Patches? No - allergic reaction to the adhesive. Gum? No way. Those tasted nastier than the cigarettes!!! Then I remembered a friend of mine at work had quit using hypnosis. I had nothing left to lose except my life by then, so I gave it a try.

And it worked. I had my last cigarette at 2:15pm on January 13th, 2004.

I didn't cluck like a chicken or swing from a chandelier. But I allowed the idea to be planted in my mind that smoking was bad. It tasted bad, it smelled bad, it was bad for me. I'm pretty sure I already knew this, but I really FELT it now. Smoking a cigarette was like smoking tobacco dipped in vomit. I just couldn't do it anymore - it was too disgusting.

Which is why the little cravings still surprised me afterwards. They didn't last long, barely a minute and I always made sure I was doing something else (or started doing something else) like typing so that it would be inconvenient to stop and smoke. Eventually, I stopped thinking about it altogether.

My best girl friend still smokes. I won't ride in a car with her. In fact, I don't really want to hang out with her anymore because it makes me feel sick to my stomach. I want her to quit so badly because I miss her. And I don't want to be missing her forever which will happen if she doesn't quit soon. She's already got the lip lines, the smoker's cough, the smoke-roughened voice. She can't breathe when she tries to exercise. I've offered to pay for a hypnosis session for her but she still refuses.

See, the trick with hypnosis is that you REALLY have to want to quit. It helps you. If you don't want to quit, it won't work. And you have to quit for you. Not for your husband, not for your friends, not for your kids, not for your job. Granted - you may lose all of the above or they may lose you if you don't, but you have to first and foremost do it for yourself.

It can be done. I'm living proof.

10 comments:

Margaret said...

OUt of curiousity - how much did hypnosis cost?

Jenny said...

You are an inspiration.

Way to go, my friend.

Sayre said...

Hypnosis was around $50 and it was in a group. This seminar that travels around. They did it for smoking and another one for weight loss. Other than the hypnosis, they try to sell you a bunch of supplements. YOU DON'T NEED THEM. I bought some, but never used them...

malcolm said...

I finally stopped when I realized I never had any money in my pocket for other things. I was always buying cigarettes.

kitten said...

Thank You. I need to check into that.

SwampAngel65 said...

The price keeps going up and I know I should quit. I'm not braindead...I know what they can and will do to me, but I still don't have the motivation to stop! I don't smoke inside - anywhere. So at least my family doesn't have to put up with the stench. Funny thing is, I HATE the smell...always have. I try to be a considerate smoker. You know, if the wind is blowing one way, I make sure to be downwind so no one else has to smell it. I don't smoke at all around certain people, just out of consideration. But I love to smoke! I am bad, bad, bad...I know it. One day I'll have to try the hypno thing. That's probably the only thing that would work for me. Thanks for talking about it!

dawn said...

Great post. I never smoked. My parents did. My mom quit during her first three pregnancies and at that point came to her senses and wondered why she would start again. My dad quit a number of years later. My FIL smoked from 8 (yep it is 8), until 65. He ended up with cancer and had a lung removed, and is doing okay, but still has complications of that at almost 80. Sirdar has always been able to tell a smoker, even young, by the lips. Our oldest daughter does the same thing, 'there is a smoker, he is a smoker, she smokes'. I am not so in tune with it. Congratulations on your success, and I hope your friend soon quits.

wolfbaby said...

man i wish i could stop i have tried gum and have patches but have problems with the sticky stuff on the patches.. i wonder if they have the hypnosis around here..

Babzy said...

I quit when I became pregnant. If not for that I wonder if I'd still be smoking. hmmmm

Lil Mouse (Jill) said...

i think it helps if you're not around other smokers. we paid for half of a session for my MIL and she quit for almost 2 weeks. we told her to follow the doctors orders, but i'm pretty sure the hubby kept waving his smokes in front of her. and instead of waiting the full 2 weeks, she gave in and started again. i hate it. it makes me mad. because one day, i'd like to have kids, and have them stay with them, but they wont. we go into the house and we leave and we have to shower and change clothes because we both smell so bad. its awful. oh and my mom does smoke, but she does it outside, or in the basement on a VERY rare occasion, so you dont smell after being in their house. thank god.