Friday, 31 May 2013

Ex-Smoker Syndrome

Am I developing Ex-Smoker Syndrome/Mentality????
Mark finds it funny, in an "I told you so" sort of way.
I now get the whole" anti-smoking" campaigners and why they bitch and moan about smoking at entrances and in cars and and and.....
Yesterday morning someone was smoking outside and my whole office stank like a freshly lit cigarette. Mark came and checked something on my laptop and looked at me in disgust and said "Have you just had a smoke?"  I don't think he believes me when I said NO and protested loudly that why would I lie to myself, but I don't blame him, because often it smells like I am smoking in here and I can't even see who or where the person is who was smoking outside.

The other day a Client walked in with a tiny little Maltese puppy and I held it and all I could smell on it was stale smoke. I did not even know that she smoked, until that day. I could never smell smoke before, obviously, because I smelt of smoke and was so used to the smell after 35 years - it was a part of me.

Earlier today an old lady walked into reception and she stank like old stale cigarettes and as she spoke this old stale smoke smell just wafted over me and I wanted to puke and still feel ill from the smell and said to Mark if I do start smoking again, then I am a real imbecile, because now I know how disgusting the smell of cigarettes are, especially the stronger brands. YUCK YUCK YUCK and years ago I used to smoke Chesterfield and Mark's Winston's.

So on this WORLD NO TOBACCO DAY I can proudly say that I am 27 days smoke free. I remember the first time hearing about No Tobacco Day I was at school and even then I could not go without a cigarette for a day and today is the first time ever that I have observed  World No Tobacco Day. Before I did not even think about it or acknowledge it.


I have always believed that Hubbly's are worse than smoking - all that sharing and germs sucking on a pipe YUCK YUCKIER YUCKIEST!!!!!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

The Struggle Carries On

Today will be three weeks and three days without a cigarette. I did not plan my next post to follow on with the previous one of two weeks and two days, it just happened that way. Mark and Chad stay up watching absolute rubbish on TV at night and keep me awake or wake me up after I have fallen into a deep sleep and I cannot get back to sleep, which happened last night, so I am far too tired to work today. I also have what might be the start of conjunctivitis in my left eye, which is not only painful, but also very irritating. ........... And with all these irritations and frustrations, I have still managed to not touch a cigarette. I shock myself at times.

Its not easy and yesterday the cravings were so strong that I "forgot" that I had given up smoking and kept reaching for my cigarettes, then remembered that I had given up. I was so tempted to go and buy a loose cigarette from the shop and had to sternly talk myself out of it. Then just before I went home a customer came into reception and he had just had a cigarette and the smell was so disgusting. He was standing talking to Mark on the other side of the counter and I was sitting at my desk, but all I could smell was stale cigarette smoke and I wanted to puke. Now I know Chad was not just moaning for nothing - sorry boy!!!!.

Admittedly, some brands stink far more than others, but now I can smell straight away if someone smokes or not. When you smoke you really do not realize how strong and obvious the smell is. It is so strong and over powering for me at the moment, because the cravings are so bad, that I can even smell the stale cigarette smoke on service books of people who smoke in their cars. It is like WOW!!! I cannot believe it - it is like a real rude awakening and I never believed it when I smoked. I guess after 35 years of smoking, it is just so part of you that you know nothing else.

Strangely, I have not started coughing or had a sore throat, one of the side effects they say you get from not smoking. I have enough of all the others and all I can say is that you do NOT feel better as soon as you give up smoking. You feel terrible - no energy; tired; listless and above all awful. Doctors who have never smoked in their lives who tell you how much better you will feel as soon as you give up smoking, have NO idea what they are talking about and maybe if they gave the facts and not fantasy more people would quit permanently and not give up quitting, because of the terrible side effects. If you have not smoked then you actually have no idea what it is like to quit.

Perhaps I have not started coughing yet, because I spend most of my waking day breathing in car fumes, which believe you me is far worse than smoking and now I can say that as a non smoker too.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Two Weeks & Two Days

At 17h00 today, I will be two weeks and two days smoke free. The cravings are not that intense, but are still there.
My concentration levels are much better, but that could be from the Omega 3; 6; 9 that I am taking.
The worst part is my appetite has increased in leaps and bounds and I cannot afford to put on weight - I have a healthy appetite even when I do smoke. That is enough to make me quit giving up!!!

The other side effects are just as awful.

  • My skin has broken out in spots - strangely all around my mouth area and chin. 
  • I am so bloated and retaining so much fluid, I have had to start taking diuretics
  • I am so tired and lethargic - whoever said when you give up smoking you are filled with an abundance of energy is lying.
  • Strangely enough my cravings do not cause me to get irritated like they did before I decided to quit and ran out of smokes or could not smoke for whatever reason. If I get angry it is because some one has pi$$ed me off, NOT, because I can't smoke

I think the most difficult part of giving up is the side effects from not smoking - they are real and they are nasty and it makes it so much easier to just say to hell with it, smoking is better than this - BUT!!!!
To hear Chad say, "Mom, I am so proud of you" cancels out all the bad side effects as I get through one more day.

Please excuse the typo's; grammatical errors and spelling errors, which I know are worse than ever, but to go back and check over what I have typed is such an effort, especially considering I just read what I want to read anyway and don't pick up the errors

Friday, 17 May 2013

Kicking Butt.........

OK, so following on from this post  The End Of An Era, I am still smoke free and am in my second week now. I am still shocked that a) I have given up smoking and b) it has been for easier than I ever imagined it to be.

It is without a doubt all in the mind, even though it IS a physical addiction. If you don't want to give up smoking you wont. I have never wanted to in the past, but now the time is right and I really want to give up.

Boy do I miss smoking. I love smoking and I am not going to get onto the ex-smoker bandwagon of saying how bad smoking is for you. There are a lot of things in life that are worse than smoking and more dangerous to others than second hand smoke. Things like texting and driving or any other  traffic violation, which people do without a care in the world. Exhaust fumes, especially diesel fumes from the cheaper diesel, and and and.................

Whoever says that when you give up smoking, you will feel so much better, is speaking absolute nonsense. You feel awful and I am sure that is why most people try and give up and then start all over again. I am not qualified to give an opinion on that, because I have never given up smoking until now. I have said that I am giving up, but the truth of the matter is I have not. I have never gone without a cigarette for more than a day and a half and that was due to circumstances beyond my control and not because I was planning on giving up.

I mentioned before that I joined the Kick Butt Program which suggests that you start a diary or journal on your cravings and feelings about smoking, but to keep your thoughts and feelings secret. I don't entirely agree with that, because if I kept it secret, I probably would have given up, giving up smoking by now. I just don't have time to keep a journal and my plan was to record my journey here, but I also don't get a chance to keep updating my blog. I started this post yesterday morning and did not even get past the first paragraph, but I will try.

The other thing I don't agree with is that you must stay away from smoking areas or other smokers, to stop the temptation to smoke again. If you have to avoid smokers then you have not given up and with any addiction, if you cannot say "No Thanks, I don't drink" "No Thanks, I don't do drugs"  or "No Thanks, I don't smoke" then you have not given up your addiction. If you don't have the power to say NO, then you are still as addicted as the next person. I won't say it is easy being with smokers, the smell of a burning cigarette is such an awesome smell - not stale cigarettes, but a freshly lit cigarette, is just out of this world - it talks to every bit of my brain, mind, soul and body - that is the addiction - the craving.

What they do say in the program, is that it is not easy and it is not plain sailing. It is like climbing Mount Everest, it is a long hard climb till you get to the top. They say the first 3 days are the hardest - for me they were the easiest. I am almost at the end of week 2 and I still wake up at night after dreaming of smoking and the smell of a freshly lit cigarette is as strong as if someone is smoking in the house.

I really admire Mark for giving up all those years ago and honestly don't know how he managed to give up completely, with me still smoking and smoking in the house and all around him.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

My Baby Is 16

I know I am late in posting this Chad, but it is OK, because I have already said this to you on your birthday.

Happy Birthday my beautiful child, wishing you everything of the best and all the happiness in the world for the year ahead and for the future. May all your dreams; goals and wishes come true.

Thank you for being the best son anyone can ask for. Love you very much boy.

Birthday Cake

Just two more years and then you get the real one.................

Performance Converted 1400

Thursday, 9 May 2013

The End Of An Era

I never ever imagined that I would ever say what I am about to post today. I made a decision last week to give up smoking for good. After continuous pressure from Chad to quit, I decided to humor him and go out and buy Nicorettes and give up try and quit smoking. Wednesday, 1 May 2013, was a public holiday, it was the beginning of the month and a good day to attempt to quit smoking. I bought a packet of cigarettes as well, so who was I kidding? I think I bought two packets, which is normal for me. I smoke between 30 and 35 cigarettes a day and that is on a good day.  On a bad day and by bad day, I mean an emotionally strained and drained day, I smoke from 35 to 45 or even more in a day.

I tried to buy Nicorette patches, but it seems they have been taken off the market. This I found out after doing some research. I also was astonished to read on different forums that many people become addicted to Nicorette gum. My psychologist told me that she was addicted to Nicorettes, so I had heard of it happening, but she never went into detail about how long she was addicted, so when I read that some people have been addicted to them for 15 or more years and the side effects, I was quite reluctant to even open the packet. I have had them before, many years ago and they did not work. I also was not that interested in giving up smoking. I loved love smoking. Mark said the other night, how can you love smoking and miss smoking. I do love it - admittedly some of the time it is habit, some addiction, but many are because I enjoy them.

I always said that I gave up, giving up smoking years ago and I had no interest in giving up, but last year I toyed with the idea when I added smoking to my list of goals for the year, which you can read about over here. What I have learnt is, call them goals or changes or new year's resolutions, call them what you like, they do not work for me and it is just a waste of time. Well this time I thought I would attempt to give up and then Chad could at least see I am putting in an effort.

On Thursday morning I woke up and had 2 left in the pack, which I smoked and decided that is the end - no more. I arrived at work and did not rush up to the shop to buy a packet or one loose cigarette, which they sell at the shop up stairs even though it is against the law to sell loose cigarettes. I was so proud of myself for about 45 minutes, then sent Brilliant up to buy  a packet, which I was planning on leaving in the car so that it would  not be such a temptation to smoke if they were not lying on my desk. I ended up cutting down to one pack of 20's a day. Friday night I bought a packet and buy 2 pm on Saturday I had 3 smokes left. I was at work and when I left I thought "Who the hell am I kidding" There and then I decided not to buy another packet.

I arrived at home with 3 smokes. I smoked one and went to sleep. I woke up after 2 hours and as usual as my eyes opened so did my mouth - in popped the smoke, I lit it, smoked it and enjoyed it.
I got up, then went o make supper. I made curry and whilst it was simmering on the stove, I made myself a cappuccino, sat down and had my last and final cigarette. That last cigarette I had on Saturday evening, was the best cigarette I have ever had in my life.

I have not had a single cigarette or even a puff on a cigarette since then. Mark and I debate about me doing it cold turkey, he says I did not, I started cutting down before. Cutting down from 30 to 25 cigarettes on one day is not cutting down slowly.

I am shocked at how easy it has been, yet extremely difficult. In 35 years that I have smoked, the only time I went without a cigarette for more than 24 hours was when I had my jaw operation and I was too sore to go outside the hospital to have a smoke in the gardens. I am not proud to admit it, but even when I gave birth to Chad and Clint, I went and smoked as soon as I could after my Caesars.

I am on day 5 now and I have to admit, the first 3 days were easy, maybe, because I was chewing Nicorettes, yesterday and today have been hell and we are not even half way through today. I also signed up with CANSA's eKick Butt program. I found this whilst searching for Nicorette patches. I only read through it on Monday night, so had in fact quit, before starting the program.

The side effects of giving up smoking are real and nasty. The worst is my concentration levels, which are way below zero. My brain must surely be in shock after 35 years of heavy heavy smoking, but if I have to quit, quitting after almost 5 days of being smoke free, then I would be really stupid.

As I go along my smoke free journey, I will post about my cravings, feelings and side effects. I need to get back to work now.

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