Sunday, July 30, 2006

I'm done.

I'm 50 years old. I'll be 51 in September. I've been a smoker since my teens. I'm probably smoking a couple of packs a day now. No more. I'm through. I have less than 1 pack left. I have my patches, I have my gum. I quit after my shower tomorrow morning, or when this pack is empty, whichever comes first.

I've quit before. The first time was in my late twenties. Was smoke free for about a year. Then I had some great sex with a waitress (and an amazing classical concert pianest) from the New Stanley in Westport (now known as Harry's Bar and Tables). She lit up, so I did too. All her fault. Not me!!

A few times over the next 20 years, I "sort of" quit. Usually substituting the cigarettes with cigars or pipes. That would work for a while. But smoking a pipe instead of cigarettes is kinda like saying "freakin" instead of "fucking" or "heck" instead of "hell". The point is the same, but it's just not as satisfying.

All of those previous attempts to quit were based on abstract concepts. I knew smoking was bad, because other people said so. I knew I should quit, because everyone said so. My significant other at the time was nagging the shit out of me to quit. But I liked smoking! I enjoyed it. Yeah, I knew it would hurt me eventually, but it ain't hurting me now! So any motivation I had was several steps removed from my own experience.

Not anymore. For the last couple of years, it has become increasingly "upclose and personal". I cough, I hack, I'm short of breath. Not just in the mornings, but ALL DAY LONG! I have curtailed some of my activities because of my smoking. I worry that I will drop dead from a heart attack mowing my lawn on a hot day. Every trashcan, sink and toilet in the house has become a "spitoon" as my body struggles to rid itself of pleghm. I'm personally embarassed at work as I cough and hack my way outside to smoke yet another cigarette. I'm sure they're all thinking "Yeah, go have another smoke...idiot!"

Enough. One of my reasons for NOT quitting was not wanting to gain weight. But I've already gained weight because I'm too short of breath and my body is too dehydrated from smoking to work out like I used to without tearing my rotator cuff (done) or aggrivating my ruptured disk (done).

It's time to stop this shit.

But one thing I WILL NOT DO is become some sort of "born again, crusading, anti-smoker". If people want to smoke they should be allowed to smoke. In restaraunts, in public, I could give a shit. Do what you want. I refuse to be an anti-smoking Nazi. I'm making a personal choce, for personal reasons, not to smoke anymore. I won't inflict my personal choice on anyone else, and I won't expect the world to conform to my decisions.

Expect some really cranky and irrationally angry posts in the next few weeks.

Stay tuned!


Tony said...

Good for you X! And I look forward to the cranky Nicotine withdraw inspired posts.

Janet said...

Awesome. Best wishes on a successful quitting.

I grew up in a house where smoking could get you kicked out of the church (which meant out of the house as well), so of course I smoked, for about a year or so. For me, I quit because I was done being rebellious, and because I was getting wrinkles around my eyes! Vain, I know, but I quit!

emawkc said...


Xavier Onassis said...

emaw - "Quitters never win, and winners never quit. But those who never win and never quit, are fucking idiots." So sayeth XO.

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