Offline hwc.ffn

  • Gender: Male
  • Location: MA US
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224 05/05/15 04:31:04 05/08/15 05:23:51 01/18/09
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How I Quit Smoking


I can't remember when I became a full time smoker. I know it was at least 38 years ago because I remember smoking at a Led Zeppelin concert in April 1970. I never really tried to quit. There was once in college when I tried the "taper off" nonsense that never works. I tried a time or two in the 80s, never lasting a day. At age 54, I'd resigned myself to smoking until it killed me.

And, so it was when I lit a cigarette just after midnight on February 11th, 2008.�Sure, I had a flu bug, but lord knows I'd smoked through plenty of those. In fact, I had just gotten back from a midnight run to the store to buy a couple packs. We were expecting snow the next day and I didn't want to run out. I'd never run out. No smoker ever runs out.
I lit the cigarette, took one puff, felt it burn my raw throat and decided that it was too revolting even for this 38 year smoker. So I tamped it out and put it back in the pack. "I'll smoke it tomorrow", I thought.

The next day, I spent curled up in bed, knocked out by the flu. Fever. Coughing. Too sick to eat or smoke. So, through no choice of my own, I went 24 hours without nicotine for the first time since Richard Nixon was President. The next day, I wondered if I could go for two days. I could.� Finally, after two days, I had a decision to make. Even a lunkhead like me could see a golden opportunity to do something I had only dreamed. Become an ex-smoker. After two days without nicotine, I knew in my soul I could do it if I wanted it bad enough. So I took those two full packs, one with a slightly shorter unsmoked butt -- my last cigarette -- and threw them in the trash. I found a website, that gave me the understanding of nic addiction to stay strong. I've never looked back.

And, that's how I went from lighting a cigarette without a thought of ever quitting to becoming an ex-smoker one puff later. So much for planning my quit. In my case, it was literally never take another puff!

My Journal/Diary Post

Podcast lessons from - a free online quit smoking forum offering motivation, education, skills development, counseling and serious group support - a free online quit smoking forum offering motivation, education, skills development, counseling and serious group support

Over 60 podcast audio lessons on nicotine addiction & how to beat it.
Listen here or in a standalone player. Scroll for the full playlist.
Also available in Streaming Video or MP3 Downloads for iTunes.

My recent posts

Title Type Date
Re: Mike's Journal Reply 05/05/15
Re: A New Beginning Reply 05/05/15
Re: A New Beginning Reply 05/05/15
Re: my journey to freedom Reply 04/07/15
Re: A New Beginning Reply 04/07/15
Re: A New Beginning Reply 04/06/15
Re: A New Beginning Reply 04/06/15
Re: A New Beginning Reply 04/05/15
Re: TammyP's Quit Journal Reply 03/31/15
Re: Gold X 9! Reply 03/29/15

Comments about me


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  1. avatar


    User Infostatus offline0 Points


    my best wishes to you
  2. avatar


    User Infostatus offline120 Points


    Hey HWC:; just wanted to stop by and tell you how much I enjoy your posts. They're so well written with so much support for us newbies! Thanks!


    Reply from hwc:

    Thanks. I try to offer a little encouragement and a little insight. It's nice because everyone here is getting it done, day by day.
  3. avatar


    User Infostatus offline108 Points


    No, "warm and fuzzy" is exactly what I don't need! (Although the Freedom board posters have been uber-supportive.)

    I knew about letting "crisis" threads die - had read some beforehand to get a sense of the "etiquette" (every board has its own). That's why I was so clear about the fact that my own crisis had passed. What I wasn't expecting was what sounded (to my admittedly hypersensitive ears) like a judgemental response. I understand the strictness a little better now.

    Although I have to wonder what would have happened if I'd written "with luck, my temper-tantrum-throwing-2-year-old nicotine addiction won't win tonight and I won't drive to the store to buy ciggies." The mods probably would have driven to my house and shot out my porch light!


    Original comment »
  4. avatar


    User Infostatus offline108 Points


    Thank you so much! Yes, I was feeling criticized, as if Orwell's Thought Police were reading my every post. The thing is, I'm extremely committed to this process - and I know it'll be a lifelong process - I just don't have the right language down just yet. (And hey, I'm of Irish descent - hence the harping on luck!)

    In any case, your message was just what I needed to hear. I do recognize the value of the links, by the way - I lurked myself before I was eligible to post - getting up the nerve, getting educated, then sweating through those first 72 hours.

    Incidentally, an extra helping of thanks for liking my 2-year-old-with-temper-tantrum analogy! My writer self is beaming right now!
    Original comment »


    Reply from hwc:

    Nah, you weren't being criticized. I almost replied to that thread a couple more times, but the moderators have a strict rule about letting "help" type threads die. So, once you said that you were OK and ready to move on, I knew that was a red flag to stop posting in that thread.

    That's an example of a policy I didn't understand until I waded into free-for-all support groups where it's just 24/7 crisis type posting. Taken as a whole, it is so discouraging. The whyquit guys have been at it long enough that they know you want to answer an immediate question or call for help and then move on, so the thread doesn't hang around scaring people for weeks. They are trying create a site (and a psychological mindset) of successful quitting. A lot of what they do didn't make any sense to me until I had been quit for six months and had an opportunity to compare to sites where the focus is on failing to quit, not quitting. whyquit isn't a warm/fuzzy place, but it turns out a lot of successful long term quitters each year. 69 members celebrated their one-year quit anniversaries in 2008 - five or six a month. It's like that year after year.

    Anyway, just keep quitting and reading and posting and don't take any of it seriously. Trust me, we've all been nailed at least once on the "luck" or the "trying to quit" or the "filthy little habit". They nailed me for calling them "ciggies". Said that I shouldn't use cute names for something that was trying to kill me. Guess what? They were right!

  5. avatar


    User Infostatus offline194 Points


    hwc, you have a great profile page and really taught me something else about computers. I love your posts as you are so honestly genuine with what you have to say and I can just picture you in them. You have helped me so very much as I am in this for the long haul. Feel free to write in my journal anytime. I am going to c&p some you wrote in Baltos into my journal. You are a very wise man.
    thank you,