Thursday, October 4, 2007


It's almost funny that the Chantix people included recommended dosing instructions with their miracle pill.

The think about smoking is this - we did it anyway.

Take this post on Blog Fabulous, and please Robin don't think I'm picking on you in particular because you can read it into ALL smoker's here and what they say:

Robin says: My ‘research’ on withdrawal was not a good idea. :-) I tried stopping Chantix after a week of not smoking. I’m still hanging in there but am going through the absolute meltdowns we all remember from trying to quit cold turkey. I started taking the Chantix again last night and eagerly wait for some relief to kick in. After several days off Chantix I didn’t want to start with the full dose. I’m back up to just over half. Tomorrow I’ll be back on full dose. Don’t do what I did and stop taking it too soon! Chantix does more than I realized. Without the Chantix I’ve gone into full blown panic not having a smoke. It’s been 10 days without smoking so I thought I’d be OK. It was getting so easy on Chantix I thought I didn’t need it. Wrong! I even unsubscribed to this blog. I really missed the connection. It does help!

The rebellious nature of smoking can't be discounted, or it's a mistake if you do discount it. We KNEW smoking was bad for us - how could we not know? In 2005 my 3 year old knew the possible consequences.

But, somehow we all, everyone of us thought WE, specifically me and you, wouldn't get addicted. We were special. We were above the rules. We had enough self control to not let smoking take over our lives. We didn't have to follow the rules because regular rules don't apply to us.

So, this is an extremely hard thing to admit and accept and change about our selves. I'm sure all of us see the same pattern in other areas of our lives.

Who stopped taking the Chantix before the recommended time? Why?

Me - I only took it for two months and then the nausea and the eating regiment became distracting.

We don't want to do what we're told. We don't want to follow the instructions, we don't want people telling us what we can and can't do. Period.

My great big lie is to say I can do it when I go out drinking with other smokers. Realistically I take a big risk and that's how ALL my other quits failed. But, I still want to believe that I can be a social smoker. That I won't be super-hooked. That I can pick up cigarettes and put them down whenever I feel like it. I have the hardest time walking away from the idea that I can smoke sometimes. I just want it and I want it bad.

Well, we have to accept that sometimes we can't have things the way we want them. If it were easy to quit smoking without Chantix none of us would have failed at it before and I think most of us have failed at it more than once.

But, guess what? Robin and me and everyone else just gets to try again. It's not bigger or smaller than that. She's going to get back on the "quitting smoking is hard and I need all the help I can get" Chantix train and she has my full support.

It's okay to need help. You don't have to quit smoking cold turkey anymore and you don't have to have been right.

You can just try again is all. The only real failure is to stop trying.

Virtual High Five Robin. Of course you can do this. This is a big deal and you deserve all the support you can get.


Robin said...

Tracee.. Thanks for thinking about the situation I put myself in... and yes... the rebellion! The only thing that wasn't true for me is denying my addiction. I totally knew the terrible hold nicotine had/has on me. Like many, I somehow thought MY addiction was worse than that of other people

I think I have an answer to a question I asked myself during the first week on Chantix. Was I afraid of failure or success? It may be surprising to learn I'm afraid of success. Success means truly giving up that 'old friend'. By not reaching out for help, stopping Chantix because "I could do it without", not finding something to do with my hands at night, eating junk food non stop instead of smoking (fortunately I'm not over weight so no harm done), not finding pleasant activities to make me feel better... ALL in an effort to FAIL! But... against all odds, given what I've done to sabotage my own efforts... I'm still succeeding!!! Intellectually I absolutely know I can not smoke.

All of this nonsense has only gone on for one week. As you constantly remind yourself, and the rest of us, we have the chance and ability to make new choices. I know the road ahead will be rocky at times. I hope I'm now better prepared to deal with my success. I put away the junk food, I set up my lamp and materials for stitching in my chair at night, I put on nice clothes to get all dirty in my pottery studio today (but I look nice for a change). It's all good. A virtual high five back to you and everyone else on this life saving journey!

Tracee said...

I know what you mean. It's like we say "I'm going to quit smoking." Then we say, "Oh crap what if that means I can't really smoke anymore?"

Robin said...

LOL... oh crap is right! That's it though. How perverse we are!!!

Melinda said...

Hi! I just wanted to express how the points you guys hit in these latest comments truly have helped someone like myself...I am on Day 6 of no smoking, day 13 on Chantix, and find myself continually looking for a loophole which allows me to smoke at sometime in the near or even distant future...The hope of being that social or weekend smoker who can put it down at anytime, or maybe I could have a cigar sometime, or, I'm sure a clove cigarette may be OK eventually...I don't really have to stop smoking, right? WRONG! I have to keep reinforcing that any smoking is unacceptable for an addict like myself, and deal with the sadness that follows that realization. And though one could consider the sadness selfish, I believe it is a part of the mourning process that as you, Tracee have mentioned before, is a part of recovery from nicotine addiciton. Also, the rebellious nature of a smoker and especially of myself, is another thing that I am really having to deal with here. I associate smoking with my F-U, anti-conformist, I'm going to play hard rock with the boys, kiss my ass, army boot wearin', I don't care type attitude of my youth, which really formed who I am, and I still have very strong opinions and still play hard rock with the boys, etc....In other words, I feel as though I'm losing something that has been at the very core of respresenting what defines my attitude towards other things in life, and am saddened that I am losing one of the only things left I have to say "F-U" with! Maybe it's also saddening because quitting is like admitting you're getting older, so there's fear of that youthful stong willed attitude becoming a thing of the past...I'm sure it's to different degrees with everyone depending on how rebellious you are and have been - I'm probably an extreme case because of the rock n roll lifestyle that can come with being a musician, and because of all the fighting I've had to do in my life and injustices I've overcome...I'm not saying it's harder for me by any means, but that this particular aspect of the mental addiction affects me especially.
Thanks for the inspiration to journey inward.
-Melinda, 26, Los Angeles

Tracee said...

Melinda - Rock On!

It's a total shift in Identity. With a capital "I." This, smoking, was a part of who I was. Am. I identified with "I can if I want." "You can't make me stop it." Pass all the rules you like and attach all the sin tax - YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!!! I am a smoker! Smokers have rights!

Okay, when we become grownups we have to let go of certain things because they become distructive to us. I know that when I try to drink alcohol like I used to I can literally be ill for DAYS now. I just don't recover like I used to and I have to be a MOM during those days. It's just not practical for me to party hard anymore.

But that doesn't mean it's easy to let go of that lifestyle identity. I think quiting smoking has a lot to do with "growing up." Some people do it at 60, some 40, I did it at 33. There's a right time for everyone - but yeah an alteration in identity is a way bigger freaking deal than just breaking a nasty habit.

But, Melinda, you have a right to change your mind. Everyone can reinvent themselves. Everyone and anyone can reinvent themselves every day if they want to. Look at Madonna - she does it frequently enough. She does something until it stops serving her and she decides to try something else. We can be like that.

This isn't serving me anymore. I can let go of it. It's hard but I reserve the right to reinvent self.