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My Last Pack of Cigarettes

Started by Jason, April 25, 2011, 05:33:47 PM

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0 Members and 30 Guests are viewing this topic.

Jason

I've always been a bit of a sensualist.  Not to say I'm a hedonist -- far from it.  I was raised on the straight and narrow, and didn't even have my first drink or cigarette until after I was 21.

But I do enjoy the five senses, and all the pleasure they can bring.  It can be enjoy and viewed as a sacred thing if properly restrained and balanced.  Ah, I must always strive for balance...

Sorry, I'm foggy today, so I'm rambling.

Whether it be cigarettes, beer, wine, liquor -- whatever -- I enjoy it.  I like seeing what kind of tobacco it is, where it was grown, how it was packed, etc.  With beer, what are the ingredients?  Where were they grown, etc etc.  You get the idea.  I never enjoyed the idea of drinking to get drunk -- I've only gotten shit-faced a couple times in my life, and even then it was more of a social experiment than anything (My friends call me Egon) -- but rather, I enjoy eating, smoking, drinking, etc, for the art of it.  For the pleasure of it. 

Smoking, for me, is a moment of intense, sacred pleasure.  I feel it connects me to mother earth in a way that nothing else can.  I feel my native american ancestors surrounding me in the billowing smoke, as we share a sacred moment of knowing and understanding.  I don't know when the first homo sapien stuffed a bunch of leaves in his/her face and lit them on fire, but I'm honestly grateful for it.  I enjoy the burn in my throat, the feeling of the smoke filling my mouth, nasal cavity, and lungs.  I enjoy the taste of various tobaccos (Turkish for cigarettes, please), and now you'll hear the story of my smoking.

Smoking is a problem for me, you see, because I loved to smoke before I ever started.  Whether the scrapings that wind up in our cigarettes, to the finest pipe and hookah tobacco, I'd smoke it.

I've smoked for about six years.  It's always been an on again/off again affair.  It started socially, and cautiously.  I started with crappy little things like Black n Milds and Swisher Sweets.  I graduated up to real cigars, then to cigarettes.  I smoked socially off and on for a couple years before I started to inhale.  I learned about the nicotinic receptors in the brain, and how they could be conditioned to release pleasure hormones when flooded with nicotine, which is why we can become addicted to nicotine. 

My "addiction" started when I started smoking for stress.  I was working the job that I think ended up giving me fibro, and I was incredibly stressed.  I smoked for stress for about a year when I realized what the hell I was doing, and stopped cold turkey. I didn't have withdrawals or anything.  I craved them occasionally for a couple weeks, but I simply didn't smoke them, or buy them.  I was smoke-free for three or four months when I slowly picked it back up socially, but kept an eye on myself to make sure I wasn't smoking too much, or for stress.  At that point, I was probably smoking one pack a month -- roughly a carton a year.  Not too much, really.

This year, my wife and I separated in January.  It was the hardest thing I've ever had to face.  I'm happy to say we reconciled two months ago and things are becoming fantastic again, but during that time, I smoked for stress, and I smoked hard.  I got up to about four packs a week.  When we started working on reconciling, the stress began to abate, and within a week, I dropped down to a pack a week.  Here we are six weeks later, and I'm at less than a pack a week.

I always wanted to quit smoking by the time I was 30.  I always heard that any damage you to do your body in your 20s will repair itself if you stop doing whatever it is you're doing by the time you're 30.  I think I bought that load of shit as I held onto the last vestiges of adolescent invincibility.  Fibro has been a hard teacher at showing me my limitations and vulnerability.

Cigarettes have occasionally caused pain flares, but not often.  But I can notice a difference in my breathing, and just for the sake of my health, which is already taxed with fibro and a number of other conditions, I need to stop.  I want to stop.  I want to stop for the sake of the children I work and breathe for. 

Working in pediatric oncology is... interesting, to say the least.  You see just how powerful genetics are.  Some people, the best people in the world or the worst people in the world, just get shitty rolls of the dice.  I've had to carry a 19-month old to the morgue.  I've taken care of kids as young as six weeks old who are already stricken with cancer.  So why am I gambling with my life by ingesting some of the most powerful carcinogens known to man?  What a fool I am.

===

Epilogue:

So, other than the obvious, why should a fibromite quit smoking?  Has there been any research to see what the effects of smoking are on a fibromite?  How about the withdrawal of quitting?  Any data you can send our way?

Thanks for letting me share my story.  I want this pack to be my last.  It's difficult, because I enjoy it so.  I always did, even before I started...

Jason

foxgrove

Can't say that it'll bring you anything other than a reduced chance of dying from a horrific disease that literally sucks the life out of your loved ones as it sucks the last breath out of you... Go slow though.. close brother of mine went cold turkey and flared the living heck out of his fibro.. cost him a huge chunk of the health he had left.

Personally, If you were to quit smoking and even one person like me, extremely sensitive to cigarette smoke to the point where it can cost me several days flat out in bed, avoids getting nailed to the floor because of one less puff of smoke, I will owe you a lifelong debt of gratitude that I will never be able to repay.
Where God leads, His hand always provides
...so keep Calm and code on....

Foxgrove

Jason

Then that alone is worth it to me, friend!

basspoet

About 2 months ago I picked up an electronic cigarette and I haven't looked back. I've been off of cigarettes since I got my e-cig (I smoked for 23 years). I like the e-cig because it still give me the pleasure sensation (from the nicotine) but I don't get any of the harmful chemicals that are in analog cigarettes.

Like you, I've always enjoyed, the taste, the feeling, the whole sensation of smoking. I still get all that with the e-cig, and there are a ton of flavors to check out. My favorites so far have been peppermint, espresso, and one called island (kind of like a pina colada mixed with orange).

If you want to quit smoking but still want the sensation, check out the e-cigs. My health has improved a lot since I quit analog cigarettes. I can taste and smell again and I have a lot more energy.

Steve

Jason

Ya know, I've really considered trying an e-cig.  Do you recommend any certain brand?  I've heard that the cheap ones are just as good as the ones that cost $150.  What's your experience?

ronr

Times are tough when "Happy Hour" is your nap.
My mind not only wanders, sometimes it leaves completely!

twistedpairs

Jason,
I quit for the 3rd and last time in the spring of 1997.  I went through the smoking cessation counselling, I used the patch (even quit that).  I learned that "smoking less" each day, actually increases your intake.  Subconsciously you think you are not going to smoke for a while so instead of taking a drag and talking, reading or whatever you do while you are smoking, you spend more time with that coffin nail at your lips.   Classes help.  Especially if you have a sponsor like in AA. 

The first thing you will notice is how many people smoke!  When you are stopped at a light you will see the hands hanging out the window with a cig.  You will be able to smell someone smoking in the vehicle ahead of you, even at 65mph!  You WILL crave them for the rest of your life!  I do.  I was up to 2.5 packs a day and quit cold turkey.  Why.  Because I wanted to.  Not for anyone else.  I wasn't married, I didn't have kids.  Even if I did, I would have started again.  I am by no means saying I am smarter/more determined than the next guy.  But until I wanted to stop for me, I restarted.  You have to be ready, and you have to do it for you, no one else.  Are others going to benefit?  You betcha!  Are you going to benefit?  You better believe it!  Food tastes better.  Your sense of smell increases so much that you can actually smell perfume from 100 yards away (REALLY!).  Or at least until your neighbor breaks your nose and takes it all away (real story!). 

Good luck Jason on your search for better living!  I would not recommend cold turkey with Fibro.  I would highly recommend changing your routine!  If there is something that you do that you HAVE to smoke, don't do it, or do it at a different time when you can't smoke.   
"We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned,
so as to accept the life that is waiting for us."
-- Joseph Campbell

If life ain't the party you thought it would be,
DANCE anyway!

basspoet

Jason,

I got mine for about $70 US from a site called v2cigs.com. I've had a great experience with them and would recommend it to anyone trying to quit or just wanting an alternative to traditional cigarettes.

Steve

foxgrove

Jason...  FABULOUS news brother!!  I'm with Ron on this one only I haven't got the energy to do it up like he did..  (bravo Ron.. now THAT's celebrating!!!)
Where God leads, His hand always provides
...so keep Calm and code on....

Foxgrove

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