Monday, January 4, 2010

Day 476 A Profound Effect At Just The Right Moment

Day 476

A Profound Effect At Just The Right Moment

Today was a Day 1 for me in the smoking department and I'm telling you, my addiction to nicotine is driving me crazy, but I'm still standing. People tell me their stories of quitting cold turkey and sometimes they make it sound so easy. It's like hearing about weight loss success stories when I was a miserable 505 pounds and felt completely hopeless. “I just walked over to the trash can, threw 'em away, and never looked back!” or “I woke up one day and decided that I'd had enough, never touched another one again” and “My kid asked me to quit, I did it right then and there, you can too.” My late Aunt Violet threw away a brand new carton of cigarettes after hearing a radio news report about the harmful effects of second hand smoke in the mid nineteen-eighties. She couldn't stop thinking about how she was hurting her grandkids, that was it for her---it was done. She passed away early last year and it had nothing to do with cigarettes. So why is it so hard for me?

I don't want the gum or the patch. I want to be like them! I want to be free without any thing other than my resolve to help me through. A friend offered me an electronic cigarette and smokeless filters today, completely free of charge. It delivers nicotine and looks and feels like a cigarette, but it doesn't actually light---and the smoke is just water vapor. I thanked them and declined. Then two hours later I found myself parked outside of a convenience store struggling with the idea of failure and what it would mean to me. My addiction to nicotine was winning. I was just minutes from sucking on another nasty cigarette---just minutes from destroying the integrity of my mission to quit, and then it happened. It was like one of those stories you watch in a movie where everything happens at just the right time, making everything so clear and understood.

I was sitting there in the parking lot of the convenience store ready to break my promise to myself, my family, my readers---not even a day into this, and I was ready to give up---how pathetic is that? Just then the e-mail alert went off on my phone. I decided to check it before going into the store and what I found was this blog comment from Dawne: I am attending a funeral for my 41 year old friend, who was diagnosed with lung cancer 2 weeks ago, on Tuesday. I spent her last night on earth with her, holding her hand in the hospital. I thought of you and prayed that you would make this decision. No one should have to die the way my friend did. Congrats on your decision and I know you will find the strength to kick that habit for good!

I read it over and over and I just sit and slowly cried right there at the Stop and Go. I couldn't give in now, I couldn't do it. Dawne, I'm so sorry to hear about your friend and I sincerely thank you for sharing that with me. It had a profound effect. I put the vehicle in reverse and went home. I'm doing this now. I'm not looking back and I'm not giving in, this is it. Because I've been too lucky for too long, I can't tempt fate another day with those things. It's over.

I really wanted to do a 10K on the treadmill today, but I didn't. I did complete a 5K with enough jogging to really get the sweat pouring. It was a great workout. I didn't do the 10K because---well, honestly---there isn't a good reason. I had the time and nothing was stopping me, except me I guess. Today has been a constant struggle to do what's right and good, and my focus has been zeroed in on that---everything else is kind of a blur.

I prepared the biggest egg white omelet known to man today. OK, probably not the biggest egg wise, let me explain. We recently bought a new non-stick griddle type pan, it's huge. I took four egg whites and poured them on, letting them spread out real thin. When that thing was ready for the cheese, boy, I knew I had created a special omelet. I put in some cheese and fresh mushrooms, then rolled it up instead of folding it over. It was so big it actually hung off the plate on both sides. And the thing was still under 200 calories. I also grilled some chicken today. My food is solid and I don't see that changing regardless of my fight to stay off cigarettes. It's too important—both issues. We've come too far to ever go back, you know what I mean?

Our oldest turns twenty tomorrow. Twenty years old, wow. I can't believe it really. It just doesn't seem possible. I'll be calling her at precisely 12:19pm tomorrow. Amber is no longer a teenager! Crazy, isn't it? Makes me feel old...but I'm only 38, I swear!

Thank you for reading. And to everyone that has left encouraging words of support, I can't thank you enough. You're helping me more than you know, sincerely—thank you. Goodnight and...

Good Choices,


  1. What are you going to buy yourself with the money you save on sickarrettes? You need to use the money after week 1 then again in 4 weeks, and then after a year. It really helps

  2. I don't think many people here doubted you could kick the habit, but now it is starting to sound like you believe you can stop.

    Hope today is easier than the last,

  3. Listen,
    You've got a lot in you--look at what you've done! You can do this! I buried my mother when she was 55 -- lung cancer from smoking. Please find whatever help you need to get this very very hard thing done. You'll want to know your future really really will. Sending you strength and hope.

  4. I just joined sparkpeople and in the spark book they talk about how when you set and reach one goal it has a cross effect in other areas of your life. I know you feel lost weight and you had the courage to try acting and set other goals for yourself that you NEVER would've done when so obese. Quitting smoking is the same. You have succeeded with this weight loss thing which is just as hard as quitting smoking , so YOU CAN DO IT with the smoking as well.

  5. I quit cold turkey and it WAS NOT easy. It was hard, hard, hard until the nicotine gave up it's grip. But somehow I powered through because I knew I had to. You can do this Sean!

  6. Dawne's comment really struck me yesterday as well. I had already read about her spending the last day with her friend on her blog, but didn't know her age or that it was from lung cancer. I'm so glad she shared that with you and that it had the effect it was meant to. Remember, 2-3 days of physical addiction and then it's just mind over matter. You're almost there! :)

  7. You know what's good to stop nicotine cravings? Just keep a bag of chips with you and nibble on them all day... oh wait... you're still trying to lose weight, too. Damn! My sure-all cure won't work for you then. Sorry...

  8. Sean, I am proud of you. I can only imagine the difficulties involved in kicking that habit. I know that my boyfriend has battled it for a long time too, and he's about your age. Maybe by quitting cigs you will be saving a whole new batch of people who were putting their lives at risk! Show them it is possible! I want to see you giving inspirational speeches to a whole new crop of folks who need some hope.

  9. Thinking of you Sean! I know how hard it is. It will get easier.

  10. You are one of the strongest people I know. You can only be successful... it's who you are.

    I will be thinking of you.


  11. "Just one day in and ready to quit...pathetic"
    I think that's an almost accurate quote from above.
    Sean, you should know by now, that the easiest day to quit quitting is the first second and third days.
    It takes days under the belt to build confidence. Days to feel solid, successful.
    A man who has lost over 200 lbs should know that ;)
    Take the cigarette thing like you took the food thing. One day at a time.
    oh, and buy some sugar free'll keep your mouth busy.

  12. Quitting isn't easy and you should take whatever help you may need. I bought my mother fake cigs. at the joke shop and she said they really helped her cravings. When I quit I used to pretend I was smoking by sucking on my pens. Do whatever you need to do to get you through the first few days and hopefully every day will get easier and easier. Keep up the good work my non-smoking friend.

  13. eat more egg whites! i eat a cup and a half every morning!!

  14. I've just recently found your blog! You are an inspiration! Congrats on the weight loss, it's something I'm going to lick this year if it kills me! I've started blogging too in hopes that it'll keep me motivated!

    I have no doubt you'll beat the smoking habit as well, after all, you've already proved you can do!

    Best of luck!

  15. You are stronger than this addiction. You have already proven that ahundred fold! Use aids to overcome cravings if you have to. We all have tricks when we are hungry and run out of calories for the day right? The end result of being a non-smoker is the important part. Best of luck!

  16. I teared up, too, when I read about you getting that message from Dawne.
    I don't believe in coincidence... this was a God-cidence, for sure, just when you needed it most!! Go Sean!

  17. Sean, I pray the Lord will give you peace and calmness as you go thru this withdrawal from nicotine and that victory will be yours.

    Mary O.

  18. Sean ... Dawne is your guardian angel. She is watching over you and please don't let her down. She might not be there next time when you need an "intervention". You have come so far in your journey to health, please finish it right. Stay away from those damn cigarettes. Besides they give you wrinkles when you're old. lol!!

  19. Just so you know, when I quit cold turkey I was covered with hives the size of saucers for about a week. I take a prescription antihistamine, but they didn't budge.

    Hang in there. You can do this!!!

  20. I quit cold turkey when I was 27 and that was 27 years ago. It was NOT easy, the withdrawal was agony and I was a total B*tch for a week at least, snapping away at everyone! I remember the milestones being 3 days, 3 weeks and 3 months ... If I could have afforded an aid I would have taken advantage of it. Staying away from other smokers was key for me.

    In all these years I have NEVER EVER regretted quitting! You won't either. Good Choice!


  21. I know...take the money you save on Cigarettes and get yourself one of those Corvette's like the one in your picture!

  22. I quit 18 years ago on Feb 4 at 2:30 PM. And it wasn't easy but was the best thing I ever did in my whole life. Well, except for lose weight. Don't give in even once. When I quit I said I wasn't even going to touch them again. I know too many people who quit for ages then just picked one up, started smoking it, and they were hooked again. So I don't even touch them. Now the thought of sucking smoke into my lungs doesn't sound fun at all. Good luck Sean!

  23. Hi Sean. Well done. You are so strong!

    Don't want to pile on the pressure any more, but I heard from the Bear how a lady we have both known for a long time just died of a heart attack. I can't believe that she is gone because she was only a little older than me (I am 38). She looked ten years younger than she actually was - few winkles, no grey hair. She was maybe 30-40lbs overweight, but certainly not enough to kill her. She was, however, a heavy smoker for over 20 years.

    It's strange to be of an age when people I know are dying like this. Makes me realise that we are close to the age when we become much less robust and when how we have lived our lives will start to have a major impact on our health.

    Stay strong - your loved ones want you to be around to hold your greatgrandchildren!

    Bearfriend xx

  24. Sean, I am so glad to hear that you are making it through, one day at a time. Keep it up! I know you can do this, and I can't wait to keep reading of your success down the road. :)


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