blank

Breathing Happy Author

The Reluctant Smoker No ratings yet.

blank

I used to really hate smoking when I was very young, then I became a smoker myself, then I quit, now I hate it again! Full circle! I come from a family where we almost all used to smoke, and have now all given up and been smoke-free for years. I remember I used to complain about my Mum and my brothers smoking, then I took up the deadly habit myself! I think it was a question of “If you can't beat them, join them.” Fortunately that is not the case now, as now no one in my family has smoked for quite a few years.

I didn’t take up the habit until I was around 20 years old, and the only reason I did really was because of peer pressure: I was working at McDonald’s at the time and almost all the staff smoked (that was in the Dark Ages, when people could still smoke indoors at work!). Consequently the staff room would usually be thick with fug at break-times, the sort of atmosphere you could almost cut with a knife! That seems unbelievable now. It seemed less unpleasant to be a smoker myself than to be the only non-smoker in the room, so I took it up. I carried on for a while, but always meant to give up for good. I think I continued because I found, as most smokers do, that a cigarette seems to help in times of stress (I think it is more the oral solace though, the sucking action! Nicotine is actually a stimulant, so should make you more stressed).  I used to find the times I enjoyed a cigarette the most were with a drink or right after a meal, those were the hardest times to go without one.

Then I met a man who was a very heavy smoker and lived with him for several years (I have written about this in my previous blog). So I kept trying to quit but having a partner who was a constant smoker made it very hard. One quitting strategy I had was trying to restrict myself to just having a cigarette with a drink – and not having more than about 20 drinks a day! (Joke!)

Then when I was forty I had a serious accident: I broke both my legs in a car crash and was in hospital for 3 months. I couldn’t smoke there, and didn’t want to in any case, so I was able to quit that way, by simply not having a cigarette for several months. I admit, I did have the occasional cigarette on occasion when I got out of hospital, but didn’t enjoy them very much at all – the desire had gone. I haven’t smoked since then, and I have reached the point where I know I never will again now. That was around 6 years ago, so I think I am now safe from temptation! There is absolutely nothing to gain from this disgusting, killer habit, and everything to gain from giving up. I know that going through the initial withdrawal can be hard, but once you are through that it is easy, because you usually find you hate cigarettes after that!

Hope you got something out of reading this blog, and I appreciate your votes and comments.

(The photo shows me with my Mum)

Please rate this

I Conquered Cancer Sticks! No ratings yet.

blank

I used to be a smoker. It was a long time ago, but I do remember it well.

I had no idea that I reeked so. I had no idea it was making me sick. I was clueless.

Sure, I tried to quit every year as a New Year's resolution and failed every year. I even tried a few times in the middle of a year to quit, but something would always happen to stress me out and I'd start back up. Somebody dies? Smoke. Getting divorced? Smoke. Lose a job. Gotta have a smoke, right? And there I'd go again. Smoking those stinking cancer sticks.

I didn't think of them that way then. I didn't really even think of them as a bad habit. I thought that I was an adult and I could smoke if I wanted to. I actually wasn't an adult when I started. I was fifteen and stole my first cigarette from my stepdad. It gave me bed spins. I should have stopped then.

But nooooo, not me! I have to learn things the hard way!

I smoked menthol cigarettes for ten years. I thought I was cool. What a waste of cool points that was!

I ended up with my cool butt getting very sick. I couldn't stop coughing. No, you don't understand. I mean I literally coughed for about 3 months straight, almost non-stop.

My co-workers kept saying, "Go to the doctor!" I kept telling them, "I am!"

The doctor gave me breathing treatments, inhalers, nasal sprays, and antibiotics – all to no avail. I could suck down enough NyQuil to put an elephant down and still cough like a Saint Bernard all night long. Sitting up didn't help. Lying down didn't help. Round after round of various treatments didn't help. That awful dry cough was out to kill me.

Finally, the doctor yelled at me. "You have to stop smoking if you want to get well!"

I listened. I quit… for a week… then smoked one pack of cigarettes over one week's time and I got it again — the dreaded Bronchial Spasm!

I literally couldn't breathe in air without coughing. It was so miserable. I actually bruised my ribs from coughing so much over those months. I would sit in the bed, doubled over in pain, feeling like I was dying. It's one of those illnesses I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

It was time to take action. I had to quit. But how? I tried every year and failed. What would work?

I dug down deep and pulled something out that I hadn't used much before. Well, what was this little item tucked away in my disposition?

It was willpower.

The doctor was right. I was making myself sick. I had to stop. Period. End of story. I never smoked again because not only did the doctor yell at me, but I told myself matter-of-factly, "You cannot smoke."

Did I still crave them? You bet! I craved cigarettes for about five years after I quit. But as my health and senses returned, I realized the benefits and it got easier and easier.

I realized that all the time I had smoked, I smelled like an ashtray! My clothes, my house, my car… all smelled like an ashtray. I couldn't believe I had smelled like that for ten whole years and didn't even know it!

Soon, it got to the point that I couldn't even remain in a smoke-filled bar for long without going out for fresh air. Wow. Fresh air! Without a cigarette in my hand. What would I do with myself? Well, I stood there and took in the beauty of life as a healthier person.

Finally, my cravings for cigarettes went away. I substituted for a while with chocolate, but broke that habit as well.

Today, you might catch me eating a chocolate truffle, but you sure as heck won't catch me with a cigarette in my hand.

Keep trying, keep strong, and know that you can be an ex-smoker too someday. I conquered the cancer sticks… so can you!

Please rate this

My Pa No ratings yet.

blank

If you have had the chance to read my first post, you will know that I quit smoking very easily, but I was a light smoker.  My habit was minimal to say the least; at only three ciggies per day over a period of one year and a half, most smokers would laugh at that and say that I wasn't a 'true smoker'.  So, this next post is about someone who showed an incredible amount of strength when he chose to stop burning these addictive little sticks of stress-relief.

His name is Jean-François, but most people just call him Franck.  A French-Canadian with a heavy accent when he speaks English even though he started learning at the tender age of 12, he makes those he knows well laugh non-stop, for he enjoys being the clown in a group of people.  But, as with most others who lived in a family where physical (both hitting and sexual) and verbal abuse was the norm, he sought relief.  He found it in tobacco and bottle, and when he met my mother – who fell in love with the bad boy on a motorcycle – he would learn to be a different man.  Yes, the myth that sometimes all it takes to bring the best out of a man is a woman is true.  My parents are living proof of this.

Not to say that my pa wasn't a good man before; after all, unlike his brothers and sisters, he chose to join the army and make a living, instead of depending on welfare (some permanently, some on and off) to sustain himself.  I can't say that I blame them for doing so, even though all of us wish it didn't happen this way.  My father was the one who didn't fall through the cracks of the system and managed to pull himself together. But, with a girlfriend bursting with the glow of pregnancy, he had to act quickly.  And he did.

His drinking diminished drastically.  He ditched the bike and bought a car.  What he chose not to stop – and this was the compromise between him and my mom – was the smoking.  He was allowed to continue so long as he accepted to smoke outside (my mother is an RN and extremely cautious when it comes to babies and second-hand smoke).  The year they met: 1971. The year they married:  1973.  My brother was born two months later.

Fast-forward 30 years.  The year is 2003.  I had moved out already a few years before that, and had been living on my own in another city for quite some time, but still visited regularly.  My parents were the type of couple that always complained that they didn't have much money, yet my father was happily puffing away at his pipe every evening in the garage (cigarettes were no longer of interest – only cigars and pipe tobacco for him, now).  Although the smell is much more pleasing and the amount of chemicals greatly reduced, this is still not good for your health, nor for your wallet – which I pointed out to him in a gentle, yet firm way; I was a grown-up now, and my father treated me as so.  I therefore felt that I could give him advice on financial matters (whereas my mother still told me what time to come home in the evening if I went out with friends… !).  I blatantly pointed out that I didn't believe anyone who complained to be strapped for cash, yet continued this nasty habit.  Was this my father's turning point?  Perhaps it wasn't the only reason – after all, my mother surely nagged continuously about it – but I strongly believe that it gave him that final push he needed.  It had been years since he had ridden a motorcycle and the thought of sitting on a hog again was chewing away at him, and he knew that money was part of the issue.  It was the pipe or the bike.  He chose the bike.

Quitting was easy for him.  Like me, he took one last look at his tobacco products and said, "This is the last time I buy any of these".  He kept his pipe, of course, but it sits in its box, as usual, as a reminder of what he sacrificed to keep this vice of his.  He does not use the word 'regret' to explain how he feels about it, but had he decided to quit earlier, his life may have been different.  However, like they say, it's never too late to make yourself into a better person.

 

Please vote if yu like this article!  You can also receive a notification every time I post a new one by clicking on my username, DelicateLungs, then 'Follow'.

Please rate this

How I quit a 36 year Habit No ratings yet.

blank

If you haven't read my first post post "What Motivated Me to Quit Smoking", please do. You can click here to find it. In a nutshell, I smoked for 36 years. It was a love-hate relationship. And, obviously, not a very healthy one! finally, I decided, ENOUGH! I want to emphasize that unless you have health issues or are pregnant and time is of the essence, you should wait until you reach that "enough" stage. It will go much easier for you. For me, the first step was convincing myself that I would be okay without my cigarettes. I'm not going to lie, that was pretty difficult and I'm not sure that I was fully convinced of that when I actually started! That being said, once I had made the decision, I decided to make a plan. These are my suggestions to get you started:

  1. Pick a date
  2. Pick a method
  3. Decide on a support system

Some people like to pick a specific date because it has meaning to them. Others will pick an arbitrary date. I recommend picking a date that works with your schedule and activities. Quitting is challenge enough, you have the ability to ensure an easier path by setting the stage.

Picking a method is critical. There are so many different aids to quitting smoking from over-the-counter aids,prescription medications, hypnotists, cold turkey, etc. Before you quit, think about what will work best for you? Do some research. Talk to your doctor. Talk to others who have successfully quit. Visit a site like this one, Breathing Happy.

Some people prefer the buddy system. Others like to be in groups. Some people enjoy giving daily or weekly updates on their facebook status.  And some people prefer to keep it to themselves. It's all a matter of preference. Every individual should choose what they think would work best for themselves.

When I decided to finally kick the habit, I did a bit of research. Because of health reasons, I did not want to use any oral medications or patches. It was my inclination to go cold turkey, but I was afraid of the weight gain and decided to go to a hypnotist that also did a weight loss session. It was easy to pick a date after that because it had to coincide when one of the sessions was being held. My decision for a support system was very simple. I didn't tell anyone except my daughter. And I only told her because she lived with me. I didn't want people asking me how I was doing. I didn't want to be reminded about it if I had forgotten and, most of all, I didn't want anyone to see me fail if I failed. I know, that's not very positive, but there was a part of me that felt like I was giving up a very dear friend or lover and even if it was an abusive one, I still didn't want to say Good Bye.

 

 

 

Stayetuned for the "gory details" and more tips and ideas to help you quit and stay smoke free!

Please rate this

Quit Smoking By Going Electronic No ratings yet.

blank

PACKETS of conventional cigarettes don’t lie: “SMOKING KILLS”. The words scream out like no other public health warning but still millions risk their lives by continuing with their daily habit. It’s a harsh fact that smoking tobacco is one of the main causes of cancer, especially lung cancer Read more

Please rate this

Keeping A Positive Mindset No ratings yet.

blank

   For anyone who has decided to stop smoking for good, they have made one of the best choices for a healthier life. The first few days may seem to fly by. After this, time may be challenging to say the least. You may need someone around with postiive words of encouragement or just to help you through the times you think of lighting up.

It is important as well to make sure you keep your mind on positive things such as the money you will be saving, the fact that clothing and your home will be free of smoke, etc. Find a hobby that will make use of the time otherwise spent smoking, such as a favorite hobby, creating something, writing, whatever. Find what you can do to keep your mind and hands busy. When you complete a project, reward yourself with a compliment!

    Another way to stay positive, is when you feel the urge to smoke, take a small amount of change such as a quarter or a dollar, and put it aside for a week or two. Add up the total once the time comes and see how much you have saved. This will give you such a lift that you will want to continue putting that money aside. Before you know it, you will be bragging to family and friends!

     The more you can do to stay positive, the more you can keep a positive mindset by doing other things. You will find a lot of support and postives all around. Create & post signs or encouragement around your home. Keep a diary. Congratulate yourself when you reach another milestone day of not smoking. Pretty soon you will find it becomes easier and your life will be brighter each and every day!

Please rate this

Let’s Look at it Logically No ratings yet.

blank

If you have children cigarette smoking can be a real problem for them. Second hand smoke can cause ear infections and bring on asthma attacks. These attacks can be so serious they may need to be hospitalized. For the love of our children lets keep the second hand smoke away. Read more

Please rate this

Keep Smiling No ratings yet.

blank

Happy faces shine, especially when your teeth are bright and not stained from cigarettes and coffee.

Along with outward estetics, healty smiles require good hygene and abstinence from harmful substances like tar and nicotene and the umteen toxic chemicals found in cigarette smoke.

Smoking casues gum disease, which leads to tooth and bone loss. .  Although, it may not be possible to reverse the damages ceasing from this unsightly and wastefull habit will immediately improve your health.

Treat yourself to a deep cleaning with your dental hygenist and enjoy fresher breath and a happy smile from the inside out!

Quit smoking now. You CAN do it! 

Please rate this

Buddy System No ratings yet.

blank

Last Friday, I did some research and talked a little about nicotine gum and the potential advantages. One of my fellow bloggers, RachelInIdaho, pointed out that you need more than one factor to help you quit smoking, that this gum by itself won't help you.

So, I wanted to make sure that I hadn't mislead anybody by my previous post. You can not depend solely on a product like Nicorette.

I know that everybody is mentally and physically different, so perhaps there are those few souls who can accomplish this. Maybe, you think you can be one of those people and you want to give it a shot; that's your choice, but I think it would be wiser to factor in other things that might help you.

This post is titled "Buddy System" because I think that has the potential to be a very important factor in someone's path to quitting cigarettes.

Either find someone you know who also wants to quit, or find a friend or family number who help keep you accountable. It can be so hard to do things on your own. You need people to talk with and share both your struggles and joyful moments.

Please rate this

My Grampa No ratings yet.

blank

My grandfather was a man of few words. Very few. He was rather unapproachable and always quite a mystery to me. At the age of five my parents had been divorced for sometime. I was living at my grandparent’s place and my mother was working as a waitress downtown. Read more

Please rate this