How Are My Odds?

So far my hands are steadier, and I can concentrate far better than the last few days. Hopefully, the frustration trigger is buried deeper than it has been too.

I hope I don’t jinx it by saying so, but overall I’m doing better this time than I expected.

Will I be successful? I’m still uncertain.

Quitting is easy for some people, and maybe it depends on the reason behind why they smoke in the first place. 

For me it’s not social, in fact most family and friends don’t smoke. It’s not for the physical reason of keeping my hands busy. Cigarettes are my reward. I dangle them as enticement to get a project done, or I have one while gearing up to tackle something. Some of my best problem solving takes place on the deck while I’m smoking.

Yes, it’s unhealthy, and that’s the only reason I’m trying to quit, yet it doesn’t change that I enjoy the habit.

I started in grade school although it didn’t become a regular issue until I was in my late teens.

When I became pregnant, I quit and actually went 27 years as a non-smoker. The urge troubled me almost daily during that whole time though.

I know it’s an excuse, but when we had two near death scares in the immediate family both within the same week, the stress had me smoking again.

That was almost ten years ago.

Family laughs when I say, “I’m quitting.” They’ve heard it before.

I debated whether to publish this post because if the past is an indicator my odds to succeed are low.

They say to quit, you have to be ready, and it’s hard to know if you’re ready without giving it a whirl. 

I’m going “cold turkey” no pills, patches or aids other than a pack of nicotine gum if things get hairy. So far I have only had two pieces.

My dilemma is what do I reward myself with? I don’t want to use snacks.

Is it weird that I function on a reward system? 

Have I spent too much time training four legged critters?

Do you reward yourself after say, cutting the lawn or weeding flower beds?

To others who have tried to quit and have failed, it happens, and all we can do is try again.

P.S. – To those around me, I’m trying my best not to get grumpy and snappy but cut me some slack if I do. Sometimes, I just can’t help it.

21 thoughts on “How Are My Odds?

  1. Hi Kathy– I empathize entirely!
    I was a lifetime smoker and finally quit at 50…quite late but better than never. I have never looked back. I suppose I was good and ready to be free of it even as I kicked and fussed about it…

    It unfortunately impacted my heart health, as I discovered 6 months later when hiking in a forest. I had a suspected heart attack–I could not get to hospital right away but had two stent put in to prop open a severely narrowed artery. (I do live with-coronary artery disease but manage it well; I remain active. It is also a genetic issue but I was way too young to have that occur, per the Dr.) BUT I am nonetheless still healthier overall 17 years later and very much happier without nicotine! Truly the best thing I did for myself at that time.

    I encourage you to stick with it, and go with the flow so to speak, as you can. The genuine rewards include more energy, stamina, creativity and joy in life–to be free of a demanding habit is a wondrous thing. I felt more like myself than ever before–hard to explain this, but I was in touch with true feelings and my mind became clearer and brighter. I was not enslaved anymore to that elusive, poor “reward” that triggers coughing and ensures we smell like old smoke all the time.

    If you are interested, I posted a piece on nicotine and also alcohol here:

    In any case, best wishes to you and be well!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good luck Kathy, you really can do this if you truly want to! There are lots of really great rewards for yourself that are not food related. Books, pedicures/manicures, massages, going to a movie… big hopes for you and all the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What worked for me was a shift in mindset. I kept telling myself how nasty, stinky, and poisonous cigarettes were and how much money I’d save by quitting. Eventually, I was able to resist the urge to pick up the pack. Good luck! I hope you find out you are ready and manage to break the habit.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Try reading Allen Carr’s Easy way to stop smoking. 170 pages that helped my husband stop smoking. It explains how addictions work. He quit after reading about half the book and has not smoked since. \he did have struggles. Nicotine patches etc. don’t give you a realistic experience

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Best of luck! My dad gave up smoming a few years ago but he started putting the amount he would have spent on cigarettes into a jar each week. Every few months my mum and dad have a mini-break, 3 nights 4 days in Yaughal, County Cork, their favourite seaside getaway. They just came home last Monday from their latest ‘free’ holiday! His lungs have benefitted from years cigarette free and beach walks!

    I hope you find something exciting to use your ‘free’ money on!

    Liked by 1 person

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