The One Puff Files

ThePanster
Joined: 31 Jan 2009, 02:15

13 Mar 2009, 00:47 #81

Thanks for bringing this up front, HWC, and Congratulations on your Freedom-a-versary!

I've never read this thread before, and I am SO glad I did. I can relate to the stories here, and have one of my own. In the hope it will help someone--a complacent former smoker or a newbie still learning about the Law of Addiction -- I repost a portion of my journal into this thread: the story of how I threw away a 7 year quit and then smoked again for well over 10 years after.

Know what I learned: You may be special in the eyes of your loved ones, but addiction will treat you the same as anyone else. This really can happen to you if you break the pledge to Never Take Another Puff.


Oringally posted 3/8/09: About 20 years ago, I made it to the top of the longest, hardest mountain I had ever tried to climb. I had quit smoking. I was in my 20s. I had smoked off and on during junior high school (starting at around age 13) and got to be a much more regular smoker by the time high school rolled around. In college, though, I put them away and believed with all my heart that I would never look back.



For nearly seven years, I didn't. It was a tough quit, like they all are. I stopped and started once then stopped again. My whole family smoked then, and dealing with the constant smell of it and the always-available supply of smokes was quite a challenge. I had constant triggers to deal with and remember how relieved I felt when I was able to finally move out on my own and make my own, smoke-free environment. I bought my first car during college and remember feeling how great it was to be in a car that no one would ever smoke in.



I was lucky to find a great job right after college, and I packed up my new car and moved to a new city to start my life on my own. My first apartment was clean and fresh like my car-a non-smoker lived there. Time went by peacefully and I lived my life like people do. I learned all the things you learn when you're out on your own, I made some mistakes, I had some stresses and some really great times and I did it all without nicotine.



I was really comfortable and happy. So much time had gone by since I'd quit smoking and lived with smokers, I never even thought about smoking anymore. There was a guy at work who smoked, and all I ever thought about him was how bad he smelled. Early in my quit, I used to think all the time about how much I loved being a non-smoker. But years later, it just never crossed my mind. It was just that far gone from my thinking.



If you'd have asked me about it then, I'd have told you that I had that nasty little thing beat. It was over, and that's why I never thought about it. Smoking was just a thing of the past, a habit I'd kicked; just like when I stopped biting my fingernails.



If you'd have asked me "Would you start again?" I would have laughed at you and said, "Of course not! No more than I'd start chewing on my fingers again."

"I'm an adult now," I would have said, "and I call the shots in my life. I like long fingernails, so that's what I have. I don't like the way cigarettes smell, so I don't smoke them. Simple!"



Ah, me. What I didn't know then.




Nearly seven years into my totally numb complacency about smoking, I met a new friend. You've probably all met new friends with whom you have an instant bond-people you know you're going to know for the rest of your life. This was one of those people. And she smoked.



I didn't think much about that, frankly. I'd been around smokers before-as I said, my whole family smoked. She lit up one evening when a bunch of us were out having some fun, and I picked one up and lit it, too.



What did it matter? No matter at all. I had quit. I wasn't a smoker. I could have one, no big deal. "It's been nearly seven years," I would have told myself had any alarm bells gone off in my addled brain at that moment. "It's not like I'm starting again. It's just one."



I wish so much I had never done that.

I do not know why I decided to smoke at that moment after seven years of not smoking, but I can tell you what it did to me.



It made me start smoking all over again, and it made a much more regular smoker out of me. Whereas I'd smoked far less frequently in high school, I was a serious smoker after a few weeks of "social smoking." I got back all the things I had been so happy to leave: I smelled horrible; my car and house smelled horrible; my chest hurt (at the age of 27); I wheezed; I was nervous and anxious; I was chained to the pack all the time, unable to spend any comfortable time at all in non-smoking situations. I had to listen to my husband (who had only known me as a non-smoker up to that point) complain about it all the time. You know what it's like.



I had climbed that mountain, reached the summit, breathed the beautiful air up there, lived there for nearly seven years; and then one day, I just flung myself off of it all the way back down to the very bottom of the dark valley below.



In the years that followed, I climbed up the mountain again, but I always took the wrong path. I used NRT so many times I can't remember. I quit for a few weeks several times, I quit for six months, or nine months; once, I even quit again for a whole year. But each time, I jumped back down off that mountain top.



I suppose no one will ever really know why I chose to do that over and over again, but I do know something now that I was not aware of back then. And I believe this thing I know now-this thing I learned at whyquit.com and here at Freedom-is going to make all the difference in my quit this time: I know that I am an addict, and addicts can't "smoke just one" or "slip" or "have a little relapse." Addicts can't become complacent; addicts must remain vigilant.



I believe that if I had known at the age of 27 that I was an addict and known everything that means, I would have known better.



I thank God I know that now, and I pray that quitting at age 46 was not too late for me.

Amanda

I have been free for 1 Month, 2 Weeks, 1 Day, 23 hours and 8 minutes (43 days). I have saved $117.04 by not smoking 659 cigarettes. I have saved 5 Days and 49 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 1/27/2009 9:30 PM
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hwc
Joined: 18 Jan 2009, 16:17

13 Mar 2009, 02:46 #82

That's some story, Amanda. Makes me kind of glad that I never even tried to quit until I finally did quit (except that I feel like a fool, smoking for 38 years, but no point cryin' about it now.)

It just kills me to read about long-term relapses. It is so senseless. So easy to prevent. I mean, not smoking during the actual nicotine withdrawal is one thing. That can literally be a battle. But, six month? A year? It's just not that hard to never take another puff.
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BJC
Joined: 10 Mar 2009, 01:46

13 Mar 2009, 05:26 #83

To ThePanster: Thankyou, first of all for your brutal honesty. It can't be easy to admit your defeat. In my own quit I WILL keep your words close at heart: "Addicts can't become complacent: addicts must remain vigilant." I believe you will make it this time! The support is certainly there. You pocess the knowledge needed.
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hwc
Joined: 18 Jan 2009, 16:17

11 Aug 2009, 18:33 #84

Bumping to the top, in memory of my dad who would have been so happy to celebrate my anniversary today of 18 months since my last puff. I've missed a couple of months bumping the One Puff Files as I've had to work my own private monthly reading and re-commitment in around other events -- I did them, just not on my exact anniversaries. So, I'm back on my usual schedule, reading a few pages of The One Puff Files and committing to another 30 days without nicotine as my way of celebrating each month!

Read some today and use what you can as reaffirmations of your quits. It's my wish that nobody on this site ever fall prey to a relapse. It's so easy to take out that cheap insurance policy every 30 days with a personal commitment to never take another puff. That personal commitment, just 30 days at a time (or 30 minutes if that's where you are in your quit) will get you through all of life's events that might otherwise serve as a perfect excuse.

After smoking for 35+ years, I quit cold turkey One Year, Six Months, 13 Hours and 9 Minutes ago.
By breaking my active nicotine addiction, I've not purchased and smoked 10951 cigarettes that would have cost me $3,360.34.
Last edited by hwc on 11 Aug 2009, 18:36, edited 1 time in total.
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hwc
Joined: 18 Jan 2009, 16:17

11 Sep 2009, 05:37 #85

Just cruisin' through on my monthly anniversary, reading some One Puff Files and bumping it to the top. I'm making my personal commitment tonight to never take another puff for another 30 days. Anyone care to join me? Welcome aboard.

Interesting month. Had a meeting with the friendly tax man. On the way to the meeting, the fuel pump in my car croaked, leaving me stranded by the side of the road. A good samaritan picked me up and was headed my way, so he gave me a lift to my meeting. He was chain smoking my old brand. A lot of junkies would see that setup as the perfect storm of excuses. Oh, my... the stress, right?

I had zero desire to smoke. Didn't bother me that he was smoking. Had a little conversation with the guy about quitting. Just my usual, "quitting isn't half as bad as thinking about quitting" that I offer to addicts without beating them over the head. Zero thought of smoking. I don't do that anymore. It's so much less stressful. I still like to renew my monthly insurance policy, though. It's costs to little to guarantee I won't relapse for another month.

Never take another puff. One month at a time.

After smoking for 35+ years, I quit cold turkey One Year, Seven Months and 31 Minutes ago.
By breaking my active nicotine addiction, I've not purchased and smoked 11560 cigarettes that would have cost me $3,551.84.
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hwc
Joined: 18 Jan 2009, 16:17

13 Oct 2009, 06:40 #86

Hey guys, it's me on my monthly reaffirmation. I read page 4 of this month and am reaffirming my personal commitment to never take another puff. Wonderfully quiet month. I've backed away from stop smoking discussions on the internet because, frankly, that's the only time I even think about smoking these days. The memories of smoking are starting to grow faint. As long as I take out my monthly insurance policy with a commitment to never take another puff for 30 more more days, I feel like I should be good to go. I've worked very hard to train myself to view smoking in a very negative light -- mental muscle memory that I'm sure would kick in if I every had a brainfade and even thought about a cigarette. I can't remember the last time that happened. Honestly, I knew on day three I'd never smoke again and I've never really come close -- which is not to say I didn't have to pace up and down the driveway a few times in the early going! Anyway, here's my monthly bump of the The One Puff Files.

After smoking for 35+ years, I quit cold turkey One Year, Eight Months, Two Days, 1 Hour and 29 Minutes ago. By breaking my active nicotine addiction, I've not purchased and smoked 12201 cigarettes that would have cost me $3,753.70. They tell me I've extended my life expectancy by 42 Days and 8 Hours as a result of quitting when I did.
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hwc
Joined: 18 Jan 2009, 16:17

11 Dec 2009, 07:03 #87

Me again. Just my monthly ritual. Reading a few pages of The One Puff Files and making a personal commitment to never take another puff for 30 more days. I actually touched a cigarette for the first time in 22 months this week. I had touched an unopened pack I found a few months back - a souvenir pack my daughter had brought me from China. She understood when I told her I had found them and thrown them away. This week, I found a half smoked cigarette butt buried deep at the bottom of a desk drawer. That went straight to the trash can, too. Felt so odd, so foreign, to touch a cigarette. I remember the misery of the drug addiction vividly. I remember my last awful puff, but the memories of physically handling cigarettes are growing distant. Fine with me.

After smoking for 35+ years, I quit cold turkey One Year, Ten Months and 56 Minutes ago. By breaking my active nicotine addiction, I've not purchased and smoked 13381 cigarettes that would have cost me $4,126.66. They tell me I've extended my life expectancy by 46 Days and 11 Hours as a result of quitting when I did.
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glhage
Joined: 08 Dec 2009, 14:05

14 Dec 2009, 00:12 #88

Finding people that know what it's like to relapse should be easy( until they find this website). I failed many quits because I kept thinking one puff or one cigarette wouldn't hurt. I never made it for any length of time, usually after about two months i would get stupid and have that first one and you know the rest. Once time I went over a year of just smoking when drinking or bumming one when someone stopped by. Of course I was just torturing myself and enventually was back to 2 packs a day. Now that I've found this site with all the info and support, I feel I will make it this time because I finally got it!! All I have to do is never take another puff!! Genius!!
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hwc
Joined: 18 Jan 2009, 16:17

11 Feb 2010, 06:14 #89

Reading and bumping as I do every month on my anniversary, renewing my personal commitment to never take another puff for 30 more days. Actually, I have personal commitment to never take another puff forever, but I like my little monthly ritual as a way of renewing a foolproof insurance policy.

A special anniversary tonight:

After smoking for 35+ years, I quit cold turkey Two Years and 1 Minute ago. By breaking my active nicotine addiction, I've not purchased and smoked 14620 cigarettes that would have cost me $4,897.15.
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apples2967
Joined: 21 Apr 2011, 05:15

18 Apr 2012, 09:46 #90

My quit is my focus, my freedom my reward.
1 year and 2 days free. My guard is high, cause i am weak. Im compulsive, addictive, gullable. But this website has given me information. I KNOW i cant EVER take another puff, and its my daily, my hourly goal. I will never be a non smoker, i will always be an addict who doesnt smoke.

Its wonderful to read thru threads like these, to keep u commited, focused. That demon inside was starting to say, "hey, its been a year, 1 wont hurt " OMG that scared me. Straight back here, read, read and read some more. My /Our quits are so very very delicate, cherish your quit, and celebrate it everyday.

No puff today

Steve

PS, i smoked for 25 years 2 packs per day
  
Last edited by apples2967 on 19 Apr 2012, 01:12, edited 1 time in total.
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