I used to be like that.

I used to be like that.

angmoon222
angmoon222

February 9th, 2005, 11:54 am #1

A first since I quit, I got to spend quality time with a friend who is a smoker. We were together for about 3 hours and I feel compelled to share with you what happened in those few moments.

After the initial welcome and catching up, about 20 minutes, he had to step outside for a smoke. We had made plans to go hiking in the forest with my dogs, so I just got ready to do that while he was outside. When I was ready to go and he was finished with his cigarette, we all piled into my car for a short drive to the trailhead. When he got into my car, I was overwhelmed with this stench...a purely chemical smell that I really found quite nauseating. It wasn't like wood smoke and campfire smoke...this smell was rancid. I had to roll down my window so that some fresh air would move around inside the car. I thought to myself, "That's what you used to smell like. Just think, (insert partners/friends/strangers name here) had to put up with your stench for how many years?"

We got to the trailhead and proceeded up the path. The first 500 feet or so of it was a mild incline. When we reached the top, my smoking friend was quite short of breath and asked if we could stop for a moment. He was breathing heavily and I decided that maybe I was walking a bit too fast for him, so I better slow up. We continued on and began to talk about what a beautiful day it was, what a beautiful place we were walking in. I began to remark about the wonderful smell of pine and fresh morning dew that seemed to hang in the air. At this point, my smoking friend pulled out a cigarette and lit it while we were walking. The air was filled with this smelly, unnatural smoke. I thought to myself, "wow, if you were still a smoker, you would have lit up too. You also would have had no idea that your stinky pollution was covering up the sweet smell of the creek, the moss....the beauty that you came here to be in."

We were hiking for about an hour and a half. My smoking friend had 5 cigarettes in that time. It seemed that everything was marked by a cigarette. When we stopped to view the waterfall, he smoked. When we saw the map and were looking at where we are, he lit up. Before we made our descent, he pulled another cigarette out. Through all of this, I saw who I used to be. Through all of this, I came to be glad of who I am now.

Not a single time did I want to have a cigarette. Not once did I feel a crave. I felt sad. I felt sad for all the people in my life that lived with my smoking. I felt sad for my dogs that had no choice but to inhale my smoke. I felt sad for the strangers that just happened to be there while I smoked. I felt sad for my friend, who said he wanted to quit, but it was just too hard for him.

I also felt very, very, very glad. I am so happy that I no longer smoke cigarettes. I am ecstatic about my strength and courage that allows me to make it through everyday without cigarettes. I am glad that cigarettes don't mark every hour of my day. I am so glad that I am no longer endangering myself, my loved ones and even people I don't know. I can't take away the damage I have already done. But I can make a difference in my future. I do that everyday that I never take another puff.

ang

Free and healing for 1 month, 26 days, 11 hours, 48 minutes, 56 seconds. 1422 cigarettes NOT smoked, saving me an unheard of $259.51! 4 days, 22 hours, 33 minutes, 37 seconds of my life returned to me. I feel good, I smell good...life is better being normal.
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ZZRSteve GOLD
ZZRSteve GOLD

February 9th, 2005, 12:39 pm #2

Wow! Great post Ang. I used to be like that too....any little stop in the action, there I was, lighting another cigarette. I'm so gratefull to be quit of this horrible addiction. Perhaps you'll inspire your friend to quit sometime. Anyway, thanks for the great story. Steve 8 months, 27 days.
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gold osomashi
gold osomashi

February 9th, 2005, 2:40 pm #3

hey ang, great post. very insightful. it hit close to home. I used to be your friend: 1) using every opportunity as a chance to smoke (before X, after Y) and 2) smoking cigarettes all over nature; smoking in the desert, on the beach and in the Redwood Forest! I bet your dogs are happy now. Congratulations on an awesome quit...you are almost DOUBLE GREEN!
best wishes, mari, 5 months and 5 1/2 hours
Last edited by gold osomashi on June 25th, 2009, 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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richard This is It GOLD
richard This is It GOLD

February 9th, 2005, 3:12 pm #4

Hi Ang.....

Great post.... I used to be like that also.... hiking, biking, skiing.... were all interrupted by regular "smoke breaks".

Your post also reminded me of the need to spend more time "smelling the roses". Though a Brit, I am firtunate to be living in a most wonderful part of the world (the Pacific Norht West)..... there's no snow here this season worth a metion.... so time to dust off those walking boots I think :)
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Starshinegrl Gold
Starshinegrl Gold

February 9th, 2005, 8:02 pm #5

So did I!! I can remember doing a long distance walk here about 2 years ago ... a beautiful walk over 10 days and without fail, every hour or so, I just had to have my nicotine fix. I might have been whining about a long uphill stretch, but can you imagine that half way up, I just need nicotine to help me up further? As if ...

I can't wait for spring and summer to arrive ... so many walks planned in the beautiful Yorkshire & Derbyshire Dales, the Peak District, the Lakes and Scotland. (All these just mentioned for Richard ...). But seriously: I am so looking forward to all those walks without having to stop to feed my addiction ... might even dig my old "granny bike" out again.

Thanks, Ang, for giving me something this morning to look forward to. You are nearly double green ... congrats! Have a great nicotine free journey onwards!

Gitte
75 days and a bit
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jas
jas

February 10th, 2005, 1:27 am #6

Wow Ang,
That is a remarkably insightful post. I can relate very well to what you wrote probably because I have spent much time doing the same thing . There are many local trails where I would walk with my dogs and friends and yes spots all along the way where I would stop to smoke.

Your post hightlights something about the habits I developed as a smoker and how I learned to associate nicotine with the beginning and end of everything I did. From the time I awoke and administered my first feeding to my last cigarette of the day before bed, every single activity was framed with cigarettes.

I too am glad to be free and yes the smells of the forest are amazing. One does not know what they are missing until having given oneself the chance to experience life free of the nicotine.

Thanks for your insights,
Joseph
119 days -One day at a time.
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Pamf777
Pamf777

February 10th, 2005, 2:03 am #7

Angg...What a great post...I used to be that friend of yours...having to stop at every chance to light up during a pause...instead of really being able to enjoy the beauty and the smells....but brain was on the next cigarette...I was also the one who caused a slower pace....it was easy to become out of breath....What a joy it must of been to be the one smelling the smells and really enjoying the beauty....I smoked for 35 years....I quit so many times that I finally just gave up trying....thinking I would never br able to do it...and being so discussed with myself because it seemed like so many others could. ThenI was given a book about the easy way to quit smoking...so I decided to try again cold turkey...Thank God...6 days later I found freedom and why quit....it hasn't always been easy, but is has been simple (NTAP)...but with the knowledge and support I have found here....for the 1 st time...I feel like the non-smoker in your story....Encourage your friend to lurk on why quit and freedom.....Probably the reason he doean't quit is fear of failure or fear there is no life without smoking....what lies we tell ourselves....and I think but for the grace of God go I...Again...geat post Keep up the good worg and always remember NTAP Pam :) 41 days free and lovin it
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tepake
tepake

February 10th, 2005, 2:40 am #8

Ang,

I very much enjoyed your post. It's not often that we have an opportunity to have an objective look at our own behavior, although in this case it's a look at what USED to be our behavior. If only we could have seen ourselves in this light when we were still smoking, we might have quit sooner.

I was talking with another ex-smoker recently and we both remarked that although the smell of a cigarette didn't bother us, the smell of cigarette smoke on a smoker did. Odd. When I think that I used to smell like that, and that I thought I was hiding it from people, I am mortified. Totally embarassed.

In any case, after reading your story I am even more grateful that I no longer need to interrupt my activities, or anyone else's to get a fix.

Thanks for relating this.

Terry
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DeniseIsGreen
DeniseIsGreen

February 10th, 2005, 5:26 am #9

What a great post. And one to keep in mind when anyone has that "I'll just take a puff" thought It's never just a puff or one cigarette; It's "We were hiking for about an hour and a half. My smoking friend had 5 cigarettes in that time. It seemed that everything was marked by a cigarette. When we stopped to view the waterfall, he smoked. When we saw the map and were looking at where we are, he lit up. Before we made our descent, he pulled another cigarette out."

NTAP will keep us all from being right back in our addictions. This post helped me think about all the times in my life that what was driving me was the next hit of nicotine. Hurry through dinner.....go out and smoke. Hurrying family and friends to finish a conversation so I could go out and smoke. Wait....don't open any more Christmas presents until I get back in from smoking. It's incredible when I look back that something had THAT kind of control over my life. Every waking minute was OWNED by my addiction.

Now I own every one of my waking minutes!! :-) And have for One month, 16 hours, 28 minutes and 5 seconds. 792 cigarettes not smoked, saving $152.49. Life saved: 2 days, 18 hours, 0 minutes.
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angmoon222
angmoon222

February 10th, 2005, 6:52 am #10

I guess I shouldn't be surprised at all of you who related to my little story. As smokers, we were all like my friend. I want to say that this experience was not negative for me at all. In fact, it affirmed my quit so much more than anything else has.

Hiking and walking have been part of my recovery and rehabilitation. Not only is it great for my Westies (those are my dogs), walking has given me a chance to get my tired cilia waving and shaking the tar from their little arms. It has allowed me to breathe deeper and for the first time in a long time I smell things! A leaf from a tree has such a sweet smell, the grandstand at the ball fields still carries a popped corn scent from the game a few days ago...the simple smell of fresh air delights me. I know many of you relate and are just as happy about it as I am.

I too, live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and there are so many trails to walk upon. I encourage all of you, no matter where you are, to get out there and take a walk. Use that sniffer of yours and discover something that you may have forgotten smelled so good. Maybe we will start a "wonderful smells" parade sometime.

Hug your quits tight, everyone. Everyday it just gets better and better and better....but only if we never take another puff.

ang

Free and healing for 1 month and 27 days. YAY, I AM almost double GREEN! I love my new life.
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karenelizabethsr
karenelizabethsr

February 10th, 2005, 10:18 am #11

Ang,
I can really identify with your message, I love it! Today, my experience with stench is my husband, who has agreed to smoke outside. I am grateful for this but he really does stink when he comes back in. In the old days I might have been triggered by that. Now it is a reminder that what I'm doing is sooo much better than before. What is really cool is how much extra time I have now to do things.
Thanks for your message.
Karen
Karen - Free and Healing for Eighteen Days, 22 Hours and 6 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 1 Day and 15 Hours, by avoiding the use of 473 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $106.51.
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sophiaduvall
sophiaduvall

February 10th, 2005, 7:28 pm #12

Angmoon, great post! I'm like all the rest of these folks, it's amazing how any break was smoking time. Any break at all. I had a strange feeling the first time I made pasta after I quit, like I was missing something, something wasn't right. Then I realized...I'd use those few minutes while the water was boiling to have a cigarette. That was all. And when I wondered how I had no time to do all the little things I had to do....well now I know why.

Thanks for posting!



Sophia
5 1/2 months
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Shinelady Gold3282003
Shinelady Gold3282003

February 10th, 2005, 7:53 pm #13

Great post Ang,
Your friend is like most of us once were, it seems. He is smoking himself to death and says he can't quit because it's too hard. Yes, I thought that about myself also. I thought I was different, but I am so thankful to be quit now. And about that smell... it is so hard to believe we ever smelled like that, isn't it? I still wonder why I couldn't smell it when I was smoking. Hope you can inspire your friend to quit. It is so hard to watch those we care about continue to smoke when we know all they have to do is never take another puff.
yqs,sue-Gold
One year, ten months, one week, five days, 13 hours, 0 minutes and 21 seconds. 27381 cigarettes not smoked, saving $3,956.65. Life saved: 13 weeks, 4 days, 1 hour, 45 minutes.
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coryw42
coryw42

February 10th, 2005, 10:24 pm #14

What a fantastic post, I really needed to read very badly. Today makes two weeks that I quit smoking, the night times are the hardest for me for some reason. Last night I had another smoking dream so this morning was the first time in days that I woke up craving a cigarette but for only a few seconds. I have not had a migraine headache since I have quit smoking, I am use to having at least two a week, so that right there has been a big reason for me not to light up. Yes, I will make it through today and I will NTAP.

Cory
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Pryde65 GOLD
Pryde65 GOLD

February 10th, 2005, 10:27 pm #15

Ang, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this...as everyone has said...great post. I could see myself on both sides of that story...could clearly see the old me, just like your friend, and then myself now, as you were, reflecting as you experienced this day through new eyes. Yep, we've all been there. It is good to remember this and see it clearly.

Thank you for sharing.

Sue -Free for Four Months, Twenty Eight Days, 10 Hours and 41 Minutes, living an extra 16 Days and 17 Hours, didn't smoke 4814 cigs, and saving $1,017.27.
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Pryde65 GOLD
Pryde65 GOLD

February 10th, 2005, 10:29 pm #16

Oh, and as I read, I could smell the smell you spoke of...both the whiff of stale smoke that clings to a smoker's clothes, and then later, that sudden scent that overtakes the natural smells so fully as it wafts by when someone lights up...I must say, I much prefer the smells of nature. Glad I am not contributing to covering that up now!!!

Sue
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

February 11th, 2005, 4:32 am #17

Ang,
Thank you for sharing and your great way of putting things into perspective.
Every day in some way someone who shares this journey brings me a . On this snowy, blowy & cold 'lake effect' Thursday I am now thinking about how much more enjoyable my annual pilgramage to my native Pennsylvania mountains for a week of trout fishing will be in early April.
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GoldenDivamom1972
GoldenDivamom1972

February 11th, 2005, 10:16 am #18

I noticed that as well, Karen. When my boyfriend walked in the door tonight, I could smell his pipe smoke (the smell of which I used to *love*, by the way!) all the way from the kitchen, a distance of approximately 10 feet. To be honest, the smell just about knocked me over. Now I know how my non-smoking parents must have felt every time my daughters and I walked into *their* house. Boy, did I ever stink!

But not anymore!

Amy
Free and Healing for One Month, Eight Days, 15 Hours and 16 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 4 Days, by avoiding the use of 1159 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $290.23.
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SueMason2
SueMason2

February 12th, 2006, 1:06 am #19

Thanks for bringing this one up Joe - I think that we can all relate to this - again, to both the smoker and the ex-smoker. I think we all feel the pain and embarrassment when we first realize just how obvious the smell of smoke is. Just the other night a new acquaintance told me that no one at work knew that she smoked. I didn't say anything but I did think "right! have they all had their noses removed or something??" I remember my sister telling me that the smell of smoke on me was worse in the winter - I used to just think she was being my obnoxious older sister - picky picky picky ....... now I know she was not only older, but wiser (she never smoked).

It's hard not to turn into a crusader quitting this way - you just wanna shout it from the rooftops FREEEDOMMMM!!! IT'S SOOOOOO SIMPLE...... but then the smokers just say you're being a santimonious pain in the neck and watch you like a hawk to try to see if you're going to slip up and smoke. Someone asked me the other day if I wanted to try one just to remind myself how much I didn't like them - I said , you know what?? I don't like okra but I don't need to put it in my mouth every once in awhile to remind myself how much I don't like it. I just know!

This is a great post - and great replies - well worth bringing up - thanks again,

Susan (green and grateful)
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Em B 12106
Em B 12106

February 13th, 2006, 1:44 am #20

Thank you for this post Ang. I nearly cried for your friend (and all smokers) as I read your words. I'm feelin' ya!

Em
Three weeks, 14 hours, 36 minutes and 0 seconds. 324 cigarettes not smoked, saving $68.71. Life saved: 1 day, 3 hours, 0 minutes.
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GreenSolveg
GreenSolveg

February 13th, 2006, 10:16 am #21

Thanks for this post, Ang, and congratulations on your greening. It's pretty amazing how we used to live our lives, isn't it? Reading the description of your friend was very interesting for me: my first reaction was to think, wow, this guy is off the hook. A cigarette before the hike, and at the beginning of the hike, and at the break at the waterfall, and at the start down the hill, as well as no doubt a few more during the hike, and I'll bet he lit up just as soon as you got into the car to drive back!! This is a serious chainsmoker. On the heels of this thought came another one: actually he's not that unusual. More saliently: that's the kind of smoker I was. I used to mark every occasion, emotion, break time, start of something, end of something, turning point, etc., with a cigarette. And I remember what a huge junkie it made me feel like when I was the only smoker in a group of people.

What's really amazing is that this used to strike us as normal, reasonable behavior. Congratulations on your hard-earned quit; you've clearly got the right attitude to succeed. I enjoyed reading this post a lot, and I promise you that this is just going to get better and better and better. Good for you and keep up the great work!

Erica--2xGold
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SandraJ0 Gold1
SandraJ0 Gold1

June 24th, 2006, 2:03 am #22

Love this post.
Sandy Everyday I choose freedom over addiction, and pause to rejoice that it is indeed MY choice.
Today is day 146 (4 Months, 3 Weeks, 5 Days, 4 hours and 3 minutes). Started living MY life again on 1/28/2006 11:00am
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Kristie
Kristie

June 24th, 2006, 4:42 am #23

I remember reading this some time during the first week I quit. It dawned on me when I saw it today that not only did I use to be like that, but just one puff would put me back there again.

Kristie - Free and Healing for Four Months, Six Days, 19 Hours and 11 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 8 Days and 19 Hours, by avoiding the use of 2536 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $412.98.
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Adsaka
Adsaka

August 5th, 2006, 12:33 am #24

I think what really hit me was the "every event was marked by a cigarette". Oh yes, how I remember that. I deluded myself I was celebrating. Or relaxing. Or.. fill in the blank.

I still want to smoke but I'm a baby quitter. I may want to, now and then, but I will not. Thanks for this post. It's going into my tool box for those craving times.

A
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LittleStream8
LittleStream8

August 5th, 2006, 9:25 am #25

I can totally relate. I can't believe how much people stink to me now. In junior high and high school I thought my teachers, coaches, and parents couldn't smell the smoke on me because I would spray perfume after I lit up. They always found out I'd smoked. My mother told me that non-smokers could always smell the smokers. Now I realize how foolish I'd been. I considered myself to be a "polite smoker," always stepping outside away from crowds and never smoking around children. But the stench that lingered on me must have agrivated thousands of people during my thirteen year smoking career. And i'ts nice to be able to smell my shampoo! That's my favorite part.
-River
unpolluted since March 29, 2006
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