Post 603: an anniversary worth observing

I really, really, really wanted to share that video that I posted yesterday of Dougy sucking up my attention, even though yesterday was an anniversary I like to remember. It was December 1, 1998 that I decided to quit smoking and succeeded, now for 16 years! I sucked the last smoke into my lungs that date at 3:30 AM.

Yes, December 1st is a happy day for me because it is a reminder of how a terrible, self-destructive habit needn’t take complete, final control of one’s life. I made up my mind, stopped cold turkey, and haven’t smoked since.

How did I manage this? I was a heavy smoker and actually liked it except for the cost and stink on my clothes.

no sdmokiung

Simply this — I told myself I was still a smoker for life, even if I never smoked another cigarette. That is to say, I could smoke another cigarette any time I wanted to, if I decided to, if I needed to.

Yet in all those 16 years, I had a craving for a cigarette only once. I woke up on the third day convinced I’d fallen asleep smoking a cigarette, that it had fallen on the floor and under my bed! You bet I was on my hands and knees looking under my bed! At least until I woke up completely and realized the cigarette was a dream.

That morning, I could have started up again with little effort, but I didn’t feel like cleaning up and driving clear across town to the one or two places I could have purchased cigarettes at that time of day. Instead, I laughed at how my subconscious mind tried to trick me into doing just that! Good for me!

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I have no idea if the clip art attached to this post is copyright free or not. I got it off the clip art link in PowerPoint. My guess is it is free to use, but I will remove it if told otherwise. 


17 thoughts on “Post 603: an anniversary worth observing

  1. You did an excellent job there. It was not as easy as it sounds my friend…at least not for mom. She did it though and with the same attitude as you had. She went one step farther. She keeps a half pack of Player’s Filter in the deep freeze so any time she wants, she can have a favourite smoke of hers. She Quit 3 years ago last Oct. 11th. Yes, she got the odd craving at first but never did touch that half pack of Player’s filter. I would imagine that the smokes are all dried out by now. She never looked.


    • Thanks! Yes, it is a little bit of mind gaming, but quitting and telling yourself you never can have another cigarette, ever, makes it an impossibility to do at the start of cessation, a finality that seems harsh. On the other hand, when you acknowledge you are a smoker, that you aren’t smoking at the moment but are “allowed” to smoke again if you feel a need, makes the same task of cessation less onerous and final. Oddly, though, when you have that option, there is less temptation to sneak a smoke!

      Sounds silly, but it’s kept me off cigarettes for 16 years and two days. Every other attempt to quit when the goal was never to touch another cigarette lasted hours to (at the most) eight days.

  2. Congratulations! Good for you! 🙂

    When I was about 5 years old, my father quit smoking. His doctor had asked him if he planned on continuing smoking. Dad asked “Why?” The doc said, “Don’t come back, I don’t have time for fools.” That was enough to do it for him.

    • I remember when doctors not only smoked, cigarette advertisements featured doctors saying this or than brand was so mild, there wasn’t a cough in a carload. Ha! Anyway, your Dad’s doctor had it right, though he was pretty blunt!

  3. Hubby and I both quit 14 years ago when he had his first heart attack.
    He quit on patches in the VA Hospital in Seattle and I quit cold turkey at home.
    He smoked 4 packs a day and so did I.
    I still can not believe we quit.
    He has had several other heart surgeries but is doing so much better than he would have if he had continued smoking.
    We both are.
    Congrats to you on quitting.
    I can not stand the smell of tobacco or those e cigs.

    • It always helps, when both spouses smoke, when both quit at the same time, eh!? I know just having someone light up around me when I smoked was sufficient cue for me to light up, too. I haven’t been exposed to the fumes off the e-cigarettes yet. I didn’t realize there was an odor associated with them. I can’t handle the smell of tobacco smoke anymore either. I am actually allergic to tobacco smoke.

    • It’s one of those things where fewer and fewer people smoke and more and places don’t allow it. It helped me most that my company finally banished smoking to a break area outside the plant (where everyone who didn’t smoke could see you went every time, and become upset about the special “privilege” of being segregated from the herd and exposed to the elements if you wanted to do the dirty deed. I only wish they’d done like every other plant in the corporation and banned smoking in the plant, period. They did it area by area, which was more cruel than banning it everywhere all at once, I think, but once the smoking areas were eliminated, it became easier, as note, to not want to smoke. What did it for me, though, was the settlement between the tobacco companies and the 23 states (or however many it was) in 1998. I knew the tobacco people wouldn’t be paying the bill, but those who smoked, in the form of huge increases in the taxes and cost of tobacco. I really pissed me to think of the lawyers who made fortunes litigating the case, too. If you don’t like the game, don’t play!

      • You’re spot on, though many people complained about the bans from smoking inside over here, ultimately it has led to every single smoker I know either stopping, or really wanting to. It disgusts me the amount of money the government make out of poisoning people tsk.

        – sonmi upon the Cloud

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