Five years, No cigarettes.

Five years ago today I decided to quit smoking.  Again.  The difference between this time and any previous attempts is that I knew this time would be for good.  Why?  Because I’m stubborn, and competitive, and I was really annoyed at my ex.

Me and my friend Jeremy at the after prom party, ten years ago (gross), holding a cigarette (also gross).

Me and my friend Jeremy at the after prom party, ten years ago (gross), holding a cigarette (also gross).

You see, 5 years and one week ago, I split up with my ex-boyfriend of 5 years.  When we met, we were sort of compatible (I was obese and nobody else was interested), but as the years went by, we both realized we had pretty much nothing in common.  I liked being active, he would moan that his knee hurt after ten minutes of walking.  I wanted to eat well, he lived on (incinerated) oven pizzas and packets of Doritos.  I hated coffee (still do), he could not function without about a gallon of it.  He wanted to have sex with me (and ended up finding it elsewhere, it seems), I wanted to have sex with hot strangers on the subway, hot strangers at the gym, hot strangers at the supermarket, hot strangers on TV, etc (but like a decent human being, did not indulge).  He smoked, I wanted to quit – again.  It is very hard to not smoke when you are living with/dating a heavy smoker.

My ex was also extremely annoying when he got drunk.

My ex was also extremely annoying when he got drunk.

The split was immediate – I think we exchanged one paltry text message before ceasing contact altogether.  I was so happy to be rid of him, and I was also pretty disgusted with him.  When I quit smoking, my disgust for him fueled my willpower, and I can honestly say I haven’t had a single cigarette since the day I quit, although there have been a couple of dark moments when I have walked behind a smoker and inhaled deeply, for old time’s sake, and no, I am not proud of myself.

Since I have quit, I am apparently 13% less likely to die of all smoking related causes, and if I stick with it, in another 15 years all my risks will be that of a non-smoker.  So I’m a quarter of the way through.  I have also, apparently, saved a whole bunch of money, but my bank balance would disagree with that.  But the best thing about remaining a non-smoker (or ex-smoker if you want to get picky) is that smug feeling whenever I speak to a mutual friend who has spoken to my ex and can confirm that he still smokes.  It makes me smile.  And that might make me sounds like an asshole.  And I’m fine with that.

19 thoughts on “Five years, No cigarettes.

      • I didn’t get to finish what I was saying… at work, silly phone ringing… I admire that you’ve made it to 5 years. I know it’s the hardest thing to do, ever! Do you ever feel when you are running, totally grateful for quitting? I know I’d never be able to run 15 seconds if I hadn’t 🙂

  1. Having never smoked before, I can only imagine how crappy it would be when combined with endurance running. Also, if you had started a blog about smoking, I wouldn’t be reading it 🙂

    Congratulations!

  2. Woo Hoo! Congratulations! It can’t possibly be easy.

    But really, how could you ever let go of that sexy beast? I’m also imagining what he must have smelled like (heavy smoker smell, stale Doritos, stale beer, stale coffee). Yum.

    • When I moved in with him (I moved out I’m guessing less than 6 months later), I found newspapers in his spare room that were, no joke, at least a decade old. Grim. In my defense, I had rarely ventured into the spare room during our time together because it was sometimes leased out to various people. Also, before I lived there, I didn’t really care what was in rooms I didn’t have to go into.

    • I quit for two years once but broke after deciding to have ‘just one’ to celebrate my achievement with. Easily done. I’m sure when you’re ready to quit, it’ll be for good. Good luck! 🙂

  3. I remember hating that feeling you get after you’ve packed it in for a few days and then give in and have one, not the physical stuff but the feeling of being right on back to day one again. Third attempt I used patches (if you forget when you have a sneaky ciggy after all it feels GRIM bleh) and that was 2001 – so so much more energy, although I have to say they really do go well with beer. Glad to find someone else who recognises the positives in passive smoking 🙂

    • It was patches that helped me too, so I understand the horrid feeling of smoking when you have a patch on. I also understand the burning sensation you get for half an hour after putting one of those bad boys on.

  4. Congrats on five years. You are probably safe now and can resist the urge for the rest of your life.
    I started smoking in 8th grade and continued until I was 27 or so. I quit a few times but all of my friends smoked so it was easy to pick back up again. After I met my wife, a non-smoker, I finally quit for good. I have had a few smokes over the past 20 years but it has been ages since my last cigarette.
    As an ex-smoker I know how hard it is to quit. The first few months are the worse but it gets steadily easier to resist as time goes on. I could not imagine being a runner and still smoking. Running is hard enough without gunked up lungs.
    Happy New Year!

    • I definitely think the company you keep affects how easy it is to stay quit. Also, well done to you – you’ve hit the golden 20 year mark! And Happy New Year, when it comes! 🙂

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