Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dirty little secret

This is my most honest post yet. Everything I've ever written on my blog has been completely honest and truthful, but what I'm about to say is something I have never talked about here before.

I quit smoking.

Yesterday.

I have been a smoker for many years. I started smoking in high school. Continued through most of University, except for the one year I quit - my second year, I believe. Then, I started again. If you have ever smoked, you'll know it's not the easiest addiction to give up. But I did try.

I quite for a few months before I became pregnant and of course, all throughout my pregnancy. I did not smoke the entire time I was breastfeeding. Then I started to smoke socially again. When I was out for dinner with friends, and drinking a glass of wine, I'd have a cigarette or two. This lead to me having a cigaratte every night before bed, well after my son had gone to sleep.

Again, I quit (obviously) when I was pregnant with my second child. And again, after I stopped breastfeeding, I started socially smoking again. I was not a heavy smoker; maybe a few a day. But still. That is a lot of years of doing some serious damage to my body. (Just want to mention here that I have never smoked anywhere near my children or any other child. For what it's worth, I think people who smoke near their children are in the wrong.)

For someone who is a class-A hypochondriac like I am, it amazes me that I have done this for so long. It doesn't feel good. I feel the effects when I carry my son in my arms up the stairs. I should not be having problems breathing going up the stairs with my child in my arms. I'm a mom of two. How selfish of me to have continued smoking for as long as I have!

At the same time, I will say this - I will miss it. It's been a part of who I am for a long time. I associate smoking with going out and having a good time, the same way some of you may feel about having a glass of wine when you go out. It's hard for me to go out and not think about having a cigarette. I know it is wrong to think this way, to feel this way, but I can't help it. Many of my friends smoke.

I promised myself I would quit by the time I turned 33. That day is almost here. My birthday is September 3rd.

Yesterday, I just stopped smoking. It has not been easy. I have to do this for myself, and especially for my children. I know how bad smoking is - you don't have to remind me of all the terrible things that can happen to you if you smoke. I know. Trust me.

I just wanted to share this with you. And I hope you do not think any differently of me now that you know this.

And oh, yeah - the amount of food I've had today has increased incredibly!

54 comments:

Nap Warden said...

Well good luck to you! I've never smoked (accept for when I was going through that whole arts school phase) I have no idea what you're up against...but good luck!

Sharon said...

Good for you Loukia! What a hard thing to overcome - but I know you'll be able to do it.

CL said...

It's not easy trust me I know. I started smoking when I was 14 and quit 6 years ago. Like you I was not a heavy smoker but I enjoyed it. Every once in a while I'll still feel like having one but know that I would be very sick if I did. Take it one day at a time that's all you can do. I hate to say good luck but I don't know what else to say. CL

amotherworld said...

I know exactly how you feel. I was a social smoker for years but smoking "socially" slowly turns into "regular" smoking. After my second child was born, I vowed not to start again and I'm happy to say that I've stuck to that decision. It's a very difficult habit to break but just remember that it's better for your health and your kids.

Scary Mommy said...

I am so grateful that I never started smoking-- quitting sounds horrible. We're all rooting you on!!!

Amy said...

Oh, I'm TOTALLY unsubscribing!

Kidding! Loukia, we all know how much you love your kids, so just think of their little faces each time the urge to light up hits. Plus, you have something that earlier generations of "quitters" didn't have...

TWITTER!

Constant support.

You can do this!

Rebecca said...

You can do it!

This is a big first step. One day at a time.

HaB said...

Good Luck!!! I hope that each day gets easier and easier for you.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Apparently, I was a very mature 12 year old, because I tried it with my friends, thought it was horrible and decided that it wasn't worth "learning to like" since I'd eventually want to quit. I haven't always made the best decisions in life - but that may have been one of my best ones.

I have friends who have been smoking since they were kids (some of them bought the cigarettes that I tried way back when), and I know how hard it is for them to quit. My husband also has some tobacco addictions (far more gross though - dip - YUCK!) and I see how much he struggles with it.

I think it's one of the hardest habits to kick because as bad as it is for you it is such a prominent aspect of social culture. And (unlike my husband's nasty redneck habit) it's also got a long history with the glamorous and beautiful people. And it's rather European.

Obviously you can quit if you have incentive (like when you were pregnant/breastfeeding) - so I have total faith in your ability to do it again.

Sorry for the mini-post, but I'm a little drunk. Three glasses of wine the night be for a road trip with an early start? Not such a good idea... Since we're being honest and all...

CaraBee said...

Good for you! I smoked for years. Sometimes more often than others. When I was a bartender, it wasn't unusual for me to smoke a pack a day. Yuck, right? But when my husband and I got engaged, we made a deal that I (and he, although he was a VERY light smoker, like two a week) would give it up altogether when we decided to have kids. I quite on New Years 2007. Two and a half years ago. Luckily, we got pregnant right away so I had that motivation to keep me going. It was hard though. More the routine of it than the physical addiction, I think. I still miss it, but I won't go back to it.

I have told my husband that if we make it to 80 and smoking is still legal, that I'm taking it back up, because at that point, I deserve it.

OHmommy said...

It's such a horrible habit to kick. I commend you for writing about it because now we can cheer you on.

You have a big group of supporters! You can do it.

sarah said...

good for you!! It won't be easy, but it will be worth it!!

Shana said...

Thanks for being so honest! Now we can be your cheerleaders!!! You can do this!

Kami's Khlopchyk said...

Loukia, I would never think less of you for this, you are honest. I know you can quit and when you do, you will be so proud of yourself.

My SIL quit when she got pregnant with her first over 7 years ago and as far as I know has NEVER had another one. She says she will start again when she's 80 - just so quitting isn't forever.

Good luck and we got your back sister!

Kelly said...

Good for you for quitting. I know what a hard habit it can be to quit, (not personally though).

Jenn@ The Crazies said...

I am a smoker too. A casual smoker.. I think, the worst kind. I only really smoke in casual situations and only have 3-4 a day if that but I have all the same feelings you have. I work in the medical profession so I, too know the dangers. My father almost died from oral cancer that spread... all due to smoking. It is tough. I am working on quitting.. but part of the difficulty I have is my hubby is a pack a day smoker. We dont smoke in the house nor in the car if the kids are with us but going out with him on the deck at night is gonna kill me. I will let you know when I make the BIG decision ( soon...very soon) and let us know how u are doing!

Nancy@ifevolutionworks.com said...

Well good luck to you!! It IS the toughest thing to give up.

A tip I was given that helped me a lot was to suck on Cinnamon candies. Thre is something in cinnamon that helps soften the withdrawel. It helped me a great deal!

Lady Mama said...

Well done for stopping! That's great. I can imagine how hard it would be to give up, but it's for a great cause.

Jessica said...

I went out with old friends recently and I was shocked when they whipped out their Marlboros. "You still smoke?!" I exclaimed. They sheepishly nodded. No one I hang around with smokes anymore (that might be because I never hang out with anyone, though haha).

One friend said, "Jess, I've been smoking for 20 years! How do I stop??"

And I know it's hard (you know where I'm coming from on this), but what did the trick for me (other than getting pregnant 2 1/2 years ago) was tackling one trigger at a time, and never more than one, until I had the first one mastered.

You know, make a list of all the triggers and make sure you're brutally honest. Pick a really easy one first, like smoking while standing outside talking with friends then move on to harder ones like when drinking or driving (of course not at the same time!).

I know you didn't ask for advice, per se, but just wanted to throw in my two cents and let you know my strategy. Good for you if cold turkey works!!

Good luck, girl!!

Chelle said...

I am so proud of you!! Making the decision to quit is the hardest step. It's sooo hard--I smoked for a very long time but quit in 2006 and haven't had a cigarette since :)

I, too, did it cold turkey but it really worked for me. I wish you luck, sweetie, and remember we are here to support you!

I'm so happy for you!!

Jen said...

We are all here for you Loukia. I applaud you for being so honest with all of us. It takes a lot of courage. When you're feeling the urge to light up come back to this post and read all of the encouraging comments that your readers have left for you. You can do it!

P.S. I'd never judge you :)

Jen said...

One more thing.

There are people who have far worse 'Dirty Little Secrets' than this.

You have nothing to be ashamed of :)

melissa said...

i quit smoking after a similar story. high school, college. quitting for kids. starting again. quitting again. and i quit the week before my 39th birthday. it's been almost 1 1/2 yrs. i gained 30 pounds. but i don't miss smoking. at all. i've smoked a couple of times. but i hated it.
so good for you!! take one day at a time. xoxo

Shannon @ AnchorMommy said...

Way to go, Loukia! You're doing the right thing for yourself and your family. Hang in there!!! You've quit smoking before, and you can do it again -- this time, for good!

Elaine A. said...

Oh Loukia, I'm sure it was hard for you to post about this but I'm glad you did. Just another element of accountability now - to us, your bloggy friends! ; )

I smoked socially in college but it was never something that became a part of me. But when you compare it to wine, I can relate.

I hope it's not as hard for you as you anticipate and wish you all the best in quitting. FOR GOOD. Big Hugs!!

Crystall said...

I applaud your efforts--they are worth a thousand words. And, as for thinking badly of you, never. I think it is wonderful that you want to do this for yourself and your children.
My husband finally quit smoking a couple of years ago using Chantix. We read all of the issues with side effects, but decided to try it anyway. He had been trying for many years to quit but stress would creep in a spoil his plans. Chantix worked and now he is free.
BTW, I get a bit too personal on my blog sometimes, I suppose and write about stuff that I am sure no one wants to read about. But, this is your outlet and you have a whole world of supporters here.
Cheers again to your efforts.

Neena said...

I've been there. You can do it! Shout at me if you need extra support - Us quitters need to stick together.

Julie said...

Good for you. No judgments, just congratulations for making a tough decision. It'll be tough, but you can do it. Just remember that you want to be around for your grandkids and it'll get you through the tough moment. And then call a friend. Keep yourself occupied in the moments of weakness. Phone calls always work!

Good luck!

Christy said...

I KNOW you can do this Loukia! I think you're so brave and honest and strong and it won't be a problem for you now that you've made up your mind! My husband and I were both social smokers when we met - and we decided to quit when we moved in together and it was the best decision ever. It was much harder for him - but he stuck to it and feels so much healthier for it.

GO YOU! You can do it!!!

Kelli @ writing the waves said...

That's awesome!!! We're cheering you on!

Loukia said...

Seriously? I LOVE YOU ALL!

Anastasia said...

Good luck LouLou!!! I know you can do it!

Love you!

Chandra said...

I was in the same situation. I was a social smoker as well. I loved having a 'smoke' when I drank but then that turned into having one after I ate and then that turned into having one when I got up in the morning and before I went to bed...the best thing I EVER did was give it up. I feel better physically and mentally.

Good luck to you. Make sure you report back often, we are all here for encouraging words if needed!

Scattered Mom said...

(hugs) Hang in there Lou lou! :) My Hubs is a smoker, and so I know how hard it is to quit. He's tried so many times, and just hasn't been able to. I often get the whole lecture when I pick him up cigarettes, with people demanding that I should insist that he quit, or they accuse me of smoking (I've never smoked), or they get really rude and nasty. I believe that he'll quit when he's ready, and me being on his case certainly won't help.

Take it one day at a time. :)

Chantal said...

I know you can do it Loukia! I quit cold turkey a long time ago. It was hard but I did it. Take care! And come to us any time for support.

anya said...

Good for you! I'm stopping some bad habits too. I've made it through the first week. My body is still adjusting, but I feel stronger and healthier already.
This is the best gift you can give yourself and your family. You should be proud. Keep us posted!

Liza said...

Congrats! I am am ex-smoker who may or may not be having one or two here and there right now, lol. I know myself how hard it is!! Keep up the good work!!!

Catwoman said...

Cough, cough.

I still smoke.

Like you, I never smoked while trying, while pregnant or while breastfeeding.

But the second my boobies dried up, Sweetie Pie and I went back to our post-bed time cigarette outside. I think of us as the couple version of James Spader and William Shatner in Boston Legal, where they rehash the day while smoking a cigar, except we're married and we have a cigarette.

Is it bad for me? Sure. Am I ready to give it up? Not yet. And I'll be 34 on September 11th! I had no clue our b-days were so close to each other! (See how I changed the subject so well???)

Christy said...

Congratulations on quitting!!! I quit before I got pregnant with my first child and never started up again, and lately I've actually been craving one. So reading your post has helped me to remind myself of why I don't want to have "just one"

Stacie's Madness said...

i've quit a FEW times...pregnancy induced twice and once or twice otherwise.

it sucks. One thing that did help me was jolly ranchers, lots of water and gum (regular gum, i've never tried the nicorette or anything)

anyway...best of luck!

Theta Mom said...

Good for you! That AWESOME! I would imagine it's going to be really hard, but stay with it. You can do it!

King of New York Hacks said...

GOOOD LUUCK !!! SENDING NON NICOTINE HONKS FOR YOU NYC STYLE !!

Lola said...

Good LUck! YOu are doing it for you so it will work!!!!!

LZ @ My Messy Paradise said...

Good for you! Such a tough thing to do...I hope you have lots of support...

Just remember: you aren't trying to quit smoking. You are now a non-smoker who doesn't want to to take up a dangerous habit again. Non-smoker, non-smoker...

Both my parents are struggling with smoking, but I don't think they truly want to quit. Sounds like you do.

Kell said...

congrats! it takes a very strong person to come that realization and quit something that has been a part of their life for so long. you have a following here that supports you and is with you every step of the way!

xoxo

Drahdrah said...

YOU GO GIRL !!! When the cravings hit, just remember your precious boys and why you are quitting. I quit about 12 years ago, and to this day it is probably in the top 3 of hardest things I have done or been through. It's also one of the things I'm most proud of. I'm sure you will be too. Kali thinami !

Raychel Celeste said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. And congrats on the quitting! And like Amy said, use twitter as a support system!

coffeewithjulie said...

Big, great decision! It will be tough, but you can do it (with a little help from M&Ms, right!).

And as for judgement? No way, girl -- no one's perfect. In fact, I am subscribing to your blog right now just to show you my support!

All the best ... julie

Elisa, The Unlikely Housewife said...

Oh, sweetie, good luck! I'm so proud of you for stopping before your (our ;-)) birthday. A great gift to yourself, even if now it doesn't feel like it, I know. Been there ;-)

Tiaras said...

I quit on my 30th birthday - it was a ROUGH 2 years after that! And I mean rough! I know what you are struggling with! IT passes - eventually! I have been smoke free for almost 12 years now!

Jessica said...

Oh Loukia! This is amazing! Good for you and best of luck to you. I know it's not easy... my father has been trying to quit for 30 years. You can do it :)

Dee said...

Congratulations Loukia :)
I don't remember seeing you smoke in university...must've been second year!

I hope it works this time. It's hard at first, but the rewards (better health, you'll smell better to the boys, you'll enjoy flavours/smells more, you'll feel pride...) are immeasurable.

F&E,
Dee

aandjblog said...

Good luck!
You can do it!

I quit a long time ago on patches and jolly ranchers. I stil can't eat the purple ones, they make me want a smoke. I did it though and feel a zillion times better.

You can do it!

Kelly said...

Good luck to you!! You are doing the right thing (obviously) but I know how hard it is. I've been smoking for over 10 years. I was sure I would have quit before turning 30... that's a month from now! If we can stop when pregnant, we can stop anytime, right?

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