The Isolation of a Widowed Smoker

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

18 Mar 2002, 05:44 #11

I love that post of 1/28/01. The Widowed Smoker. I did that. I cleaned and smoked and cooked and smoked and talked and smoked and smoked.
I'm so glad I've been smoke free for almost 5 months now.
Day by day, cooking and cleaning and working and enjoying life a whole lot more.
YQS
Alice
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 20:20

18 Mar 2002, 06:39 #12

Hey Alice, I just sent you a response but I think it got lost in cyberland. If found, please forgive me for repeating. Your post reminded me of the story of the student of spirituality who asks his guru, "How will life be different for me after achieving enlightenment?" The guru responds, "Before enlightenment, fetch water from well, carry water. After enlightenment, fetch water from well, carry water." Before I quit I was scared stiff that I wouldn't know how to "do" life. But two months into it, I see that it's all surprisingly "doable." Only now we're healthier, smell prettier, glow even! Take care, Mary
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

31 Mar 2002, 22:11 #13

I've been spending a lot of times with my inlaws this weekend--lots and lots of people, 24 or so, I lose count. Only one smoker in the bunch. Everyone is spending time talking and visiting and playing games, 6 hour stretches in fact, with no one seeming to be in a hurry to get anywhere--except maybe for me looking for a computer to check in at the board and my email. It made me think of this letter of people who can't enjoy and experience such occasions because of smoking. It is one thing when people are limited from sharing such experiences because of the lack family and friends because of isolation of distance from people--it is quit another when people are available and willing to be there but you let a drug get in the way of quality time. To be around longer to share your life with family and friends, both more quality time now and more time because of your extended health and life, always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

21 May 2002, 22:51 #14

This story reminds me so much of my mother. My father passed away August 28, 2000 from cancer. My mother had given up smoking for 5 years prior to him getting sick. He got sick June 15, 2000 and she picked up that cigarette again and hasn't looked back. My brother and I vowed to quit smoking when dad passed away. It took us both awhile. He has not smoked for 2 months and I have not smoked for 15 days. Mom's the only smoker left and she's been having second thoughts! I will pass this on to her and leave it up to her to make her choice.

Another nicotine addict for 30 yrs and I have chosen not to smoke for 2 Weeks 1 Day 20 Hours 50 Minutes 42 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 603. Money saved: C$241.20. Life/Time saved: 6 Days 6 Hrs 45 Mins 4 Secs
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:10

22 May 2002, 12:56 #15

This is the post Joel brought up to the top when I got here six months ago. And I just wanted to let you all know that although I've not been around much lately (i have a new job that's taking up every second of my time and I'm also going to school at night now), I am still here and still going strong :) Thank you to John and Joel and Grumpy and Joanne and Nora and Marty and Glenys and everyone :) You are all wonderful :)

And to those of you just starting, you can do it. I know because I didn't think I could and I'm here now.

All my love to all freedomites,
Jessica aka AMD33
Celebrating freedom for Six months, 7 hours, 29 minutes and 17 seconds. 1813 cigarettes not smoked, saving $484.90. Life saved: 6 days, 7 hours, 5 minutes.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

07 Sep 2002, 23:55 #16

Oh, man------when Lorraine picked this post as her favoriite in the parade the other day, I thought it sounded interesting and I believed I had not read it. I just now read it and found early on (first sentence) that it was hauntingly familiar. I had read it before and I believe REPRESSED it. I am not a widow but the part about the visit from the kids and grandkids----well, I don't want to think about it. It IS a great message. If I had read it a few years ago, it might have tipped the balance. but one can't live backwards. Lilac

I still choose "My cigarette, My friend" though as Joel's best because it's message is universal and it also, to be honest, doesn't arouse so much guilt in my recovering soul.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Sep 2002, 00:27 #17

"Guilt in my recovering soul." I like that phrase for this letter. This one haunted me too as I wrote it. I didn't have any one specifically in my mind when I wrote this one, it was just what I imagined as a composite of lonely older people I knew at the time--some of them non-smokers but who I recognized looked so forward to family and friend visits that it just all of a sudden struck me how a smoker in the same situation is likely to have altered priorities. "My Cigarette My Friend" on the other hand was inspired by a specific person I knew who I was visiting in the hospital who thought that she had just experienced her fourth heart attack, was afraid she was dying, and was wanting a cigarette. She had literally been out the night before to a play that she had left some key scenes so she could go out and smoke. That letter almost wrote itself when I went home that evening and just wrote what I thought as I reflected about her comments.

Although I don't want this letter to create a sense of guilt as much as a sense of remorse of how much really valuable time may have been wasted on cigarettes. More importantly now though, I hope this piece creates a sense of importance on how you never want to waste your future valuable time and energy from this point forward on maintaining an active nicotine addiction and remind you that you never will as long as you always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

08 Sep 2002, 01:23 #18

Oh, Joel, you are really such a lovely man. You are a cultural treasure. I feel fortunate to know you not only from a learning standpoint but from a literary one as well. I once wrote poetry whenever I was moved by fortune or misfortune. When I say I wrote poetry what I really mean is poetry wrote itself in me.. That sounds very much like the manner in which you wrote My Cigarette, My Friend. Sometimes high emotion leads to searing truth-- of course you already knew the truth but , in that message, you certainly made it manifest for otherrs. Lilac
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

30 Nov 2002, 23:35 #19

WOA, THIS HAS BECOME ONE OF MY FAVORITE AMONG MANY, BUT THIS HIT REALLY CLOSE TO HEART. I JUST REALIZED HOW SMOKING FOR YEARS REALLY HAS MADE ME A WIDOW, NOT IN THE TRUE SENSE, BUT BY MISSING SO MUCH OF LIFE, MAKING CONSTANT EXCUSES TO FEED OUR ADDICTION. THIS THANKSGIVING WAS A CHALLENGE, COOKING AND COOKING, WITH MY SMOKING SIDE PATIO BECKONING ME. THEN THAT SIP OF WHITE WINE AS I FINISHED THE GRAVY.... IT PASSED WITH ME THE VICTOR. THANKS FREEDOM. BIRKY 15DAYS+
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

07 Feb 2003, 13:01 #20

For those who think that the people they see smoking are somehow happy or lucky. Even the people who you don't see who are smoking are not lucky and probaly have a lower quality of life in more ways than just health impairments. Many people end up much more isolated as smokers just because they smoke.
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:25

08 Feb 2003, 14:16 #21

I'm sending this one to my 3 packs a day sister. Yes, I
said 3 packs.
When she gets older and her kids are grown, she could
end up being the lady in Joel's story.

I told her about this website. I don't know if she ever
looked at it. She is the most stubborn addict that I
have ever known.

If she could only see through her addiction for a few,
clear, bright seconds!

Gena (bronze)
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

01 May 2003, 00:02 #22

You know, I don't have a husband, dead or not, much less any kids, but I remember this Joel Classic as probably the first that made my eyes pop in the first week of my quit.

I think it was because usually when you read about someone in literature, a cigarette means something about their character and is used as a prop--romanticized. You know, like Audrey Hepburn at her party in Breakfast at Tiffany's.

But smokers don't get to use cigarettes just as props. . .this little story shows smoking for what it really is; punctuation for every single act you do in the day. Joel, I just don't know how you know how to portray smoking this accurately but I'm so glad you do, because sometimes I forget what being a smoker is really like and I start thinking it would be nice to have one at the cafe or at the bar. I forget the reality.

Very powerful. . .it just got to me again, two months later.

Alex
2 months 2 weeks 2 days
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

02 Aug 2003, 17:01 #23

I was just resonding to an email from a person who found this one particulary helpful in realizing just how much life revolves around cigarettes when a person is an active nicotine addict. What is great is how once you quit, life no longer revolves around smoking nor not smoking either. Life as an ex-smoker just revolves around life. To keep your health and to stay permanently free from the grip that nicotine once exerted upon you is as simple now as just always remembering why you first quit smoking and why for numerous personal reasons you are still totally committed to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 09 Jan 2009, 00:16

08 Sep 2003, 00:29 #24

Joel:

This was a wonderful article and a really sad article. As I read, I could see myself, the addiction of smoking so clearly. I am amazed at the number of articles that you have and how moving they really are.

Thank you Joel... You helped teach me how to save my own life. I feel so much better that I will never take another puff.

Alleen
1 week 2 days, 17 hours. 194 cigarettes were not smoked. Wow - the cigarettes are starting to add up.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

08 Sep 2003, 01:13 #25

Hello Alleen:

This letter was a little different than most of them. I didn't have any one specifically in my mind when I wrote this piece, it was just my impressions of a number of lonely older people I knew at the time. Some of them were actually non-smokers and ex-smokers. I just saw how much these people had looked so forward to family and friend visits and then it just struck me how a smoker in the same situation is likely to have altered priorities.

As opposed to this letter, most of my articles were inspired by a specific smoker or group of smokers. "My Cigarette, My Friend " for example was inspired by a specific clinic graduate who had relapsed and who I was visiting in the hospital right after she thought that she just experienced her fourth heart attack. She was afraid she was dying, and was wanting a cigarette. She had been out to a play the night before that she had to leave during some key scenes so she could go out and smoke. She was bitter about that and also about the fact that she believed that her cigarettes were killing her at this particularly moment in time, yet she was saying how much she wanted a cigarette and could not have one because she was hospitalized. I went home that evening and just wrote what I thought as I reflected about her conflicting comments and sentiments. Basically, that letter almost wrote itself.

I feel that the Isolation of the Widowed Smoker is really clear at showing how much valuable time and energy our members and readers once wasted on cigarettes and on just fixating on smoking. More importantly now though, I hope this piece creates a sense of importance on how you never want to waste your future valuable time and energy on maintaining an active nicotine addiction and to always serve to remind you that you never will have to waste such quality time on smoking as long as you always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 09 Jan 2009, 00:16

08 Sep 2003, 03:03 #26

Joel:

I know you know I had a rough time in the beginning but I am 1 week 2 days and 19 hours, almost 10 days into the quit. I think I am feeling better - honestly... I think I am going to make it. I knew I would but sometimes it just feels like you won't - you know what I mean.

I have recommended this website to my smoker friends. However, I don't want to become one of the awful ex-smokers either.

Thank you for your nice letter to me. I will read my cigarette my friend - which sounds like something my son should read too.

Thanks again - you will continue to keep hearing from me because I will never take another puff...

Alleen
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:06

29 Oct 2003, 21:33 #27

This is my favorite as well, and the post that touched me enough where I knew Freedom was where I wanted to call "home." It reminded me of everything I thought and felt when my father would come to visit me or if I would go to visit him. I would be looking forward to it SO much but since I was a closet smoker around him I would always be haunted and dominated by my addiction. So instead of enjoying my time with him I was consumed by my need to feed. Now it's the opposite, and I'm so incredibly grateful!
Jill
Kicking Butt for 1 Year 3 Weeks 5 Days.
Last edited by smokefreeJD Gold on 28 Jul 2009, 00:35, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

26 Jan 2004, 01:51 #28

I saw where a member was thinking of smoking because of her lonliness. Thought this post would add some perspective to the issue.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

13 Feb 2004, 00:52 #29

I know some people are currently feeling like their lives are somehow sadder because they have quit smokng. The sadness that people feel when they first quit is temporary. The sadness and loneliness that a person can feel because they smoke can be a lot worse and last a lifetime--albeit a shorter lifetime because of the fact that smoking will likely end up in your facing a premature loss in life. The true road to greater happiness is sticking to your commitment to never take another puff! Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

15 Sep 2004, 01:35 #30

How odd! I just posted a bit about this piece in my quit diary. I was so shocked when I read this which was actually yesterday afternoon from the PDF download I have. Not only did I relate to how often she smoked and for what variety of any and all reasons (the oven is pre-heating, time for a smoke), I too have left early from visiting my beloved nieces and nephews simply because I wanted to go smoke where they couldn't see me (which meant cutting off the visit as their yard is tiny and has no place to hide).

JAG
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

15 Sep 2004, 04:30 #31

Man!! What-a-slap-in-the-face!! I needed that. Nicotine does nothing but, kill, steel, and destroy! But only if we let it!! NTAP
Last edited by kwhtlw on 28 Jul 2009, 00:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 18:56

18 Dec 2004, 09:55 #32

This surely is a needful read. Smoking isolates us from those we love and those things we love to do. And there ain't much that we get in return 'cept illusion and misery.

I am in such agreement with Janet here, it's amazing how I could find little pockets of time for a cigarette. Some time back I was boiling water for pasta for supper and I couldn't quite figure out what I wasn't doing...surely I'm missing some step here? Then I realized what it was.....I usually had a smoke during the few minutes that it took for the water to boil. Now, not smoking, I can put those little pockets to use in productive ways. Or not. It's my choice now, really my choice.

Sophia
3M 3W+
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

29 Jan 2005, 01:36 #33

I haven't read this since very early in my quit. It still brings a tear to my eye.
Timeless, as are all the articles.


Charlee


I have been quit for 8 Months, 1 Week, 4 Days, 33 minutes and 58 seconds (256 days). I have saved $832.07 by not smoking 5,120 cigarettes. I have saved 2 Weeks, 3 Days, 18 hours and 40 minutes of my life.
Last edited by Charlee GOLD on 28 Jul 2009, 00:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

05 Mar 2005, 13:48 #34

I haven't been here in a LOOOONG LOOOONG time - but I had to post and let you all know that this article was the one that made my quit stick.

It reminded me of my own mother, and she is finally quitting on March 13th - the 9 year anniversary of my dad's death.

I will do all that I can to help her, and will bring her by Freedom for reinforcement.

I could never thank you all enough - Grumpy, John (Zep!! :D) Joanne, Joel, and ALL the wonderful people here. I wish I were around more, but as John said to me once, a long time ago: "Our hope is that you won't have to be here anymore." I'm glad I don't have to, but know that I think about Freedom every day.

Love and hugs to all that read this!!

Diana

3 years, 7 months, 6 days of Never Taking Another Puff...
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

26 Apr 2005, 19:57 #35

This is the one that took me from thinking about quitting to getting it done.
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