Tiger Blood — It is Not Just for Charlie Sheen

I am currently not smoking. This is my third week. No cheaters! That is what I am now calling cigarettes. Cheaters!! They are trying to cheat me out of living a smoke free life. Now, seriously, a friend told me that she was starting to quit today and I started this as an email and decided to make it a blog. The main reason I quit was the money. I remember telling myself that when cigarettes hit $1, I would quit. I guess the real dollar number was $10. I could not believe that I was spending almost $250 a month on cigarettes. We have a seriously high tax in Washington state.

Anyway …

I have been a smoker for thirty plus years. Usually, a pack and a half, occasionally 2 packs, but rarely just one. I’m a Veteran, so I am going through the VA’s smoking cessation program. I guess since the majority of Veterans started smoking while they were enlisted, there should be a smoking cessation class. Makes sense.

Smoking cessation class

It starts with the class and the belief that I could do it. The class is three hours long. They had the usual scare tactics with tar… a pack of cigarettes in a jar, the obligatory lung photo, you smokers know what I am talking about, similar to the new Surgeon General pictures that they want to place on packs of smokes.  The interesting thing was they measured your carbon dioxide output. Yes. Smokers emit carbon dioxide. Who knew? Nasty thought! I should be carrying a plant around to offset my carbon footprint. I emitted 28 whatevers. Non-smokers emit less than 5. (She even told me about this one time, she had such heavy smokers in the class, that the air in the room was registering on the device. She had to measure in a different room.)

Quit smoking aids

At the class, she talked about things that I could use. I decided on almost all of them. Why not? I want as many tools in my toolbox, as I can. Anyway, they scripted bupropion, anti-anxiety, which I started ten days before I started quitting. Patches and gum. I passed on the lozenges. Did you know that you are not supposed to chew the gum? If you are not supposed to chew it, why call it gum? You are supposed to scratch it with a tooth and then park it between your teeth and lips. Like snuff. The first week I could smoke. I really did not stop, until the cigarettes were out of the house, meaning until I smoked them all.

Don’t forget the cinnamon!

She talked about using cinnamon to help. If you have a craving, use cinnamon. They say that a craving lasts 3 mins. If you can not smoke in those 3 mins, tell yourself, Phew! the crisis is over, and think of something else. Think of anything else!  and Eat more cinnamon! Did you know they make cinnamon Altoids? They rock! Big Red gum – its full of flavor! They also recommended using cinnamon flavored toothpicks. You can buy them or make your own. I personally just thought that would look too hoosier, so I passed on that method. (I know, peanut gallery, what did smoking look like? When I was sixteen, it looked cool. Now, not so much.)

I do not want to gain weight

And yes, I am afraid of gaining weight. Exercise is a great idea. A treadmill is even better because you can’t blame it on the rain, like I can in Seattle. I read that people, who exercise while quitting, are 40% more successful than non-exercise people. Another recently quitting friend, joined the gym. She said that she was too tired when she got home to think about smoking. I’m not that motivated. If you get a craving, do some jumping jacks, go for a walk, just get distracted, so you stop thinking about smoking.

Do you have chocolate in the house? Get rid of it. You will eat them all. The whole bag. Before you know it. Gone! Keep them out! Keep all sugar out because you will start craving it too. Just stick with the cinnamon.

Hand/Mouth Thing

Yep. It is a problem. It is a problem because I mentally see myself smoking. I actually notice that my hand is not moving to my mouth and my mind says I need to correct that problem. It is not normal for my hand to not be going to my mouth. When this happens, get up. Move. You need to change your perspective. Another friend of mine, who recently quit smoking, told me that she could not sit on her sofa anymore and watch TV. The craving was too high and difficult. She sat in a rocking chair instead. It helped.

I am surprised at how much “learned” behavior is a problem. You need to unlearn it. Easier said then done. I also always carried my cigarettes and lighter in my hand. It feels strange to leave the house, or even move from room to room without my smokes. It feels disconcerting to not have them. I feel lost. I guess they really were a crutch. I have been doing this same behavior for almost all of my life, so this is where Charlie Sheen comes in.

What about Charlie?

Changing the smoking behavior is a problem for me. I know that I joke about my inner Charlie Sheen, but it works. (I am sure he would love to hear that.) I use it to squash cravings. I actually do tell myself that I have tiger blood, and I do not need a cigarette. I AM NO LONGER A SMOKER! I AM A WINNER! And then, I do something else.

Do you have any tips to help me or anyone to continue to not smoke? I would love to see them in the comments.

And for fun, and because I like to include a photo — This one was also from our stroll around our neighborhood the other day. It was such a glorious day that even the weeds looked pretty.

Dandelion Field

This entry was posted in Just for Fun, Smoking Cessation and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Tiger Blood — It is Not Just for Charlie Sheen

  1. Maureen Crave Snow says:

    I love this !!! I do have to keep reminding myself there are more reasons to stop then to continue … I cant stand the smell of my purse, toting the smokes around really gives it a sickening aroma ….. :) the hand to mouth is really hard for me, I find myself running around in circles not being able to focus…do you know if one smokes a pack a day…we are lifting our hand to our mouth 700 times ? take that away and watch the show begin ! you should have seen the look of Horror on my face when I read “NO CHOCOLATE” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! not only do I Have the sugar craving but I seem to have lost my full line too…just want to eat everything in sight ! ( Hand to mouth again ) I got on the phone this morning…cigs still on the patio table from yesterday…never even had to think about lighting one…it just happened, I was already 1/2 way done and realized….WTH !!! ???????? thats how bad the habit is…its subconcious…kinda scary to be so caught up in something so nasty… I know we all know we *SHOULD* quit….all the pictures I have seen and the info I know doesnt over ride the pay off I get drowning in the Hell I know…its the Hell I dont know that scares me…I need to give myself permission to be tired and sleep, to cry for no reason, to not clean my house for a few days…I am not a fan of the gum…why they call it gum I have no idea as I knew it wasnt for chewing…its really hard to just keep it in your lip/cheek and not chew it… I did try wellbuterin (sp?) a few months ago and had no desire to stop smoking…I am going to give it a few days and maybe start taking it again…I did like the straws to keep in my mouth…in private of course…hahaha….it doent look much better then the tooth pic hanging from ones lip…thats attractive ! hahaha…….if I can play a game with myself like Beat the clock maybe it might take some of the stress away…go for every 15 minutes ? every15 minutes that goes by with no smoking I am a winner as Charlie says….”WINNING” !!! I have been playing with my cinnamon stick for a while now…not too strong but I kinda like it…and it smells sooooooooo nice ! one person suggested smoking the cig without lighting it ? but then my thought is that you are still doing the hand to mouth thingy and that issue will eventually have to be addressed…why prolong that agony ? I am going to write more on my progress….I so much appreciate you writing too….I am finding the biggest pillow in this house and go scream into it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! day 1….not going so well and I aint smilin !!!!!

    • tj says:

      700 times!!!! No wonder it feels so strange not to do it. The meds are to try to reduce the anxiety, not the desire. I wish they reduced the urge. And you can have chocolate. But, then, you can have all of the pounds associated with it, as well. ;) I normally do not crave sweets, so I was kinda surprised when I emptied the whole candy dish. Note to self: Remove all chocolate. Will power is vulnerable.
      I also think you should allow yourself to scream, sleep, cry for no reason, or whatever tool you need to help. You might actually find yourself cleaning more just to do something with your hands. Now that is a plus with a German Shedder in the house. And do not be hard on yourself if/when the “Cheaters” suck you in. There draw is powerful. Pun intended. ;) Just get back on the non-smoking train and continue quitting! YOU ARE A WINNER! and use your friends to help you quit. I am. and they are helping!

  2. Maureen Crave Snow says:

    well I heard that cigs are sprayed with a sugar substance so not only are we addicted to the NicoDemon but also the sugar its sprayed with… so its no wonder we crave the sugar…as we know Sugar is also addicting… and hahahaha about the German Shedders ! its a daily battle, a good battle as I wouldnt know how to act without dog hair on my favorite black dress….ok….the house is clean, not going to empty my candy bowl ( Yet ) :) that might be tonights entertainment… hahahaha……1st one to light up in my good smelling house dies !!! God knows I am looking for a target ! lalalalalala !!!!!!!!!!! Right after my nap :)

  3. Maureen Crave Snow says:

    PS….that picture would make a beautiful greeting card ! :)

  4. tj says:

    I think the dandys are fun! With Truman, I never knew if he was a Sherman Shedder or a Whiner Shepherd. He usually did both. We still find dog hair.

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