Marching along
It's my party!

We are smokin' the not smokin'

The blog changes lives.

One day, a little over five years ago, my then strictly-blog-friend Ann on Long Island wrote me an email that went something like this:  I told my friend that I'd quit smoking with her.  You wanna quit with us?

I thought for 2.25 seconds and wrote back: YES!

Then I called up my sister and said:  I'm going to quit smoking, you wanna?

And she said:  YES!

Then I told my family, made an admission and announcement on the blog, and commenced to plan my strategy.  Let me tell you, I still remember how thoroughly I thought through all of the different scenarios and triggers and planned and plotted and made decisions about how to deal with each and every one.  By the time Quit Day rolled around, I was very well prepared.  The triggers that snuck up on me were the ones way further out -- like when football season rolled 'round again and the Packers scored their first touchdown of the season and I actually started out of my chair to go out on the back porch for my usual and customary celebratory smoke during the commercial break.  Heh.  Wow.  That was so weird.

Anyway, there was so much blog love and encouragement, it was incredible -- and, gulp, that meant there was gonna be no turning back, not with all those eyes on me from near and far!  I have fallen down on a few other things over the years, but there's not much riding on whether I finish a knitting project by a certain date or post a photo-a-day.

One bright star in the galaxy was my then strictly-blog-friend Cara.  She and Georgie went shopping and sent me a box full of quit-smoking aids -- gum, sunflower seeds, little stir straws, Dum Dums -- there was so much that I felt I needed to share and sent a portion of it back east to Ann.

Cara and Ann were then completely oblivious to each other, blog-or-otherwise.  I remember talking to Ann about celebrating at some point -- maybe at the five-year-mark -- by meeting and getting together for a weekend someplace in between Wisconsin and New York... like, maybe Ohio.

Well, as luck would have it, DH and I had an opportunity to visit New York City in June of 2005 -- just three short months into the quit -- where I was able to meet up and spend some time with not only Ann and Cara, but also with Kathleen, Nancy, Cassie, and a bunch of other bloggers, many of whom are not really blogging any longer.  It was a memorable and magical trip.  I'd only been to NYC once before and the circumstances were so different.  Now, of course, I've been there... three more times?  No four!  Three times for Rhinebeck, and another time with Katie & Maddy.

I can hardly believe it's been five years.  The first days, weeks, months were hell...  But since then?  I really can't believe, after having smoked for as long as I did, that I haven't missed it more, that I don't have more urges than I do... dare I say it? ...that it's been so easy.  I stayed far, far away from anything smoke-related for a very long time -- just removed myself from anything, -place, or -one that could lead to temptation.  It's almost like I'm indifferent now.  I was in close proximity with someone who was smoking recently and it registered, but I barely had a reaction -- it smelled neither good nor bad, didn't make me want to have one, whatever; I was a little happier when it was finally stubbed out, though.  I'll tell you my story, talk about my experiences, probably tell you more than you want to know, but I won't lecture or preach; I make my choices in any given situation, other people make their choices.

As of this morning, my QuitNet numbers:

  • Smoke-free for 1,826 days
  • 36,523 cigarettes have been saved
  • That's over 1,800 packs not purchased, saving me $6,391.00
  • I'm stayin' alive for 9 months, 8 days, and 23 hours longer
I'll admit that the "Lifetime Saved" figure was never all that impressive or encouraging, but now it's adding up, gathering momentum, and is starting to mean something.  Also, the money saved?  I doubt that's reflective of the fact that the price of cigarettes has basically doubled here since I quit, thanks to at least one -- and I think it may even be two -- hefty $1/pack cigarette tax increases in Wisconsin.  I can't imagine how I'd have kept cigarettes in my budget the past few years.

Anyway, Yay us!  We are AWESOME!!  Congratulations girls!  And thank you.



How completely, fabulously wonderful! It's fantastic to read this post. Congratulations to you for your very, very hard work.


Congratulations! As a long-time nearly-always-lurker, I remember when you quit. Around the same time, I quit. A year or so afterwards, my partner managed to quit and stay quit. I had a few dreams at first, where I was smoking a cigarette that was *far, far better* than any real life ciggy ever was, but apart from the first outdoors-beer of the year, I now don't miss it at all. When I do think about it, most times it just feels good to be free. Makes me wonder what it would be like to ditch the caffeine habit, too.
And it's amazing what people will sacrifice for their habit, just to fit it in the budget. People just don't realise they're doing it; it becomes a non-negotiable expense. I heard, just this morning, that there are proposals to increase the price in the UK to £7/packet - well over $10. But people will still pay, I can guarantee it.


Yay!! Awesome story, awesome you! Congratulations on your five-year quitting anniversary! My mom has been smoking for as long as I (or anyone) can remember, but she stopped one month ago, and I'll be sure to tell her about QuitNet--seems like a great motivational tool.


Selfishly, you guys quitting worked out really well for me! Thank you!!!!!


That's about the time we met and I remember your declaration and didn't know you well enough to know if you'd make it. Congratulates! You and Ann SMOKE FREE!! It's awesome. What a feeling it must be for you.


I first started reading you around the time you did this, and I remember thinking, damn, good luck with that.... (having tried to quit several times myself at that point, and I had only been smoking for 10 years). I have been so impressed that you quit, cold turkey, no compromise. You rock lady!!!


Congrats to you! That's an awesome accomplishment.


I remember all of this like it was yesterday! Yay Vicki on 5 years! I'm glad you're going to be around longer!
Dale quite 13 years ago next month and his experience was very similar to yours. The night he quit was the night my brother died and I said to him, listen, if you want to smoke now and put off quitting until we get through all this stuff with my family then I will understand. But he kept to his pledge to quit and said he figured if he could get through THAT without smoking then he could get through anything.


Five years ! Good grief !
I remember it very clearly. I thought it very brave of you to make such a public commitment.
Well done and congratulations to you and your friends.
My biggest regret in life is that I smoked, but I am so proud that I stopped. 28 years ago, bar a three month blip 17 years ago, which I choose to gloss over ! :0)


Awesome - hearty congratulations! I never really got started, but I do remember very well when DH quit. He started when he was ~12 and it was really rugged.

Bookish Wendy

I am so proud of you guys!!! What an awesome accomplishment. The statistics really hit it home huh? You're healthier AND richer!!!!


Great story with an ongoing happy ending!
-the Friend!


Excellent! That's a very hard thing to do, you should be proud.
Has it really been that long?


YAY for us!!!! And yay for all the bloggy friendships - the biggest yay really.

Darling Vicki, all the fresh air has dimmed your memory somewhat .... you were indeed responsible for the Cara quotient. However it was you who stepped forward with offers of a together quit which then had me thinking, oh god now I really have to do this ....


Fantastic! Way to go all you quitters!


Congratulations! What a milestone. I never smoked but I've had other cravings and I can sort of imagine how hard it must have been. You're an amazing person.


The Most Amazing & Wonderful Friend!!

Congratulations to you, Claire.  I'd never have done it without you.  ; )


That is totally awesome. Well done to you.

Borderline Savage

Shoot, that was over five years ago? I remember that but would never have guessed it had been so long. Congratulations to all of you! And let us not forget the Cold Turkey hat.


I knew that blogs were powerful, but who know how powerful! Good job!


I'll be off cigarettes for 3 years on the 26th of March, the 40th birthday of my oldest son. I used Chantix, had to pick a quit date and begin taking the meds 8 days before. I chose a date that a mother would never forget. I guess the meds made it easier for me, never really had the physical cravings, but had trouble breaking the habit of the "activitiy" of smoking, where I had always lit up after a meal, on a break at work, in the car and such. But I got through it! Made a vow to myself that I wouldn't let the savings get lost, and have put at least $300 extra each month against my mortgage. A much smarter thing than just setting the bills on fire! Congrats on your accomplishment! --Pat

The comments to this entry are closed.