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.