Shannon Stacey

I think the time has come

My twitter this morning:

Smokes now 5.30/pack. 37.10/week. 160.64/month. 1927.68/year. At @ 6.99, smoking 5 books (or 9 categ.) per week. Sad. Must quit.

It’s ridiculous, but I’ve smoked since I was fifteen. (You know, to impress all those kids I never saw again.) Twenty-one years, and I’ve just now reached the point where I want to quit, not just know I should. And since I don’t smoke inside, you’d think I wouldn’t want to spend another winter getting frostbite on the front porch in the name of nicotine.

I’ve been doing SO well with this diet new eating lifestyle, though. Twenty pounds! I know that’s a stupid reason to be reluctant to quit smoking, but… :(

Time to come up with a plan, I guess, because it’s seriously time to quit.

16 comments to “I think the time has come”

  1. Shannon
      · October 4th, 2008 at 10:28 am · Link

    And to continue my thoughts… :doh:

    I need to do it pretty quick. Because I only smoke outside, I smoke A LOT when we go up north to camp. We’re winterizing next weekend and since we can’t ride anymore this season because of the surgery, I have the opportunity to quit while that huge trigger—being outside all weekend—isn’t on the table.

    I have no idea if that makes any sense, but this has been weighing on my mind for a couple of days, so I’m babbling.


  2. Jill Sorenson
      · October 4th, 2008 at 3:02 pm · Link

    I was a smoker, which is embarrassing for me to admit, as I’m a born-again goody two shoes now. I only smoked a few cigs a day, but it was hard to quit! I remember having these waves of longing. Like, every fifteen seconds.

    I used the patch and (this is also embarrassing) played hackey-sack. Getting up off my duff and kicking a ball around helped me work out my aggressions. After the toxins were out of my system, I felt so much better physically it was ridiculous. I was surprised by how much more energy I had.

    Sorry if I sound like one of those fruity health dorks. I’m from California and I can’t help it.

    Good luck! : )

  3. Charlene
      · October 4th, 2008 at 5:40 pm · Link

    Good for you, Shan. You can do it! Bet your doc would be happy to give options and suggestions, too.

  4. Lori
      · October 4th, 2008 at 6:07 pm · Link

    Good for you! Congrats – huge, huge step!
    :cheer: :woot:

  5. Karen Templeton
      · October 4th, 2008 at 6:31 pm · Link

    Twenty pounds?! :thumb: Exxxxcellent.

    And you’ll kick smoking’s butt, I just know it.

    :cheer: :cheer: :cheer: :cheer:

  6. Melani Blazer
      · October 4th, 2008 at 9:27 pm · Link

    Shan, I’ve never smoked and then tried to quit, but I’ve heard that it works best if you replace the “habit” portion with something else. Hackey-sack sounds like it worked for Jill. Key is, figure something out for you to replace smoking. Something you can get to fairly easily. Obvious choices are sugar free mints or gum, It’s a thought… if anything, you can start with listing all the things you can do with your time and money. :write:

  7. Shannon
      · October 4th, 2008 at 9:58 pm · Link

    Hey, a hackeysack is already part of my writing process. I might have to try kicking it around rather than tossing it from hand to hand while thinking.

    And the habit part—here’s the kicker. Quite often I write while I smoke. I “compose” while cleaning and stuff, and then I take my notebook outside and write it down while I have a cigarette. That’s a bad habit to have my process wrapped up in. What I’m going to try is stopping the handwriting—I’ll leave the laptop open on the counter and when I would hit that point, I’ll spend those minutes typing into the laptop in the kitchen rather than handwriting on the porch with a cigarette.

    The husband’s going to ask the guy at the supply house what he was taking when he quit. I looked up one of the prescriptions today, but it has a possible side effect of depression and suicidal thoughts and with my family history of (some undiagnosed, some not) depression, we’re thinking no. Actually the husband said no straight out. Especially since I’m alone for the bulk of the day.

    There’s a woman in the next town who does hypnotherapy for smoking cessation, but I’m a little nervous about that. Back when I was a preteen my stepfather had one of those overnight subliminal weight loss tapes and my mother and I both suffered horrific and graphic nightmares when they played. I wasn’t even in the same room.

    But the husband went from almost 2 packs a day to cold turkey zero with one of those $50 Holiday Inn sessions, so maybe. And it’s funny, but I thought he was the last person that would work on. And I still think it worked because he fell asleep as soon as the lights dimmed. (Does that at the movie theatre, too.) But other than a strong hankering for Cheez-its that lasted about a week, he had no withdrawal horrors.


    I wish there was like one magic pill I could take. Dammit.

  8. Annmarie
      · October 5th, 2008 at 10:17 am · Link

    I’ve smoked but for a short period of time and never developed a habit. My dad on the other hand smoked for fifty years. He had to quit cold turkey because of his heart attack and let me tell you, depression ensued. The doctor gave him Wellbutrin to help with the cravings and the depression. 10 years later, my dad is still smacking his chest pocket looking for his cigs. But he’s not smoking!

    You’ll feel a lot better once you’ve quit. Talk to your doctor about his recommendations for quitting. He will have seen lots of people that have quit successfully and know the different options available.

    The fact that you WANT to quit is the biggest step. Good luck!

  9. Jewell
      · October 5th, 2008 at 11:03 am · Link

    Oh, Shannon, I know how you feel!

    I’ve been smoking for over thirty years and have tried numerous times to quit. It’s so darn frustrating because you never realize how truly addicted you are until you try to stop.

    Some individuals have no trouble quitting, but I equate that to the same thing as not being addicted to alcohol. There is a huge difference between casual use and true addiction.

    Me, you take my ciggies away and…well let’s just say it’s not pretty. In years past I’ve tried the patches (still huge cravings and horrible nightmares) the gum (still cravings and the feeling of acid trickling into my stomach) the lozenges (very useful in situations where a cigarette is just not an option, such as book signings but not very helpful in the long haul) and one of those horrid prescriptions you spoke of, the one with all the warnings.

    For me, that prescription was a nasty booger. I took it for a month and said no more. While the dreams weren’t as horrid as when using the patch, they were still quite vivid. I smoked fewer cigs, but never actually put them totally away. And the big factor, after a while I didn’t feel like doing anything. Not cooking, not cleaning, not reading or writing. Nothing. It was like being in this huge fog. Gads!


  10. Jewell
      · October 5th, 2008 at 11:17 am · Link


    Now just before trying that yuck prescription, I coerced my doctor into prescribing a nicotine nasal spray. (He’s never smoked in his life so is a big advocate of “just don’t light up”. Grr) And also a big advocate of the whacko prescription. (Yeah, buddy, you try it for a while and tell me all about it in a month.)

    I only switched over from the spray because it was more expensive than the pills. But let me tell you, the difference in the two, for me, are worlds apart.

    In that one month I had stopped smoking altogether (which I’d never done with any other product.) Why? Because it’s instant nicotine gratification. You can stretch out the need for nicotine to longer and longer periods of time. In fact, in just that month I went from a dosage equal to the highest nicotine patch to the lowest nicotine patch.

    And I never craved an actual cigarette even though most of those around me smoke. I had my “pacifier” in my pocket, and only used it when the “heeby-jeebies” hit too hard.

    So, now I have gone out and refilled the prescription with the intention of using it until the end like I was supposed to. In the long run I feel the extra cost will be made up for in a short period of time.

    Thanks to your post, my start date is Monday. I’ll keep you posted, in private if you like, on how it goes.

  11. vanessa jaye
      · October 5th, 2008 at 12:28 pm · Link

    WTG on the weightloss, Shan! :cheer:

    I used to smoke (about 5 cigs/day or a pack a week. But it was the strongest stuff on the market– Rothman’s or Export A up here in Canada. I probably would have ended up smoking no-filter cigs or rolling my own if I’d kept smoking. lol). I quit cold turkey the minute I got pregnant.

    Guess that’s not an option you’re intrested in pursuing, huh? :lol:

  12. Shannon
      · October 6th, 2008 at 9:48 am · Link

    I quit cold turkey the minute I got pregnant. Guess that’s not an option you’re intrested in pursuing, huh?

    Oh, god no.

    Jewell, definitely!

    And…*sigh*…will be surfing around some sites, seeing what the options are and making a decision. I’d like to be totally free of it by Halloween.

  13. Rhonda
      · October 6th, 2008 at 12:06 pm · Link

    Shannon I will be thinking about you. I seriously hope you and anyone else who wants to quit can! Dh has quit three times in the past 17yrs (for 1yr, six months, three months) but is currently smoking, though less than one pack day. Cinnamon toothpicks are his current method, he did with tic tacs once, and the reasons for his going back are varied but each time it happened quickly.

    I learned something I never knew about smoking and nicotine addiction about a year ago, but it’s enough that Dh has been trying to quit for good and it’s enough to scare the crapola out of all smokers in my opinion, but it’s pretty depressing, but I will share it with you if you really to know…

  14. Shannon
      · October 6th, 2008 at 7:31 pm · Link

    That sounds…sinister.

    Go for it. After twenty-one years of smoking, there’s not much I haven’t heard about the hideous things it’s doing to me.

  15. Rhonda
      · October 6th, 2008 at 9:49 pm · Link

    Okay only cause I love ya and I figure you know me well enough to know I can be an anal bitch at times, I promise this isn’t meant to come across that way at all… and you may know this already, but I didn’t.

    Did you know that Nicotine Addiction is now listed on death certificates as a cause of death in some cases? It is… I read it a year ago this month.

    Just think down the road, do you really want the boys reading that as a contributing cause of death? It’s a whole lot different when you see it in print all spelled out. Way different than a little box with an ‘x’ saying tobacco use. Seriously makes you think and yeah sure, you’d be dead for the boys to read a death certificate, and that in itself is morbid enough, but as a child of a heavy smoker reading that freaked me out, period.

  16. Shannon
      · October 7th, 2008 at 10:23 am · Link

    But see, even though I know that’s as sad and pathetic and as horrific a waste of life as having ‘heroine addiction’ or ‘crack addiction’ written in there, it doesn’t stop me from smoking. It’s one of the many horror stories we smokers hear.

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