No One Likes A Quitter Quite Like I Do
Quitting a cigarette addiction is hard to do, maybe the third time’s the charm.
We all have a vice. Something we like to indulge in and the chemicals in our brain tell us we are being rewarded in some shape or fashion. For me its always been coffee. “My morning doesn’t start until I’ve had my first cup of coffee.”
For some people it may be food or shopping. The little thing that we allow ourselves to have to keep us going through the day. My wife, Silke, has had her vice since she was 15. Smoking cigarettes!
Smoking cigarettes has become such a battle ground over the last few decades that it seems to have built its own universe unto itself. The people who don’t smoke don’t want to be burdened with the ones who do. The surgeon general wants smokers to simply quit. That’s only half of the equation. The marketing efforts aimed at smokers is the stuff textbooks are written about. The image that is portrayed in movies verses the reality even seem to be skewed.
Silke will make her third attempt to quit smoking, starting tomorrow: October 10. This date has been looming over her for quite some time now and she readily admits it frightens her a little.
Her determination to omit this particular part of her life once and for all has truly been admirable. She has friends who have quit smoking cigarettes as well. Some successfully and others that caved after a few weeks. Quitting smoking is not for the light of heart. Recovering alcoholics and drug users have said that quitting smoking cigarettes was the hardest habit to break.
Silke and I have been down this road before so I am going into this with eyes wide open. The irritability, restlessness, and mood swings are just the surface stuff. The real meat of the matter lies beneath. There’s something about the whole act of smoking cigarettes in itself. She’s admitted that stepping outside with a smaller group of smokers has led to more intimate conversations. Who would want to give that up?
As I mentioned earlier, we’ve been down this road before. This time with our new found enthusiasm and armed with experience, we are going to make this work. Silke has taken Chantix before. I’ve never been able to figure medicines out that make you sick before they try to cure you. Chantix has all the wonderful side effects that can only be associated with modern medicine. Nausea, headaches, and a strange dream sequence.
Silke had woke up one night, after having been on Chantix for a couple of weeks, in a panic. She recounted a dream in which she said she was lying down and observed a flower growing out of her belly button. In her dream she had reached down to pull the flower out. The sensation of the roots being pulled out of her abdomen felt very real. Her gaze fell back to where she had pulled the flower out and another had grown in its place. The speed with which she pulled these plants out was equally matched with their growth. The dream ended upon her awakening.
Given all the side effects, she will again try to make a go of it with Chantix.
They offered a clinical study program through the University of Minnesota. She called the toll free number and signed herself up for the program. The program involved the Chantix taken in combination with an anti-depressant medicine. This sounded great in theory and was worth a try. She drove two hours one way for two appointments to determine if she would qualify to be in the program. I waited for her to text me as soon as she found out.
- Silke: They told me I didn’t qualify because I don’t smoke enough.
- Nick: Just when you think you’re bad someone comes along and tells you you’re not bad enough.
- Silke: LOL
I couldn’t imagine her actually laughing at my lame attempt at a joke but I hoped for at least a smile. It was anything but funny. The program would have been more about just getting the medicine but also about being part of a much larger support group. Something I (who’s never smoked before) could hardly give her. I guess we’re on our own with this one.
We read somewhere that a person who is trying to quit cigarettes is 10 times more likely to succeed if they receive words of affirmation via text. We text each other all the time so this was an idea I could actually wrap my head around. I began to think of the number of ways you can tell someone to keep up the good work of not smoking. Did I mention already that this isn’t going to be easy?
This time will be different because on top of the journal that she keeps on her night stand we will also document our success / failure via our blog. There seems to be a kind of commitment by letting it all hang out. The inclination to start again might be less if you know you’ve told everyone in the world it was your desire to quit.
So we would like to invite you on our little journey and share with us not only our experiences of quitting cigarettes, but yours as well. We would appreciate not only the support you could offer but would like to hear your stories as well.
Have you successfully quit smoking cigarettes? Leave us a comment.
All the best,
Nick and Silke