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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Not the First, but I Hope, the Last...

Being that yesterday was the anniversary of the great adventure known as Irene, I thought I'd mark the occasion with something. As it happened I ran out of tobacco on Monday night, so I decided to quit smoking.

It's been about 3 years since I stopped smoking cigarettes. I switched to a pipe, which I knew would lead eventually to quitting, as it has. Pipes are messy. Tobacco in a pipe doesn't stink like cigarettes do but there's the cleaning of the pipe, which brings home pretty clearly what you're inhaling. Changing the screen, scraping the bowl and stem out, the blackish brown globs of nastiness get repulsive. Tobacco is also expensive these days, and I'd weaned down to one pouch a month of organic tobacco so it wasn't much of a jump to nothing. But still, it's gone.

This is far from the first time I've quit. Over the last forty years I've quit at least a dozen times, sometimes for years at a time. And every one of those times I started again by saying to myself, "I'll just have one." It's never just one. But I'm in very different circumstances now. I'm not at work and I don't go out socially much, and there aren't as many people smoking these days anyway, so there's little opportunity to grub the one that starts it all over again. Somewhat regrettably, I'll have to declare my home a nonsmoking area (I do hate smoke nazis but this is my home and health now). 

What really wore me down to the point of knowing it had to go for good is that I can't sing. I've sung all my life. It's one of the things that makes me really happy. All of my family sang, together and apart. To not hit a note, or to lose wind, or to hear your voice crack and just air come out... it's a dealbreaker. My love affair with Mr. Nicotine is over. It'll take a while, but the vocal folds will heal. Without working on it I may not get the range back so I'll start looking into ways to help that along.

For now, I have plenty of chewing gum, which gives the added benefit of killing my appetite. That'll be the next issue, as my senses of smell and taste clear and everything becomes fabulous to the tongue. For the next few weeks I'll be chewing like a demon until things level out. It ain't my first time at the rodeo, I know how this goes. It's time.

16 comments:

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Good for you! I've quit and re-started so many times, it isn't funny. But it's been a few years now, and I think this time it'll stick. Not because I don't ever crave a smoke anymore, but because I can't see spending that much money just to kill myself. (There's lots cheaper ways!)

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Good for you....I'm happy to hear you are quitting.

Lisa said...

I thought you had quit quit! Didn't know about the pipe :( Organic tobacco? "Healthy" tobacco? But.... YEAH!!!!! You're quitting!

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

YAY! Quitting smoking is a pretty tough gig and I wish you lots of luck!
I quit for the second (and last, I swear) time four years ago and I really have no interest in ever starting again.

Still, it's not as hard as dieting. I find once you quit, you quit. With food, you have to eat SOMETHING. I wish I could quit food cold turkey but just saying that makes me crave stuffing.

Munir said...

No matter how many times you quit, you have tried and that is something you should be proud of

The Elephant's Child said...

Sending good wishes your way.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

Good for you, Laura!

CarrieBoo said...

I didn't even realize you smoke tobacco! I stopped 5 years back (Roz was a decent incentive) and was very nearly tempted at my sister's... she said "No you don't." And I said, "No, I don't." ;) Phewf. Crisis averted. Good luck, Laura! It defintely helps when you're at home more and not around other smokers.

Austan said...

Susan- isn't it ridiculous how many times ya quit and start again? And yeah, man. A pack of smokes was 35 cents when I started. It's just too expensive; even that 15 bucks a month is money better spent (on chocolate).

Austan said...

Lawless- Thanks girl. How is Hubby?

Austan said...

Niecely- I've quit so many times I can't remember. But I've smoked while on the phone with you!? This really is it, though. Done.

Austan said...

Cathy- Thanks and good for you! It really is no big deal next to dieting. Just dropping something is much, much easier. Food you have to deal with every day, and if you're the cook- it's a whole 'nother issue.

Austan said...

Thank you, Munir. You are such a sweet gal. I never looked at it that way, and somehow it eases the pressure.

Austan said...

Ec- Thanks, girl. How go things down there?

Austan said...

Arleen- If you never give up, you never lose, right? Thanks. ;)

Austan said...

Boo- Yeah, it helps a lot to not have it around. Good on your sister for helping you stick to it. I didn't know you ever smoked! Congrats on quitting. You and Cathy have some pretty clear lungs by now. :)