The good and the bad

By now, many who know me in real life have figured out my secret.

goldstar goldstargoldstargoldstarFor four days (and 47 minutes) I have been smoke-free. But please, don’t treat me any differently than before. I don’t want any special accommodations.

I live in the real world, and in the real world, some people do smoke. I will NOT become an anti-smoker nazi, and I will not harass other people for smoking – in my presence or otherwise. If someone wants to quit for their own reasons, I’ll be supportive – but I won’t nag anyone who doesn’t ask my advice.

Truthfully, once I get a few weeks behind me, it is very likely that I will occasionally enjoy a big, fat cigar with a fine single-malt scotch. Since I quit for a year once before, I remember the good things: food will taste better; I don’t have to go stand in the cold several times a day (I haven’t smoked in my own house for 11 years); I won’t waste $90/month on something unproductive; I won’t have to be an outcast in public, hiding outside the door. Some of the lines on my face will soften. I can carry a smaller purse — or maybe not carry one at all.

I also remember the bad parts: my sense of smell will come back, and there are a lot of people out there who just smell bad. It’s likely that I will struggle not to regain that 30 pounds that I gained last time, which made me feel like my skin was too tight. I just hope that I can keep the bitchiness at bay, because that’s what bothered me the most. I just didn’t even like myself anymore — even a year later.

In case you’re wondering, I didn’t quit for my health (which is just fine, thank you very much). I quit because it’s inconvenient, because I’m tired of being an outcast, and because I can find better uses for the time and money that I used to spend on that habit.

This country is changing though, and I’m not at all comfortable with our movement toward a nanny state.

Next time you stop at a Golden Corral (especially the one on Clinton Highway), count the number of adults under 300 pounds – the last time we were there, it was limited to our family, and the place was packed.

This year, it’s banning smoking in “the workplace.” How long before obesity is targeted? Diabetics who eat things they shouldn’t? People who don’t eat their vegetables?

I know you don’t believe me now, but just watch and see. We seem to be forgetting what it means to be the land of the free and the brave.

27 Responses to “The good and the bad”

  1. on 16 Feb 2007 at 12:21 pm Jacket

    GFY, NM. I like the attitude also. Too bad you will be killing education reform across the State.

    😉

  2. on 16 Feb 2007 at 1:02 pm LissaKay

    Go girl! You can do it! I kicked my 25 year habit last year … what got me the worst was the insomnia. Turns out, smokers metabolize caffeine faster, so that cuppa that merely gave a mild push-start will plaster you to the ceiling. Not good when you’re already twitchy from the nicotine DTs.

    I was on Zyban aka Welbutrin when I quit, that took away the feeling that I *gotta* have a smoke … that jonesy feeling. What was hard was accepting that it was no longer part of my routine … get in the car and light up, end of the meal, light up … break area at work, etc. I had to mentally change my routine. I also had to start thinking of myself as a non-smoker.

    KNIT! I saw somewhere on here that you knit some … that is how I quit. I substituted knitting for most of the times that I usually smoked, especially at work.

    I did gain a crapload of weight when I quit … I was also under high stress, lost my job, hated the next one I got and life was just miserable … so work out! Get thy skinny butt down to The Rush and keep it skinny! Just don’t point and laugh at my fat ass! 😉

    Feel free to call on me if you need extra support, but I know you can do it!

  3. on 16 Feb 2007 at 1:18 pm girlfriend

    As long as it was your decision and no one elses you’ll be successful. You and I have the same feelings about smokers. I would love to still be one and 30 pounds lighter but that’s life. GOOD LUCK AND YOU DO DESERVE TO HEAR HOW PROUD WE ALL ARE OF YOU TAKE THE COMPLIMENT GRACEFULLY.

  4. on 16 Feb 2007 at 1:36 pm Jacket

    30? 😉

  5. on 16 Feb 2007 at 2:32 pm Regular Guy

    Good luck — and good for you — Netmom.

    I’m embarrassed to say it, but I’ve done it twice. The first time it was cigarettes — and I was 18. I started about 13, but that wasn’t that hard. I guess peer pressure is less of a motivator than the taste buds as we get older.

    The second time, was much harder — and I’m still fighting it daily. It was cigars combined with bourbon and Coke, although, during Desert Storm there wasn’t any bourbon — at least in my neck of the woods.

    I quit again in about 1992. I figured it was stupid for someone with asthma to smoke cigars. Nevertheless, I still want a cigar with a bourbon and Coke almost every day.

    My dad (a two pack a day Old Gold buckaroo) quit smoking cigarettes when he was in his early 40’s, after a stretch in the hospital in an oxygen tent; he died at 82. In his later years, he often told me that he still craved a cigarette, particularly after a good meal.

    Lean on your friends and family who are supportive — and avoid those who aren’t. The supportive ones are who will bolster your willpower when it’s waning. The others, while perhaps friends, won’t be helpful.

    I wouldn’t, however, be surprised if you turn into someone who is intolerant of smokers; I did. In my experience, ex-smokers are among the most intolerant of smokers. I’m not sure why, other than we know that we were able to stop a filthy, disgusting habit, and we don’t understand why others can’t … or won’t.

    I wish you the best of luck in this endeavor.

  6. on 16 Feb 2007 at 3:25 pm Netmom

    Yeah Jacket, 30. It was awful. I felt like the Sta-Puf marshmallow man in drag.

    RG, a respiratory therapist once told me that people with asthma tend to smoke and drink coffee as a form of self-medicating. It was something like the coffee dilates the bronchial tubes, while smoke is an irritant that causes you to cough and clear the lungs. Maybe that’s my problem… or maybe it’s just that I’m a bit high strung and stubborn. Still, I do not want to turn into someone who is intolerant.

    Ain’t giving up my coffee. Ever. Even if it leaves me plastered to the ceiling.

  7. on 16 Feb 2007 at 3:36 pm daco

    Proud of you sis. You really can master this thing. Congratulations…ahead of time.

  8. on 16 Feb 2007 at 4:01 pm Jacket

    Sorry NM,

    I was questioning GF. I read it as she wanted to lose 30lbs. Just a little jab at her. Wind her up, watch her go. That bunny aint got nothin’ on her.

  9. on 16 Feb 2007 at 4:13 pm Netmom

    If Girlfriend lost 30 pounds, there’d be nothing left but her purse and shoes. If I had her energy, I could change the world!

  10. on 16 Feb 2007 at 4:26 pm rm1024

    Good for you NM! I quit for good about a year ago…it was the chest pains that did it. I find I now have almost no tolerance for smokers.

    I think our recently enacted “no smoking” law here in Ohio has helped many quit.

  11. on 16 Feb 2007 at 5:11 pm Jacket

    “If Girlfriend lost 30 pounds, there’d be nothing left but her purse and shoes. If I had her energy, I could change the world!”

    Oh yes there would. 🙂 Maybe that will draw her out. Boy am I gonna catch it. Heh!

  12. on 16 Feb 2007 at 6:44 pm Raj

    Quit after reaching peak consumption of 70 to 80 cigs a day in 1987. Lit my first one in the morning and chained through the day. Went cold turkey. Been smoke free since then. About 6 months of withdrawal struggles.

    Keep it up and you will make it. Be determined.

  13. on 16 Feb 2007 at 8:56 pm Mrs. Daco

    knit,knit,and knit. Dont smoke.
    Good luck. You can do it.

  14. on 17 Feb 2007 at 5:29 am girlfriend

    Jacket:

    You are walking on thin ice, remember I know where you hang!!! You drew me out but not in your time frame. HA!HA! Watch out!!!

  15. on 17 Feb 2007 at 2:17 pm Joel

    Congratulations on quitting, netmom. It’s a good idea anytime.

    This, on the other hand, is just silly: “This year, it’s banning smoking in “the workplace.” How long before obesity is targeted?”

    Uh, how, exactly, are cigarettes like food?

    This ‘nanny state’ blather is an invention of wingnuts. Ironically, many of the same wingnuts want to outlaw marijuana, cocaine, gay sex, prostitution and pornography, yet they don’t see that as ‘nanny state’ behavior (because they don’t approve of those). But pass legislation to curtail their ability to pollute the air of others with poison (which they think is ok), and that’s when you hear the lectures about an alleged nanny state. Really, netmom, I thought you were smarter than that.

  16. on 17 Feb 2007 at 2:26 pm Jacket

    Heh! Chain yanked.

  17. on 17 Feb 2007 at 2:35 pm Netmom

    How are cigarettes like food? Both have the potential to kill you. Food, like iodine, water or sunlight, is necessary to sustain life — but can be deadly in excess. Don’t pretend that no one overeats, packs on a few hundred extra pounds, and ultimately dies of it. You know that they do. More every year.

    The places where smokers could realistically “poison the air” for nonsmokers were banned years ago (i.e., airplanes). Just because you can catch a whiff of smoke coming from the back corner of a restaurant or a bar, does not mean that you are being poisoned. You’d really have to sit in a confined space with them for a prolonged period to suffer any danger of exposure.

    I’m not in favor of outlawing any of the other things on your list, and actually think we’d be better off if we legalized (and taxed) some of those that are now illegal, provided they were age-restricted as alcohol and other things now are.

    I’m apparently smarter than you give me credit for… but some nonsmokers are so violently intolerant as to get under my skin even now that they have nothing to rebuke me for.

    Day 5: still not smoking. Haven’t bitten anyone’s head off yet… but there’s still a couple of weeks to go before that danger passes. Tread lightly.

  18. on 17 Feb 2007 at 3:06 pm girlfriend

    So what, if you bite someone’s head off they’ll survive. We all have big shoulders and are behind you one hundred percent success or no success. Do what you ahve to do? Scream, yell or whatever, we’ll all be here for you. GOOD LUCK ONE HOUR AT A TIME.

  19. on 17 Feb 2007 at 3:22 pm Joel

    “How are cigarettes like food? Both have the potential to kill you. Food, like iodine, water or sunlight, is necessary to sustain life — but can be deadly in excess. Don’t pretend that no one overeats, packs on a few hundred extra pounds, and ultimately dies of it. You know that they do. More every year.”

    This is certainly an oversimplification, which serves your interest but doesn’t acknowledge medical reality. Obesity is not caused by too much food–it is caused by an imbalance between calories consumed and calories burned. So (a) food is essential, tobacco is not, (b) there is no safe or wholesome level of tobacco smoke, but there are many levels of food consumption that are safe, depending on your metabolism. Thus, your comparison between smoking and eating is a false (but common) analogy.

    “The places where smokers could realistically “poison the air” for nonsmokers were banned years ago (i.e., airplanes).”

    Uh, no. I’ve worked in buildings where smoking was permitted. I’ve been in classrooms where smoking was permitted. I’ve had to wait in line at the DMV when smoking was permitted. Realistically, smokers could and did poison my air on those occasions. Just because you liked it doesn’t make it not poison.

    That cigarette smoke contains poisons is objective fact. I’m not interested in preventing smokers from poisoning themselves. I’m interested in preventing them from poisoning my air, and your right to pollute ends at my nose.

    “Just because you can catch a whiff of smoke coming from the back corner of a restaurant or a bar, does not mean that you are being poisoned. You’d really have to sit in a confined space with them for a prolonged period to suffer any danger of exposure.”

    Netmom, 1; straw man, 0.

    “I’m apparently smarter than you give me credit for… but some nonsmokers are so violently intolerant as to get under my skin even now that they have nothing to rebuke me for.”

    And some smokers are so smarmy and intolerant as to get under my skin, even though it is their behavior that is transgressive. In my life, I’ve encountered far more smokers who angrily defend their right to inflict their filthy, unwholesome habit on me than I have non-smokers who complain to those smokers about their belief that others should be obliged share their polluted air.

    I’m glad you’ve given up the habit, netmom. Maybe someday you’ll also give up the attitude.

  20. on 17 Feb 2007 at 3:44 pm Netmom

    Give up MY attitude? Probably not. But then, I’ve never been in a classroom, DMV or any other office where smoking was permitted. Ever. I really can’t remember any public place where smoking was permitted, except where there was a separate smoking section. Maybe that’s an age difference — I know there was a time when it was allowed, I just can’t remember it.

    The exception, I guess, was sharing a dorm room with a smoker my sophomore year of college. That’s when I picked up the habit, partly out of stress, and partly out of self-defense.

    I was also one who went out of my way not to subject others to my habit, out of simple courtesy. Even at outdoor events, I would put some considerable distance between myself and the crowd to smoke, usually in the company of others doing the same.

    I’ve encountered many, many more smarmy and intolerant nonsmokers in my 25 years of carrying that monkey on my back; there’s just no reason to be mean about it. Believe me, most want rid of the monkey. It’s expensive, harmful, and grossly inconvenient.

    Now that my sense of smell is returning, I once again politely change lanes at the grocery store when standing behind someone hell-bent on conserving water and soap by not bathing; I don’t assault them with some holier-than-thou lecture about how they’re polluting my air.

    Give tolerance a try. You might like it.

  21. on 17 Feb 2007 at 4:11 pm Joel

    “Now that my sense of smell is returning, I once again politely change lanes at the grocery store when standing behind someone hell-bent on conserving water and soap by not bathing; I don’t assault them with some holier-than-thou lecture about how they’re polluting my air.”

    Good thing, because you’d sound awfully ignorant if you did!

    It’s not the fact that the bodies of smokers smell bad that I object to (although, having been possessed of an unsullied sense of smell for most of my life, I assure you that smokers, their clothes, their cars and their rooms reek). The “pollution” I was referring to was the toxic combustion products of cigarette smoke. While most people who don’t bathe regularly don’t smell any better than most smokers do, I’ll grant you, they are less toxic than cigarette smoke by any measurable standard.

    “Give tolerance a try. You might like it.”

    If by “tolerance,” you mean tolerating people smoking in my company then I have to ask you–if someone with tuberculosis were sneezing openly in the same room as you, would you think it intolerant to ask them to leave? If so, I’d certainly cop to being “intolerant” of other peoples’ pathogens just as I am “intolerant” of other peoples carcinogens.

  22. on 17 Feb 2007 at 4:37 pm Netmom

    Joel, I’ll freely admit that I’d leave the room before I asked someone else to.

  23. on 17 Feb 2007 at 6:21 pm Joel

    As would I.

    The difference between you and me, netmom, is that I don’t criticize or ridicule others who object to the view that they should just shut up and breathe carcinogens.

    But then I’m just being rational.

  24. on 17 Feb 2007 at 8:36 pm Jacket

    Bottom line government regulation of the elements, items, or whatever adjective you wish to use, such as air, water, and yes food is an appropriate function of government.

    As a citizen of this country I expect to have the ability to breath clean air, drink clean water, and have access to food that is clean. Government regulation is intended to provide just that. Does it fall short yep, it is administered by humans, and they sure have made many mistakes on this planet. But, it is much better today than say in 1903-1906.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jungle

  25. on 17 Feb 2007 at 8:48 pm Jacket

    BTW, I know the Wiki link uses the word socialist to discribe Sinclair, that is not the point. Before the book the sanitary conditions at sausage production facilities was horrid as it was in other meat packing plants. Not good. The book brought attention to the health risks and thus NM’s “Nanny State” was born.

    Not really a bad thing. While it has “socialist tendencies” a mixed economy works much better than laizesse-faire and its Caveat Emptor where unregluated shenanigans are dangerous to consumers. Laizesse-faire also has market imperfections, the idea is to correct those imperfections, thus utilizing all resources efficiently.

  26. on 19 Feb 2007 at 9:48 am The Chief

    I once quit from December 10, 1986 until Easter weekend 1997–coincided with my taking up another addiction–golf.

    I have been off the weeds since January 9, 2007, and off nicotine since the 10th of January. I am using Chantix (Pfizer)–cravings are less intense, occur less often, and have a shorter duration. This is supposed to be a 12 week program, and it costs (co-pay, lol)$20.00 per month. I spent that much on the stinking weed, as the Native Americans called it, on a weekend golf outing, what with the Famous Grouse, and the Thompson Phoenix Churchills, etc.

    Good luck

  27. on 21 Nov 2011 at 5:47 pm Citizen Netmom » How Long?

    […] How Long? Four years, nine months, and nine days have passed since I quit smoking. […]

Trackback this Post | Feed on comments to this Post

Leave a Reply