Saturday, November 24, 2007

Quitting Smoking



I live on an old tobacco farm. They raised pigs and tobacco here. It must have been stinky in the old days—the pigs rolling in the mud, the farmer rolling cigarettes and smoking and spitting.

When I was first supposed to be off the cigarettes, I’d sneak one behind the tobacco shed. It is covered in something poisonous, oak or ivy, we’re not sure what yet—the lady from the extension office took a sample but being all distracted and out of focus with this quitting business, I haven’t called her to find out what she found out. I’m lucky I can get my teeth brushed on a regular basis and maybe slap some food together for the family before they starve. I can’t do anything not absolutely necessary right now. Withdrawals suck.

Doesn’t matter which poison it is anyway. I would have dove into it headfirst if it meant I could smoke. I would have taken a quick dip in a vat of acid if I could smoke one. But the tobacco shed was an apt spot to sneak a smoke, covered with poisonous weeds or not, considering it’s where they used to make the stuff. Plus, it’s private. No one could see me over there except for the neighbors down the road if they came out of their house and craned their necks. They’d see me but wouldn’t be able to tell what I was doing. I was too far away. Only the dog knew what I was up to.

Sneaking the cigarettes kept me in constant withdrawals. I couldn’t smoke as many as I wanted, so I always wanted one, was always jonesing. Suddenly the barn and the garage had interesting things going on at all hours of the day and night. I had to get something out of the freezer. I needed a box. I better go and lock that barn door.

I also felt terribly guilty and could hardly stand myself. I was bad. I stunk worse than the pig farmer, figuratively and literally. At least when I was a kid and I was sneaking them, I could go to confession on Saturday and get a few Hail Mary’s and then everything would be okay. But I didn’t even know where there was a Catholic church around here.

But the good part is I cut down from 45 cigarettes a day to 8. Kurt was already off them for a few weeks and was on my back. He’d used Chantix but I had a bad reaction to it. Felt like I was going to bust things up. Maybe commit a murder. But it worked for him. He quit. And then he nagged me about it. I told him, “You quit your way and I’ll quit my way.” So I cut down and got it down to 8. It was really hard. But I did it. I couldn’t believe it.

Then the number started going up again. One day I smoked 9. A couple of days later I was up to 11. Ut oh. I knew that I had to quit now. This would be the easiest time to quit, if you can call any time easy, before I got back up to my normal amount. Just like alcoholism, nicotine addiction is a progressive disease. I wasn’t going to lie to myself. Next week I’d be smoking 50 if I kept it up.

So I quit on Sunday. No more sneaky trips to the tobacco shed. No more midnight runs to the barn. Which is the whole point of this post. To let you know that I’m not abandoning my blog. I can’t think, never mind write. I’ll be back. I just have to….kick some butts first.

5 comments:

Marion said...

Mark Twain said: It's easy to quit smoking. I've done it a hundred times.

You hang in there, Debi. I know you can do it. I did it, and of course stayed sweet and mellow. (HA!!). When Dick quit, he turned into a snarling angry beast, but he quit cold turkey nevertheless.

We all have our devils, and the poison of smoking is one of the worst. Think grandchildren. My first grandchild was months from being born when my Mom died from smoking. At age 64. She never even met my tall, sweet, red-headed grandson Jessie.

OK, sorry, I know it has to be YOU who decides. Just remember, I'm here if you need me. No more lectures!

Jamie Ferraioli said...

Love that quote from mark twain! Have you taken a look at the book I sent you? I know it's hard to concentrate, but it's fun. I've never heard of the stuff kurt used to quit smoking. Is it prescription? You're funny, you wanted to bust stuff up. If there's anything I can do for you guys, lemme know!

Amy said...

Gooooo Debi! You can do this, I can't wait to celebrate with you.

Giulia said...

There's plenty of stuff for us to read or re-read until the fog leaves your head. Get the blob outta those lungs and then you can blog happily ever after. You're doing great, kid. Hang in!

Shari said...

You can do it Debi! I have faith in you.