Quitting Smoking One Day at a Time...

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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.