Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Resolutions: Past and Present

Okay it’s time to come clean. Deep breath okay, here goes. I’m not perfect. Nope, not even close. I mean, I suppose that I am okay and I that do fairly well in some areas, and even excel in a few select others, but for the most part I am your standard run-of-the-mill flawed human being.

That being said, I do like New Year resolutions. Yes, even when/if they get broken. Why? For the simple fact that for one day a year you are encouraged to open your eyes, I mean really open them and take a good look at what is going on with yourself and the world around you. You can then assess the situation and make a conscious choice to try something different, even if it is only for a few days. I believe that is truly a positive concept.

So before I post about my current resolution (yes only one, just keepin’ it real people) for 2005. I wanted to go over what went down in 2004.

New Years Resolution 2004: Horrible flawed non-perfect human problem. Smoking.

My success rate for quitting smoking up until last year had been 0-3. I had started and stopped a few times. I was getting pretty good at quitting but not so good at staying quit. I quit during both of my pregnancies; I quit when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I also quit for about five minutes back in University that time when I went out with that guy, oh, let’s call him Jeff, who so adamantly hated smokers that he tried to make me choose between going out with him or smoking. I believe Jeff’s exact words to me were “It’s my way or the highway.” So naturally I lit up a smoke and told the bastard to hit the road.

Anyway, the week leading up to New Years 2004, I psyched myself up about quitting. I chain smoked right up until the bitter end. I stubbed out the last cigarette at approximately 11:59pm. I then promptly went to bed very excited and truly committed to being a non-smoker, oh yeah, and the wine had hit me pretty hard so I needed to lie down.

I woke up the next morning feeling none too perky and then the realization set in – that’s right today I don’t smoke anymore. I hid in bed for another hour. Then Jack made me get up. It was at that moment that I decided to hate him for the next few days and make him suffer.

I am not going to lie, it really sucked. I was mad and grumpy and emotional even the dog was avoiding me like the plague, unlike Jack, she knew when to lie low.
Exactly four days later, with a scowl on my face and shaky hands, I ventured out to the grocery store and promptly bought a pack of cigarettes.

I remember sitting in my car and just looking at the package. After about fifteen minutes of trying to justify to myself how I could have just one and none would ever know, I had to admit that I needed help with those bloody cravings. I went back in the store and bought some Nicorettes and on my way out threw away the package of cigarettes.

For those of you who don’t know, Nicorettes is the nicotine gum that is supposed to help you get through the kind of moments like I had just experienced. Once I was back in the safety of my car, I ripped open the package popped a piece of gum in my mouth and started to chew the hell out of it. The effect was horrifying – it promptly made me gag, sweat profusely, and I even got the spins. It’s a good thing I hadn’t eaten yet because I would have most likely sprayed down the interior of my car with puke. The Nicorettes were awful, the most vile thing ever, ugh… Fruit flavor my ass! With the delicacy of a major leaguer, I lugied the gum out the window and crammed the rest of the offensive smoking cessation aids in my purse. I spent the next 10 minutes cussing to myself for throwing away a perfectly good pack of cigarettes for this putrid Nicorettes crap.

A couple of hours later, I wigged out at Jack because he had improperly loaded the dishwasher by placing the bowls where the cups should go. I mean come on, it’s like the man was blatantly going out of his way to drive me nuts! I realized, while I was haughtily rearranging the dirty dishes to their correct dishwasher locations that I could possibly be experiencing another one of those silly little “nicotine cravings.” I remembered the Nicorettes were in my purse and went and got the box. This time I stopped and read the directions. Wouldn’t you know it, it seems that you have to chew the rancid gum slowly… well okay then. I chewed… slowly… and it didn’t taste quite so vile.

Thus began my love affair with the Nicorettes. I basically ended up chewing the gum a lot. It started out innocently enough, as per the directions on the box, but ended up – well never ending. The plan was to chew the gum for a few weeks to get me over the bumpy bit and then, well stop chewing, see good plan right?

Not only Jack, but also other people began to notice that I was always chewing the nicotine gum and not actually progressing to the stage when you stop chewing. I remember thinking that they were all being absurd. I mean I smoked for years, so of course it would take a bit longer to get it under control. Stop chewing? Are you people nuts? Yes my jaw ached and I now seemed to get these weird tension headaches, but stop chewing? Hell No!

It shames me to admit this but I would actually start to freak out a little if I was down to my last couple of pieces of Nicorettes. I would then resort to rationing them by cutting them in halves until I could get to the store to buy more gum. Jack used to joke that I would have to go on the patch to get off the Nicorettes. Ha-Ha.

So basically, I chewed my way through January, February, March, and April. By May even I had to admit that the whole Nicorettes thing might possibly be an issue. I was really afraid that I would start smoking again if I stopped chewing the blasted gum. I went to my doctor. I secretly hoped that he would tell me about some shocking new study where by Nicorettes was found to be more harmful than actual smoking and he would simply recommend that I light up immediately. Unfortunately he just commented (with raised eyebrows) that I should definitely get off of the nicotine gum pronto and he suggested another smoking cessation aid called Zyban. I asked about the patch – but something about if I still “accidentally” chewed the nicotine gum while wearing the nicotine patch might possibly result in a massive heart attack or some such thing, so the Zyban route may be a better option for me. I know some people have mixed opinions about Zyban but I will say, that for me, it must have helped because I finally gave up my precious Nicorettes for good on May 31st, which was also the annual world no-tobacco day, it seemed fitting.

I guess that technically I can now celebrate one year without a cigarette and believe me I am very proud of that, but I think I will also celebrate again on May 31st. Might even get me a pack of Trident and remember the good ol’ days.
So yay me! Last year I quit smoking and now I am a 300 pound alcoholic, but whatever…

Segway into New Years Resolution 2005: Horrible flawed non-perfect human problem resulting from two childbirths and last year’s resolution: Weight loss.

I got on an actual scale and took actual measurements. Okay realistically it is not that awful but it turns out that the amount I need to lose is a tad bit more substantial than I had predicted (damn rum & eggnogs.) So the reason I haven’t been posting for a few days is because of the Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and the fact that counting points and tracking every bloody thing you eat is a bit time consuming. I am in fact doing the Weight Watchers Points thing but I would not be surprised if I have to go on Atkins to get off the Weight Watchers. Ha-Ha.

But, so far so good. Knock on, dammit - laminated wood look surface.


Blogger AnonymousCoworker said...

A friend of mine who used to do heroin was able to kick that, but she still smokes. So your acheivement is to be commended.

Good luck in 2005!

12:11 PM  
Blogger blackdaisies said...

Congratulations on the year : ) Will be a year in March for me, woo hoo, neat to be a non-smoker ... hmmmm, nicorette sounds interesting, maybe it will help ME with the weightloss of too much wine, chocolate and cheese ... damn christmas cheese ;-)

8:35 PM  
Blogger deanne said...

Oh man -- this really struck a nerve for me, as I'm STILL a smoker -- and when I've tried to quit, I completely freak out. At some stage I will have to post on this!

In the meantime, watch while I turn my blind eye to my disgusting habit!

5:34 AM  

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