Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Quitting Again

Today marks the 6th time I have attempted to quit smoking.  Yes, some know, I am a frequent smoker. I have no idea what to expect this time around.  Will it work?  Can I do it?  No idea.

I now have an electronic cigarette and Nicorette gum (4 mg).  Let's see how this goes.

Today was the first evening I gave it a shot.  I chew on a piece of gum that was surprising good!  I bought a flavored kind of gum that tastes a lot like Wintergreen gum.  It burned a little bit, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  I just stopped chewing when it burned.

Travis still smokes.  He had a cigarette when I was chewing the gum - and lo and behold, I didn't have a single craving for one.  Later in the night, when the gum no longer burned and started to lose flavor, I made a BIG mistake.

I decided what would one cigarette do?  It's like winging myself off, right?  Over time, I should crave smoking less and less.... I think.  I lit up a cigarette and started puffing.


Talk about nicotine!  I couldn't even smoke the damn thing!  I felt so incredibly sick.  I tossed out the cigarette and felt like I was going to vomit.  Luckily, a friend we were hanging out with tonight rushed and got me a bottled water.  I have never enjoyed the taste of water as much as I did tonight.

So I won't be doing that again!  I'm thinking this gum is going to work!  And in the car, because I have a habit of smoking - I have my e-cig to help.  That is... if I'm not chewing the gum!  YIKES!

OK, you might be wondering why it has taken me 6 times to quit smoking.  I'll gladly give you some back story about smoking.  When I was a young adolescent, I thought smoking was cool.  My relatives had tobacco farms (and still do), and they sell tobacco to Phillip Morris.  I grew up around smokers - even though neither of my parents smoked.  My grandfather's ex-wife would buy me a carton when I was 12 years old to sneak back home in my luggage.  I thought I was so cool.  My sister, friends, and I would sneak away on our country property to "hike" or "ride bikes".  If someone's parents weren't home, we were "hanging out" or "studying".  My parents were not dumb.  They could smell it.  They would steal our packs and throw them out.  But I could always get more.  It became a habit to steal my friend's mother's packs.  We would sneak around and steal cigarettes from adults that smoked around us.  And I still had my connection to my grandpa's ex-wife that bought me cartons.

We were not smoking every day.  It was just something exciting and made us feel like we were grown up.  Why we wanted to grow up so fast, I don't know.  It didn't become habitual until my friends and I started driving.  It was our chance to smoke a cigarette before or after school - and we would hose the interior of the car with perfume or sprays to cover up the smell.

I quit smoking for the first time when I turned 18 - ironically.  I just lost interest in it.  I also no longer had my free connections and I didn't want to pay for cigarettes.  I had quit cold turkey for 3 years.

When I turned 21, I was living with my boyfriend and going to college.  I was around smokers all the time.  I went out to parties and I did what a lot of dumb college kids do - go to bars.  I didn't have a problem not smoking until I realized everyone around me smoked.  All of my friends were smoking and my boyfriend was smoking, too.  My boyfriend told me it was OK to smoke socially - just as long as it didn't become a habit.  All of my friends were saying, "One cigarette won't kill ya."  So, I caved to fit in, and I started smoking again.

Quitting #2:  I stopped cold turkey after I met my husband.  I was pressed for cash, and I didn't feel satisfied with a cigarette anymore.  I had no problems - until someone lit up a cigarette and I could smell it.  That stage did not last long.  I was back to smoking again.

The third time I quit was when I was 24.  I found out about my birth defect when I experienced volvulus.  I had to have an upper endoscopy done.  During my endoscopy, they found tar in my esophagus.  They took pictures and showed it to me.  After looking at it and seeing that the tar was my own doing - I felt disgusting.  I saw the damage I was doing to myself.  Not long after that, I found out I was pregnant.  I quit cold turkey for the baby.  This time, I had strong cravings for a cigarette.  It felt like I was going to tackle someone that smelled like cigarette smoke.  Whenever I saw a pack of cigarettes, I was so tempted to take one and light up.  When I miscarried, I lost all the care in the whole entire world.  I didn't care about the tar.  I didn't care about cancer.  I didn't care about anything. AT. ALL!  I began smoking much more heavily than I ever had before.  I was up to a pack and a half every day.  Let's just say, my finances were terrible.  I was going broke to have a cigarette.

I quit for the fourth time when I started pulling myself back together.  I was 25 years old.  I tried doing the electronic cigarette.  I was successful for maybe... a month.  The electronic cigarette became my "in-between packs" smoke.

The fifth time was when we moved to Fort Wayne.  I was determined to quit.  I tried gum.  I tried eating more.  I tried being active.  Nothing could satisfy my craving.  Travis tried to quit with me.  We relied on the electronic cigarette when we were really having nicotine fits.  We were successful for maybe... a few months (3 max).  I don't know why or how - but we began smoking again.

So here I am - at my 6th attempt to quit.  I don't like the smell.  I don't like the cravings.  I don't like how it makes your teeth and nails yellow.  I don't like my throat hurting.  I don't like the taste.  I feel guilty every time I smoke.  I hate the stale smell in my car.  I hate the trash it leaves behind.  I hate it.  I've lost so many important people in my life due to cancer from smoking.  And it breaks my dad's heart to see me smoke.  I hate doing that to him.  I also hate the fact that I cannot work a full day without having to run outside for a cigarette.  Sure, I like the break - but I hate having to sit out by the smelly dumpster just to get my fix.  If I want a career, I can't be running outside all the time to take a puff.  It makes me look unreliable when I am not readily available to do my job while I am there.  Plus, I get cranky all the time without a cigarette.  How can something so small have so much power of my character?  How can it control so much of my day?  And I really hate being told I smell like a cigarette.  I hate having headaches when I go too long without nicotine.  I hate how expensive it is.  All around - I am just tired of it.  And if I want to have children some day - smoking is only going to complicate it.  I have enough issues with carrying a baby that I don't need to add anything else to it to make it worse.  I need to get my health back in control.  I need to quit.  I want to quit.  I'm hoping this works.

Monday, July 1, 2013


I have done quite a bit of self-reflection since my last post.  I realized I had dreams, I had plans, and I was bound and determined to reach them.  However, I did not.

I thought by now, I would have a great career.  I thought I would have the house with a white picket fence.  I thought I'd at least have one child by now and living happily ever after.  Unfortunately, those cards didn't play out, not yet at least.

I get so over my head with dreams and hopes.  It's like I'm forcing the next stage of life to happen.  I am forcing the happy ending to start now.  I feel like I have been patient long enough.  It's been years that we've been struggling.  People say I live in a generation of self-entitlement and instant gratification - and you know... they are probably right.  But sometimes I can't help but wonder... when is it my time to shine?  When will our happily ever after begin?

I've tried being optimistic and positive.  I've tried being proactive, organized, and detailed in everything.  I can't say that my discipline hasn't paid off because it has.  We are much better off than where we were last year.  We are much better off than where we were in January.

I don't like living with my father-in-law.  Living here has built up a lot of depression, anxiety, frustration, and just meanness.  Travis and I realized that our problems stem from not being self-sufficient enough to start our new beginning.  So I've been very proactive and disciplined towards finding that better job.  I'm searching for my new career.  And Travis has been very proactive towards finding a better paying job that will allow him to go to college.

On top of it all, I forgot to just live my life.  I'm not living my life for me anymore.  I'm living my life for that future house.  I'm living my life to pay off the next bill on time.  I'm living my life to count the pennies.  I'm not LIVING.

So in the big scheme of things, I have to start being happy and grateful for what I have.  I have to stop constantly searching for happiness when I have it right here beside me.  I have my adorable cuddly kitty cats.  I have a roof over my head.  I have enough money to live comfortably.  I have a supportive, loving family.  I have in-laws that I get along with very well.  I have co-workers that I really do enjoy to be around.  I have friends that will always be there.  I have my health.  And most importantly, I have an amazing husband who will always be there for me.  He will always support me and my goals.  He will always help me.  He loves me as much as I love him.  He never asks for anything in return.  He's always a happy-go-lucky kind of guy.  He has a beautiful soul.  And not to mention, he has been and will always be my DREAM guy.  I am very lucky and blessed to have him in my life.  No matter what happens, I will be happy.  I will be happy because he is truly genuine.  Together, we've been through harder times.  We've been through worse.  We will get through this stage together.