Quitting Smoking One Day at a Time...

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Monday, December 31, 2007

21 Things to Remember...Life Tips

Someone sent this to me recently when I was feeling kind of down and it helped pick me back up. I really believe that my life is better when my attitude is good. Even when things are not going my way, if I stay grateful for what I do have life is SO much better! Besides, I have a beautiful Siamese cat so what more can I ask for?

Here are the tips:
1. No one can ruin your day without YOUR permission.
2. Most people will be about as happy, as they decide to be
3. Others can stop you temporarily, but only you can do it permanently.
4. Whatever you are willing to put up with, is exactly what you will have.
5. Success stops when you do.
6. When your ship comes in…. make sure you are willing to unload it.
7. You will never have it all together.
8. Life is a journey…not a destination. Enjoy the trip!
9. The biggest lie on the planet When I get what I want I will be happy.
10. The best way to escape your problem is to solve it.
11. I’ve learned that ultimately , ‘takers’ lose and ‘givers’ win.
12. Life’s precious moments don’t have value, unless they are shared.
13. If you don’t start, it’s certain you won’t arrive.
14. We often fear the thing we want the most.
15. He or she who laughs……lasts.
16. Yesterday was the deadline for all complaints.
17. Look for opportunities…not guarantees.
18. Life is what’s coming….not what was.
19. Success is getting up one more time.
20. Now is the most interesting time of all.
21. When things go wrong…..don’t go with them.

Happy New Year's Eve....and House Sitting!

Hi all...
Wishing you all a smoke-free New Year's eve. I am house sitting two different places and have not decided if I am ready to go out to a club enviornment or not yet. I may just go to dinner and chill with some friends and watch Tila Tequila's New Year's Eve Bash on MTV. Whatever I do, I do not want to smoke. If I need to stay in to stay that way, so be it. Have a great night!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Tomorrow Will Be 60 Days on Chantix....and No Smoking!

I am feeling a bit better today. I have been having terrible cravings the last couple of days but they seem to be subsiding. I went to an AA meeting last night and that seemed to help. Smoking not only sounded good but a drink with a cigarette sounded even better! I saw people I have not seen in a long time and they were blown away by the fact I quit smoking. I also saw new people actively engaged in their addiction...wanting to rob pharmacies and such. I do not want to be that addicted person so I will go to another meeting tonite and reach out and be of service. I have been clean and sober for a long time so I do know what to do to stay that way. My worst day sober is DEFINITELY better than some of my days using. For me its really important to remember where I came from and be willing to share it with others.

Friday, December 28, 2007


Just to let you all know, I dealt with the cravings I had all day and my sister smoking all night in the garage! The smell kept leaking into the house and thankfully I still did not smoke! I realized how bad stale smoke smells and it really started to annoy me. Did I mention how bad it STUNK! Its really cold so she moved from the patio to the garage to smoke. My sister used to be really judgemental and tell me how bad I stunk when I was still smoking and when I asked her to smoke outside on the patio instead of an enclosed area, she just kind of looked at me and said "yeah." I could tell she was annoyed. I mean, who wants to go inhale poison in the cold? My breathing was starting to get effected but I managed to get through this very difficult day. I think my cravings came back because of the smoke smell traveling through the house. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better. Thanks for the support.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Still Craving But Doing the DESTRACTION Thing...

Well, it is 6:21 PM and I am still working my way through my desire to smoke. Just because I want to do something, doesn't mean I HAVE to do it. I mean, if I felt like robbing a bank, would I do it? NO! I would think it through and realize that a felony and jail time were not really consequences I wanted to deal with. I have to think of cigarettes in the same way. I do not want to have to quit again...I would rather use the strategies I have learned and just not smoke even if I do feel like it. Since I knew I was on shaky ground, I have kept myself busy by hanging out with non-smokers. My friends boyfriend came in from Hawaii so I went over there to hang out. It was nice to visit and besides, no one there smokes. My friends complimented me on how good I looked and told me they were really proud of me for not smoking. I also went to an appointment and that was another place I could not smoke, even if I wanted to. I walked into the house and the house REEKED of cigarettes and I asked my sister if she had smoked in the house. She said "no" and I just went upstairs so the smell did not trigger anything else. I know I can get through this! Thanks for the supportive messages! I really appreciate the help.


I was craving a cigarette last night and woke up and "thought" that a cigarette sounded good again this morning! All I have to say is the power of addiction is crazy! I am not going to smoke (hopefully...never say never) I will take my Chantix and do all of the things I know will help not pick up the first cigarette. I will post later. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I am Finally Better and My First X-Mas Not Smoking!

Well, I just wanted to say thanks for all the support that I have been given while I have been sick. (I been actually been sick one day short of a month) I took the last steroid pill yesterday and I am feeling a lot better! I also made it through Christmas without smoking! There is usually lots of traffic for all the smokers running to the garage. I don't know if the smoking section seemed less busy because it was cold outside or people are cutting down. Out of a house full of people, only like four people were going out to smoke. Thank God one of them wasn't me. Hope everyone had a great day. I have been on Chantix almost 60 days and am feeling stronger in my resolve to stay quit! Wishing everyone a smoke-free New Year.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Off to the "House of Fear for XMAS Day...

I am still smoke and nicotine free! What a great Christmas gift! I did not appreciate it in the first few days or even weeks like I do today. The 11th of January will be two months (over 60 days) I still can't believe it! Thanks to Chantix and all of the support I have been given. By reading a lot of blogs and seeing people in my life relapse, I realize how much easier it is to stay quit then to relapse and try to get back on track. My resolve is to not pick up a cigarette for any reason! Its funny, I still need support! I am going back to the quit smoking program at Kaiser on January 10th. I think its good to give back. When I first enrolled, I saw one guy who quit through Chantix and he was my biggest inspiration. Part of what made me able to quit was seeing that other people had done it and were actually SANE after putting cigarettes down.

Today is my last steroid pill and I am off to my cousin's house to celebrate. My cousin also quit smoking quite awhile ago but most of my family and a lot of friends that will be there have not. I will just remember to stay in the house. There is no need to go outside or to the garage. It is really windy today so that helps seal the decision to stay inside. I need to bring that asthma pump with me just in case! It should be a great day. My cousin just moved to a new place with her significant other. Her ex-husband and the kids and grand kid still celebrate the holidays together. Tons of friends show up too. It is cool to celebrate with my first, second, and third cousins all in the same place. The ham I baked last night came out great.

I wish everyone a fantastic Christmas and may all of your Chantix dreams come true!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Finally Feeling a Bit Better...Happy Holidays All!

Hi All:
I am feeling WAY better....I only have two more steroid pills to go. This weekend I slept a lot and took really good care of myself. I refused to go to a million holiday gatherings and only went to really low-key ones. I have not been to the mall and only bought a few small gifts for people. I am doing what blogger Tracee Souix at her Quitcoping bog suggested, downsizing Christmas!
I did not originally set out to downsize Christmas but since I have been so sick, I was not left with much of a choice. It was either overextend myself and stay sick or learn to say "No" and not have to deal with the added holiday stress. For me, dealing with stress means lighting up, pure and simple. Since I am no longer a smoker, lighting up is not an option. I had to do things differently. I am sure I will have a wonderful holiday with family and friends whether or not I spent a ton of money. Wishing all my fellow quitters a really nice Christmas Eve. I am off to buy a ham because that is the one thing I need to contribute to the family dinner tomorrow. It is SO much easier having to buy and cook ONE thing as opposed to an ENTIRE dinner.
Happy Holidays,

Friday, December 21, 2007

Days are wrong...51 days on Chantix 43 off Tobacco, Cigarettes and Nicotine Replacement!

I got my day count wrong yesterday....Maybe I need one of those quitmeter thingies at the top of my blog. I am really excited about the amount of money I have saved! I was on Nocotine Replacement for five weeks prior to Chantix and only bought one pack that entire time. I have saved about $135.00 a month which is about $360.00 in the last couple of months! Imagine all I had to do was just by not buying cigarettes every frickin day! I feel so dumb spending that $4.50 a day to kill myself and make the Phillip Morris company rich. What in the hell was I thinking? If I had saved even half of my 30 years of smoking money, I could definetly have a hell of a nice house by now. If I do not smoke for a year that will be $1642.50 in the bank! I am really starting to like being a non-smoker!
Peace All,

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Lets see, it has been almost 50 days since I have smoked! I will have two months on January 11th, 2008. I am so glad that I do not have to list "quit smoking" as a New Years resolution. Now, I can resolve to eat better and exercise more so I don't gain anymore weight. I honestly do not know if I gained weight from not smoking or if it is a side effect of the steroid medication I am on. This is the second dose of steroids that has been given to me to stop the inflamination in my lungs and throat. The side affects are really fun stuff....acne, weight gain, increased appitite, facial bloating etc. I am still not eating much and what I am eating is basically crap. Nothing really tastes good but I have to eat to take both Chantix and the steroid medicine. Anyway, I hope to be better by the New Year.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Feeling Hopeful...

I went to the doctor today and he gave me another series of steroids to bring the inflammation in my lungs down and help me with my breathing/asthma. I never go to the doctor unless I am practically on my deathbed, but he convinced me I was gonna live...LOL! Its funny how our (at least my mind) goes to the worst possible places.

I had a good old heart to heart with him about the potential effects of smoking and he asked me a lot of questions about Chantix, the on-line support group they offer and how I am feeling in general. I told him even if I found out something horrible about my health, I did not think I would go out and smoke. (At least for today.) Lets just say this is a really big wake up call about how I could feel everyday. I mean, breathing is not an optional part of life. I am under really strict orders to take the medicine prescribed, not do too much, get enough rest and eat. It has been hard to hold down food or really want to eat much of anything and I am not underweight by any means! Nothing really tastes good or strikes me as interesting. The steroids make you hungry and hold water though so I have a feeling I will be eating more than I have been.

Once again, I am grateful for all of the support I have been so freely given.


Wish Me Luck...Going Back to the Doctor Today!

Hi all...
I am going back to my doctor today as I am still having too many symptoms of this cold/virus that I have had since around November 27th. My voice is still sounds kind of weird and I am coughing a lot. I don't know if whatever I have settled in my chest or its just lingering. Whatever it is, I am starting to get concerned. I am still having breathing difficulties and I really don't want to end up back in the emergency room with accute breathing distress or an athsma attack. I must say I am better since the last time I ended up there. I had to get a breating treatment and a steriod shot to reduce the swelling in my lungs. Maybe I just need another series of treatments. I was expecting to feel better, not worse after quitting smoking. I guess I should never assume anything! This does make my resolve to stay quit much stronger, at least for the day. Wish me luck. Thanks for all the support.


Monday, December 17, 2007


Hi there all...for the few people who do read my blog, could you link my blog to your sites? Some people have linked my blog with theirs and I really appreciate it. I am going for more! I want to network with as many quitters (and other people I may have things in common with) as possible to keep me on the right track! I need to keep doing what is working!
Thanks in advance.

Off for Three Weeks....and I Have Lots to Do....

Hi again,
Today is my first day off for the winter break! Unfortunately, there will not be much of a break for me. I worked this entire weekend and today I am going to take today off for myself. I am in the process of looking for a new teaching position and planning specialized curriculum that I was trained to implement about the Civil Rights Movement. This summer I traveled to three different states to learn more about 20th century history. I went from Los Angeles to Chicago to learn about Industrialization, building design and the Jane Adams Hull House. From Chicago we flew to Memphis Tennessee to see The National Civil Rights Museum that was made inside the Lorraine Motel building where Martin Luther King was assassinated. It was such a moving experience I will never forget it! Most of the people I was with were deeply moved, cried and held each other as we walked through the exhibit. That very day, we also got to go to Graceland to learn about the influence of the media on pop culture during The Movement and how the media brought attention to many things during this time period. (Yes, I did try the Elvis special, fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches! The next day our group traveled to Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama to learn about the Montgomery Bus Boycott and met Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth who worked hand in hand with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on training people on how to respond non-violently while protesting injustice. I was a great experience and I feel really honored that I got to be part of it.

Now, I am in the process of finishing the unit that will teach my students what I learned and why people finally stood up against the injustices that they faced on a daily basis. I have to present the material at a history conference so it has to be really good! I have very strict deadlines and I really appreciate all of the additional time I have to complete this daunting task because I don't smoke! Its amazing how much time I wasted out of every day (about two hours) just by smoking cigarettes! Yesterday I drove to Whitter from the San Fernando Valley to work with some people on our projects and let me just say, long drives STILL make me want to smoke. I have my fake cigarette/straw that I still hold as a security blanket when driving long distances or getting stuck in traffic. I know it sounds silly but it seems to work! I was not tempted to smoke even after getting a little bit lost! For anyone reading this who just quit, I try to hold on to the little successes that I have as a non-smoker and it seems to build confidence. It has been since November 11, 2007 that I smoked, which is more than thirty days! I feel very blessed and am grateful! I got the best gift I have ever hoped to get for X-Mas! I will keep on blogging and try to get a little time to just chill! Today I am going to go and get a manicure /pedicure! I think that is a good reward to give myself for taking care of business.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Quick Post About Last Day of Stop Smoking Class

Today was the last day of my non-smoking support group! It was weird, I am still kind of under the weather and laid down but did not want to miss the class. Normally I would have just stayed in bed because I had no real buy in to the program. This is the second time I have gone through the class this year. The first time I went was before I started Chantix and I was on the nicotine patch. I learned a lot of things about dealing with stresses, how to delay smoking and many other coping mechanisms. Then I went on Chantix and decided to go to the class again. My attitude and success level was WAY higher this time. The instructor is awesome and DJ's as a hobby like I used to! That is where I got the name Diva by the way.....Fierce Diva in Da House....."throw your hands up.....your a non-smoker!" I need to go back to doing something creative with music. Just think, I have an extra two hours a day to do it just by not smoking! I actually have time to do something I love! I am ready to go back to mixing music and MC'ing parties. I am going to make this a priority for the new year.

The people in this class are awesome and I am thinking about going back for a third time! I could use the support and I want to give back the hope that has been so freely given to me. There is on guy in the class that made me believe I could do it. He was on Chantix and I saw that he was actually successful and was not smoking! After that, I will have to roll into the Freedom from Fat program! Now that I am feeling a bit better, my appetite is returning. I am still not completely well and need to take it easy so I do not relapse. Lets just say not having a voice for a week made me realize what it would be like if I NEVER had a voice! I kept asking myself, "What if my my voice box was permanently damaged?" I would have done it to myself. I was left with a overwhelming feeling of gratitude and I still feel really grateful I can talk again. That was a big wake up call to say the least.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Thirty days off Nicotine! Its a Miracle!

I am amazed that it is thirty day mark mark! No smoking, no patch, no nicotine gum.....nothing! Today I wanted to smoke really bad but my illness is still with me and I am coughing so bad that smoking cigarettes seemed like a bad idea. Chantix is a really good program.
Stay safe.
Ms. Divaz

Saturday, December 8, 2007


I really want to smoke today..the tuggings as Maggie calls them have been calling my name. I am going through a lot of emotional stuff and it is really easy to stuff your feelings with cigarettes. I don't WANT to smoke but I do want to feel that AHHHHHHHH feeling from the hit of the nicotine. I want to stuff what I am feeling down but I know that even if I do smoke the Chantix will not let me feel that AHHHHHHH feeling so I have not lit up! I am going to go and get something to eat and breathe in some fresh air. Lets see, the four D's..... Delay, Do something else, Drink water/fluids and I forgot the last one. I am going to get off this computer and go do something else and drink/eat something. Hopefully, that will take care of it. Just in case I took my second dose of Chantix early tonite.

Stressed out and Sick...but Still Not Smoking!

I am finally starting to be able to talk and sound somewhat recognizable to people! I am still sick and it is starting to get me stressed out! I have been in bed for God only knows how. I hope I am well enough to go back to work Monday. I feel like I am going to OD on Dayquil, cough medicine and decognestant. I guess I'm going to live.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

25 days off Nicotne! Whoooo Hooooo ! Oh and Lets Have a Menthol!

I cannot believe that the days are just adding up! I have been on Chantix over a month and have 25 smoke and nicotine free days! Amazing! What is more amazing though is my head which should be called RADIO K-FUCK! My mind keeps telling me, "A menthol cigarette would taste SO good, it would help your throat etc." Yes and little children and animals should smoke too right?

I had to tell my head, "Shut the hell up, thanks and have a nice day....I don't smoke!" Fortunatly, my craving and desire is really low so it was easy to do. I hope my cravings continue to deminish all the way to ONE on the quitmeter. Right now I am like a 2-3. I hope all is well with others trying to quit. It is the hardest thing I have ever quit but probably the most meaningful. I see a lot of other bloggers drop off...I hope they are just settling into their new lives as non-smokers. I will continue to blog on especially since I am sick and have a lot of time.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Unfortunately, Still Sick even thought I am not smoking!

Hey all...well ok, hey at least a few people who manage to come by and read this from time to time. Man, these last two weeks have been hard! I started getting sick right after I got back from Mexico. I really appreciate the Chantix help the last couple of weeks. I am sick and under a lot of stress but even when the thought to smoke hits me, I realize how stupid the whole thing sounds. Yeah lets see...I have a really severe upper respiratory cold and it went from my head, ears and sinus to my throat and chest. I have athsma so I had to go get a breathing treatment, a chest X-Ray and a shot of steroids in the butt! Hopefully the steroids will help my voice come back. I am supposed to be on pretty much complete silence unless there is something I absolutly need to say.

Oh yes, what fun I was having in Urgent Scare tonite! Guess what my head's best solution to all this was? A Cigarette! !! No way, thats what I said to myelf. I quickly ran down all the reasons I quit. No wonder my addict mind has been addicted to these killers for so long. Nicotine is a drug! Cigarettes are simply a Nicotine delivery system. A damn good one at that considering the other four or five hundred chemicals they stick in there to make SURE you are good and DAMNED HOOKED!!! I like feeling that I have a choice and I just don't want to be hooked anymore. Before I felt that God himself was going to have to come down from the sky and pull those cigarettes out of my hand if I was ever going to stop. I don't feel that today. I feel like I have an actual choice and today I choose to be a non-smoker.

At the doctor's office it was weird having a chest X-ray. For a second I had to wonder, "Damn, what if something bad shows up?" As a smoker I always knew it was a possibility. Fortunatly, everything was fine. No phemonia, no strang things on the X-Ray that couldn't be accounted for. I know every day I don't smoke I increase the chances of having healthy lungs again. At least its something to strive for. Anyway, I am still off work. I hope all is good for everyone out there trying to quit. On-line support is the best!


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Laryngitis Sucks!

Hey All:
Lets see....I seem to be getting worse instead of getting better. I feel a little bit better physically but my voice is totally gone. I am going to work today but may need a few more days off to get my voice back. Wish me well. Anyone know any remedies to getting my voice back?

PS: I am still a non-smoker even thought a really stressful situation made me feel like lighting up. I realized really quickly that smoking was not going to make my situation or my voice get any better.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Memories of a Pack a Day Smoker....

Hi there fellow quitters:
I never did the goodbye letter to tobacco thing but while I was reading Bab's Letter, I almost fell out laughing because as Nicotine addicts, we make excuses for the worst sort of nonsense. I love reading a blog that really hits home the insanity that we take part of just by smoking cigarettes. I realized that these blogs might be a good thing when I would log on and read about the craziness of other people's addiction and I relate because I did the same stuff just to get that nicotine rush. I remember when I read in Maggie's Blog about her not missing standing out in the wind and cold to suck down poison and I could so relate. I have put up with extreme rain, wind, heat and other extreme weather types just to feel that feeling of "normalcy" that smoking a cigarette gives a nicotine addict. If I could just put that type of energy into a new project, it would be extremely successful. Speaking of projects, my project for teaching about the Civil Rights Movement is almost due. Now that I am feeling better, I can put all that energy into the oral history interviews and lessons I need to create before the holidays are over. I have a feeling my progress will be good. I will be back to work tomorrow. Lets hope I am totally better.

Parliament Cigarettes, Cancer and Other Memories...
I have a lot of memories associated with smoking and the holidays. I was one of those kids who grew up in a typical late 60's to 70's household where most people smoked. My grandmother smoked some kind of weird cigarette in a blue and white package with a special filter tip on it called "Parliament" My grandfather smoked a pipe and cigars and my mom walked through the malls and supermarkets, always carrying a lit cigarette. I used to beg her to quit. People called cigarettes "cancer sticks" from the time I was old enough to remember. My dad, on the other hand had the sense enough not to smoke. He just married a smoker. I remember when I was about five or six years old and I decided to bury my Mother's beloved Marlboro cigarettes (she later switched to Benson and Hedges) in my sandbox in the backyard. Lets just say when mom was deep into her conversation on the telephone and reached for a new pack she must have realized that about six packs of cigarettes were missing. She started screaming and wanted to know where her cigarettes were. I of course tried to say that I didn't know where they were and leave it at that. I had no idea about the "Nicodemon" that possessed mom and later myself with the urge to kill yourself slowly by inhaling rat poison, window cleaner etc. Mom made me "find" those cigarettes immediately and fear of getting my rear-end beat made me comply.

When my mom was too busy to go to the store, she used to send me down the street to the liquor store with little hand written notes asking the store owner to sell me three packs of Benson and Hedges 100's. I soon realized that most of the store owners didn't really care all that much if they were selling cigarettes to minors. I became pretty much a pack a day smoker by the time I hit middle school. It has taken me this long to feel like maybe I will not die as a smoker. Some people are not even that lucky. My mom was only able to stop smoking when she found out that she had terminal cancer. She had cancer that was found in her lymph glands and spread to her lungs. I am not really sure of the order but by the time the tumors were identified, it was too late to save her. She died at 49 and everyone in the family realized that most of her illness was due to smoking. I think I was about 20 when she died. Even though I saw first hand what happens when a person smokes, I continued to smoke cigarettes. I have tried to quit throughout the years with little success. Lets see, I've been to like five smoking cessation groups, done the patch like four times, used the gum, Zyban and hypnotism. A person really has to WANT to quit no matter what method they use. I have always taken the easy way out and gone back to lighting up. I do not want to do that this time. I want to stay quit.

Nicotine is an amazing and highly addictive substance. Most people who use it know what it does and what they consequences of smoking are but they continue to use it anyway. I hope to God I stay quit this time. I love the picture in the banner of my blog. It reminds me that the Nicodemon is still there waiting for me with open claws. One or two cigarettes will lead me right back to a pack a day habit. Learning to avoid those situations will make me or break me. Chanitx has been great but I have to go off of it eventually. Hopefully, now that the cravings are getting less and less I will realize how much I have gained. I have saved about $270.00 since I quit and I am on my way to having healthier lungs. I hope all of you continue to be quitters along with me.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

30 Days on Chantix...19 Days Smoke and Nicotine Free!

I am still sick but I am feeling a lot better. I was reading Bab's good-bye letter to cigarettes and Phillip Morris. Funny, we both smoked Marlboro Lights and remember the Marlboro Miles campaign. http://rantingworld.blogspot.com/ Hang in there Babs! You can do it! I could relate to so much of her post it inspired me to write down memories of my own. I am in the process of working on it. I am off to pick up some pizza and watch reruns of "Flavor of Love' Peace out all.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Being Sick Sucks...Not Smoking Makes it Better!

Hi all you quitters!

I have been sick since Tuesday but managed to drag myself to work both Tuesday and Wednesday. My poor students! I work at a really small school with about 60 students and some of these kids have me for different classes all day long! I have been no prize, believe me! Finally the kids told me I should stay home! I work with at-risk youth that a lot of people are scared of but actually they can be really sweet or really horrible. Most of the time they are just sweet kids in big bodies with foul mouths! Lets just say there is never a dull moment! Normally I am really picky about what sub to call because if they don't like someone they can be far from sweet. Some subs are kind of quirky to say the least and have no idea how to deal with what they perceived as "thugs." The lady that was with them yesterday was one of the quirky ones who would have NEVER agreed to come to my school site but just sort of ended up there. She wrote me a note saying she had a really good day and the kids were nicer to her than the ones she usually gets in traditional school. I was really happy to get a nice report and not to get hate mail when I returned today.
I only went to work Wednesday because my office manager is leaving for another job and I felt like I needed to go to her farewell luncheon. Unfortunately, when I get sick I have no appetite or only eat stuff like Popsicles or soup! The staff took her to this amazing little cafe that had what look like delicious Risotto with jumbo prawns and what also looked like some really good seafood pasta. I couldn't even eat! I ended up getting some frozen Italian Ice when I left because my throat was all swelled up. Its funny, I tried to take a bite of my friends food and I couldn't even taste it! It looked good but when your food tastes like nothing, why bother? I wonder how I could even really smell or taste food all these years as a smoker? Even if I was sick as hell, (bronchitis, sinus infection, whatever it was I would still smoke!) Forget eating...but giving up smoking, even while sick was something I just never did. I would tell myself that I was soothing my throat by alternating menthol cigarettes with regular ones. Also, if I was sick and sleeping, I was obviously cutting down. Denial is a wonderful thing. It makes being addicted seem like no big deal. I am definitely an addict! I am one puff away from a pack a day just like most smokers. I am just glad that I have had no real urges since I have been sick. I would say I am between a 3-4 on the Quit meter. That feels better than the usually 5.
Today I went to a really long meeting and just did my best to stay awake. I went back to work for about a half hour before I went to the doctor and it was all good. My usual sub was there and my students were actually working! They were being all sweet and asking if I was going to feel good enough to come to work Monday. They were telling me, "We miss you, please come back soon." I love teaching at a continuation school but I have been thinking about leaving my school site to teach in juvenile hall or a camp so I felt really guilty because they were being so nice. Right before I got sick I was working on the application but did not feel good enough to complete it and get it in by the due date which was yesterday. Sometimes I forget how good I have it and other days I want new challenges.
My doctor seemed happy to hear that I am still off cigarettes. I am the first person he has given Chantix to. (You can only get a waiver through Kaiser if you have "failed" via another method.) I discussed the side effect problem I am having and we discussed it and he thinks I should try to stay on it for another month. I think I have dealt with the side effect for one month so one more won't kill me.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I am sick....I think the second hand smoke did it

As I mentioned in my last post, I had a great weekend. I went out and had a great time and did not smoke but I think that the second hand smoke in the casino did a number on my lungs. I feel like I am coming down with a major cold or the flu. My chest is tight and I don't want to take asthma medicine because there can be side effects with Chantix. The thought of being around smoking makes me sick to my stomach! I came home from work and passed out I felt so awful. I slept for a few hours and woke up and watched Nip/Tuck and Shot of Love with Tila Tequila. I just took some NyQuil and am off to bed. I hope I feel better tomorrow. Lets see, its been over two weeks since I have smoked and now that I feel this bad just from the second hand poison I inhaled, I realize that I really made the right decision to quit. If I can feel this bad from second hand smoke, I can just imagine what I was doing to my body on a daily basis. I go to my stop smoking program tomorrow. I hope everyone enrolled has had a lot of success since we did meet last week. I hope everyone is doing well in their journey also.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I Was Out of Town and did not smoke...

I have not posted because it was a long weekend and I decided to go out and have some fun. I actually had to call in sick because I had too much fun. I went to Roserito Beach in Mexico and also to the Pachanga Casino near San Diego. I cannot believe I went to the casino and to Mexico and did not smoke! Amazing!

Three friends and I went to go to the beach in Mexico to eat lobster. We got fifteen 1/2 tails which would be a little over 7 lobsters, the squid appetizer...I forgot the name....oh yeah, calamari; soup, and chips with fresh salsa and guacamole. The dinner also came with all the rice, beans and homemade tortillas you could eat. We also got 4 margaritas (mine was virgin) and 4 shots of tequila. (I skipped that too.) The meal came to $45.00 with everything! The lobster was pretty amazing. I was with my ex and to not want to smoke was a miracle!

The bigger surprise was going to the casino and being able to gamble and not smoke since they usually go hand in hand. Don't get me wrong, I got plenty of second-hand smoke but did not light up. At one point I thought about bumming one just because it seemed like a good idea, but I was sitting next to someone who was smoking enough for three people and somehow I just lost the urge. Go figure! I am not complaining believe me! It was a great relaxing weekend and I realized that I can have fun and not smoke cigarettes. I think that that I had a bad reaction from the second hand smoke at the casino. I seem to be having problems with my athsma and I have not had to use an athsma pump in a really long time.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Lets see...I begain Chanitx on November 1, 2007. It have not smoked since November 11, 2007 which would be like thirteen days being off cigarettes. I just had to get honest about my feelings today. I am feeling TONS of unrealistic expectations about how things should be all of thirteen days later.

First of all, let me just say that having unrealistic expectations does not make them true. In my mind, I should be feeling wonderful and have no cravings. I should be out running miles on the treadmill and preparing to participate in a Tri-ath-alon. I should weight forty pounds less and have suffered no health consequences. In essence, I will feel like I never smoked. YEAH RIGHT!!! After smoking for thirty years, I think there are going to be some after-effects even after putting them down. I am going to want to sit down and "relax" by smoking. Just because I want to do it does not mean I have to. Like Maggie said, "I can be free as long as I let myself be. " That statement alone made me realize I was in fantasy-land thinking and I needed to get out of it quick!

I just re-read that last paragraph and laughed at how funny and ridiculous my thinking is. I realize that I live in a world where most people (especially myself) wants instant gratification. Like I want it now! I just need to get over it and realize that I am feeling how I am feeling and just because I think I should feel a certain way two weeks later doesn't mean its going to happen. My dad used to tell me good things are worth waiting for. I know that that statement is true. I have noticed a lot of people who are posting and have been on this path way longer than me still think about smoking. It just makes me realize that quitting is something that is not going to come easy and I am going to have to work for. I am going to a club tonite and I will not smoke. I have worked too hard to get where I am. I hope everyone who is on this same path is doing well.

Friday, November 23, 2007


I was seeing colors like this....
Bright, bold and really interesting. I could almost see into the images. The colors and images were so vivid...kind of like an acid trip!

These are more of the type of tattoo I am interested in getting. The one of the little boy is beautiful.

This is a picture of Kat Von D. I was dreaming that I was getting a tattoo on the reality show LA INK.

Thanksgiving and I finally had a vivid Chantix Dream

Hey there fellow quitters!

Thanksgiving was great...I ate lots of good food and did not smoke a cigarette afterwards. I am so used to going into the garage to smoke and kick it with people at my cousins house....it was different but fine.

I FINALLY had a Chanitx dream! I have been dying to have a really intense dream as a side effect but I seemed to get is stomach distress! I did get a couple of compliments about my skin since I quit smoking and people have mentioned that I also lost weight. (Again, stomach distress and eating ice cream when I am lactoise intolerant) Back to the dream....I have been talking about wanting a tattoo which is kind of odd considering I have never gotten one and most of my friends and a lot of people in my family have tattoos. I really love tattoos but on other people not on me. I remember my uncle wearing long sleeves in the heat to cover a huge black panther but seeing someone try to practice tattooing was what really did me in. When I was younger I had a boyfriend who was practicing to be a tattoo artist. I watched him do some horrible work while he was in his practice mode. He used to offer to give me a tattoo and I was like, "No thanks...I'm only sixteen and my dad will kill me!" Even at my most stoned, I could not imagine walking around with something on my body that I wouldn't want to put up on a wall.

A few years later, I stumbled into a shop on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood and they were like, "Honey, you need to go home and get some rest." Tattoos and alcohol do not mix!" They guy added," One day you will thank me for this!" Actually I do because I was picking out a skulls head that I wanted on my arm! Go figure! It may have been a cool design at eighteen when I was into the whole goth and rock n' roll music thing but at forty I don't really think so!

I have been thinking that I want a portrait tattoo of my dad on my shoulder. I have some great pics of my dad and I miss him a lot since he passed away. I have been watching LA INK and I love Kat Von D's work. (Actually I am a reality tv show junkie but that is a whole other blog!) She does such realistic and life-like portaits that are amazing. I will post a couple of tattoo pics and a picture of Kat for those who have never seen the show. Anyway, I had dreams of being in the LA INK tattoo studio and seeing colorful visions of various tattoos. It was a really cool experience. I could see the colors so vividly I did not want to wake up! I guess that was my Thanksgiving present!

Thursday, November 22, 2007


I wish all of you fellow quitters a fantastic, easy and smokeless turkey day. Today is a day people set aside to show gratitude. I have come so far and accomplished many things in life and for that I am truly grateful. Although this is a really hard habit to kick, I am glad I am putting in the effort. I will just be happy when I feel like a complete non-smoker and the cravings leave me. I still get the urge to light up and need to remind myself that I had to get USED to smoking cigarettes and it was not something I was born doing. Looking back to the first cigarette I ever smoked, I thought it was the most disgusting thing in the world and could not imagine why people paid money to do it! I know if I keep doing what I am doing and I continue to not pick up when the urge comes, one day there will be no more urges! I would have to say compared to when I first started trying to quit on October , 2007, the cravings have been cut down significantly. It is getting better....slowly not quickly but still a huge improvement over when I first started.

I am grateful to be going to see family to feast on a delicious meal. I am going to my cousins house with my sister. A lot of people there will be smoking and my sister and I are in the process of quitting. My cousin who quit over a year ago said she would be moral support if people standing around outside starting looking good. Hope everyone has a fantastic day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I Really Want to Smoke!!! (But I Am Blogging Instead of Smoking!)

I will start this blog by saying that I really want to smoke but I am going to write about it instead of doing it. I am a grown adult with the power to think things through before acting on them. I do not have to act on every impulse I have! Acting on my impulses has gotten me a 30 year habit that is hard as hell to break. Not to mention some other really bad consequences for actions I have taken. My most recent is a huge increase in car insurence premiums because I was in a hurry and I choose to "bend" some rules and got pulled over. I need to remember that:


  • I decided to start this blog because I was letting my mind run wild about going out and bumming "just one cigarette" I think this idea started this morning when I was walking past this guy rushing into the 7-11 puffing on a poison stick. The line was REALLY long but he obviously in a hurry to buy a pack of Camels. He was opening the pack before even exiting the store. I was thinking to myself, "Damn, that was me fiending for a cigarette not too long ago." Even though I am grateful that I was not the one in line dying to buy a pack, the smell kept calling my name. I had to go to work so I didn't think too much about it until the stress of work kicked in.
  • To keep a long story short, there was lots of drama in the workplace today. Its funny, things that seem OK when smoking now are unacceptable! I was so mad and disgusted that I wanted to smoke my bad mood away. I knew that I had to do something because my head started planning on how I could go bum a cigarette and could almost feel the smoke entering my lungs.
  • I knew that this was a definite problem so I started to write this blog and remember WHY I want to be a non-smoker. I do not want to look or feel like a crazed addict. I mean, most people get mad, annoyed stressed or glad but do not feel the need to inhale toxins into their system just to change their emotional state.
  • After proofreading this blog, I feel better. I can now get in my car and go home. I would much rather wait out the urge than just "go for it and deal with the consequences later!

Hope all is well in quitting land for everyone else! Actually, my carving has passed and I feel much better.

Peace, Diva

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Savings $$$$$$$

I cannot believe that I have not purchased a pack of cigarettes since October 1, 2007! That is 48 days of savings! I have saved approximately $216.00! Lets see....I am going to buy my cat a new brush so that leaves $211.00 to reward myself with. Any suggestions?

I Walked Away from a Smoker Last Night...

My Journey To a Smoking Trigger Place...
I went out last night to a place that I really associate with smoking cigarettes. I have been in AA for over 22 years and have been clean and sober for twenty of those years. When I got sober, smoking cigarettes and drinking coffeee was a huge part of the culture and something I really assiociated with being a member of Alcoholic's Anonymous. Since I have started this journey toward becomming a non-smoker (since the first week of October,) I have only been to this meeting once. I have a lot of friends that goes to this particular meeting and I have really missed it. The one time I did go I brought my laptop to give me something to do with my hands. I have really wanted to go but I knew a was going to have to do a few things differently. Before I left for the meeting I actually thought about what I needed to do to avoid smoking before leaving the house. Since I don't feel exactly like a smoker or exactly a non-smoker, I'm in an odd place. One of the decisions I made was to enter through the opposite end of the building (opposite of the front entrance where all the smokers light up) and when the meeting break occurred, I would not go outside. Since I was not smoking I had not real reason to go out in the cold! It was actually no big deal to stay inside and I didn't really feel like I was missing anything.

After the meeting ended, I was talking to some friends and one of the girls finally lit up but went and stood a few feet away. When the smell started to tug at me, I told them I needed to go. I got into my car, grabbed my "ceramic air cigarette" and took in two deep breaths. I then went and did some grocery shopping. It was easier than I thought. It is definetly easier to stay quit then to start all over again. I am glad I am starting to feel comfortable without the crutch of having to light up to feel comfortable. Its definetly getting easier!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Its Day Seven....I think I am Starting to Feel Better!

For anyone who is like me and reading up on Chantix before taking the plunge, I just wanted to say everyone's experiences are different. I remember back to when I was reading other people's experiences and kept reading about people's crazy vivid dreams! I really like crazy vivid dreams and would have LOVED to have that side effect! Unfortunately, I have only had one vivid dream that I can remember since being on this stuff for fourteen days. I have had some other side effects that I wasn't so thrilled with: gas, bloating and headaches. I have noticed that these symptoms have gotten a lot better the last couple of days, so I just think its normal withdrawal stuff. As much as I don't like feeling bad, I expected it. Any time I have gone through any type of withdrawal, I had to feel really bad before I felt good. I just keep reminding myself it has only been seven days completely off cigarettes and nicotine replacement products. I have been on Chantix for a total of 14 days. Now that I have been physically feeling better I feel more tired. I also tend to me more moodly and on edge that usual but I just think I am just not used to dealing with my emotions especially after stuffing them by smoking. Cigarettes really are amazing mood regulators! I could be in the most pissed off place, step back from the situation and smoke a cigarette and feel fine! I am finally realizing that I will have to learn to deal with emotions without the use of nicotine. Anyway, I just woke up from and nap and I have to get ready to go out. I am going to my usual AA meeting that I have avoided since I started this journey. Tonite I feel like I can go and I trust myself to not to bum cigarettes from the smokers I do know. I will post abouy how it goes.
Peace, Diva

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I am pissed! I wrote a long blog and lost it!

Hi all...Happy Smoke Out Day...I have been off cigarettes and nicotine replacement for four days!

I wrote a really long blog and have no idea where it went to. I was editing it and it seems to have disappeared! This Blogger site lies! It says it saves drafts automatically but like I said, I am not really sure were my long, well thought out post went so I will post the condensed version of what I wrote before I leave for my meeting.

I have felt awful for the last two days. I have had bad headaches, a bad attitude and to make matters worse I threw my back out! I thought about smoking after I went to my chiropractor and decided I did not want to go into my Stop Smoking program smelling like an ashtray. I was so annoyed and in pain I went to sleep. How's that for delay? That was as good as it got yesterday. When I woke up, I went to my Quit Smoking class at Kaiser. I told the people in the class that blogging was a really helpful outlet and it was nice to read other people's inspiration. If anyone from the Kaiser Stop Program found me, hi. I did not know if I gave out the correct address for this blog yesterday as I just started it.

Anyway, I need to get to this meeting. Wishing everyone a SMOKE FREE smoke out.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Hello Fellow Bloggers/Quitters:
Its day two smoking and nicotine free and I am still committed to my decision to be a non-smoker. I must say that I am noticing total lack of energy. Fortunately, I weaned down and kicked a lot of the nicotine before starting Chantix but this weekend I have really felt unmotivated due to lack of energy. I think that the nicotine is leaving my body and I physically don't like it! Fortunately, it was a long weekend so I had an extra day without having to be at work to get used to how I am feeling. I have pretty much slept it away. I am trying to to beat myself up over it as I have a lot of things to do like grade papers, work on a project, wash my car etc. I have been completely physically drained the last few days so hopefully I slept through the worst of it. When I got up I logged onto the "GETQUIT "support page and read a few blogs. I have noticed that seeking out other people who are going through this is definitely helping. Its kind of like an Internet AA meeting. I laughed my ass off at Maggie's blog about all the things smokers do to inhale their poison because just for a moment I was reminded of the true insanity of the habit and that when I start thinking I can just "smoke one or two" I end up back to a pack a day.
Anyway, I am going to go to the mall because I need to get out of the house and run some errands. I need to get out of this house and I can't smoke at the mall! I will probably post later.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Day one Smoke and Nicotine Free...day nine Chantix

Today is day one of my quit day. November 11, 2007!
I have had quite a few cravings throughout the day but nothing too traumatic. Mostly I just think I was bored. I went out last night and smoked my last cigarette in a club. I thought about if I really wanted to do it or not and decided that I would smoke that final cigarette. I could have fought off the craving but I figured I could still smoke so why not? I I know, I was making excuses for myself but truthfully, when I was smoking I kept thinking about how smoking that cigarette wasn't really bad or really good. I was kind of like nothing. Maybe that is the medication blocking the nicotine receptors, maybe not. I just didn't feel bad or good. Lets just put it like this, there was no "Ahhhhhh" feeling that I would usually get from lighting up. Since I didn't get that feeling I had to think about why I REALLY lit up. I have come to the following conclusions:
I was at a bar and I was smoking a cigarette to: 1.) to feel more comfortable 2.) as a time killer...it was kind of boring there especially since I don't drink.3.) A bonding experience...I went out on the patio with another friend who is in the process of trying to quit also. We both bummed one and hence the bonding experience/peer pressure thing. 4.) To have the "last one" and realize I wasn't really giving all that much up...

After I was done, I realized that the smoking patio STUNK and I did not missing smelling like an ashtray. I will let you guys know how I am doing. I am glad I decided to do this blog. If anyone is reading this, please link to my blog. I can use all of the support I can possibly get since it is day one. Also, what have you guys used for the gas and how long did it last? (if you got that side effect) That seems to be the only side effect I am encountering. Anyway, I must remember, I am one cigarette away from being a pack a day smoker.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

My drop dead quit date...

Hi all and thanks so much for the support:

Today is my first day off the patch and only on Chantix. It is day eight on Chantix and today was the first day on the blue pills. I have decided that my quit date is going to be 11/11/07 which is tomorrow. I am going out to dinner and a club tonite to celebrate a friends birthday and I will see what happens. I doubt I will smoke but I have no idea how I will be feeling so I am just leaving it open. I will use all of the strategies that I have learned but since tomorrow is my official quit day, I may just decide to smoke one final one to say goodbye. I know that sounds crazy, even to myself but it really is like ending a thirty year relationship. My relationship with cigarettes is a BAD and ADDICTIVE one no doubt but its been one of the longest and most consistant relationships of my lives! That is a pretty sad statement all in itself.

In the last five weeks, I have learned how to avoid smokers and smoking and have navigated through lots of cigarettes by using the strategies given in both my stop smoking program and on the Chantix site. I find the delay strategy and not putting myself around smokers to be the best at this point in my quit. Its a weird feeling to either be totally disgusted by the smell of smoke or want to accost random people on the street and practically take their cigarettes when I see them smoking. For me it is a combination of the two right now. I can't wait until the day I am grossed out ALL of the time. I have not been in a club or really smokey environment since going to the West Hollywood Costume Carnival on Halloween. I did not smoke that day or evening as the smoke smell was disgusting to me. The next day in the evening, I bummed a cigarette from my sister and have not had only one other one since that day. If I would have simply have waited through the craving or not had allowed my curiosity to get the best of me...how was it going to taste, would I still get that rush etc. I could probably have avoided those two also.

I really liked it when Tanisa said that there is tons of support available from all the random people I used to bond with outside at the ashtray. I never really thought about the social aspects but there are a lot of them. That will be another post for another time. Thanks for reading and I have a feeling I will be posting quite a bit.


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

House of Chantix

Hi all of you out there trying to stop smoking or ones who have done it successfully...

Well, I must say I have been reading tons of bloggers entries and it helped with my decision to start Chantix. I even e-mailed a couple of people like Maggie from Maggies Mind to get some support. I think that this blog will help me bond with some other people out in Internet land that are doing their best to get off cigarettes or have done so successfully. I am on day five and have not smoked. I am in a weird situation as I went from the nicotine patch to Chantix so I haven't really enjoyed the free pass/week of quit that most people get. I figured I would not give myself a reason to go off the wagon as it is sometimes way too difficult to jump back on! I am still on a 14 mg patch until the weekend as I cannot go to work wanting to kill people or being in withdrawal mode.

I work as a high school teacher at a small continuation school for at risk youth and believe me, they will notice. Actually, the kids have been really great since I have begun the journey into the world of non-smoking. They smell me to see if I did not slip. I really feel like I am going to be able to do it this time!

Today is day seven of Chantix and I have only smoked two cigarettes! They tasted like as if I were smoking something off the bottom of someones shoe! I did walk by some people who were smoking and the zombie in me almost came out! I smelled the smell of a freshly lit cigarette and started fiending but then I kept reminding myself, "I am choosing not to smoke, I am on my way to becomming a non-smoker." For whatever reason, freshly buring cigarettes still trigger me but when I smell old smoke lingering on a person, its pretty disgusing! I seem to have superscent ability these days!

I will end with this...I have saved about $170.00 and am averaging about a 4.5 on the crave meter thing from the Chantix site. Hit me up people and let me know I can do it! This has got to be the hardest thing I have ever done and I have been clean and sober for over 20 years! I must remember: I AM AN ADDICT AND IF I PICK UP EVEN A SINGLE CIGARETTE, IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE I AM WILL BE A PACK A DAY SMOKER AGAIN.