January 22, 2013

Breaking up with cigarettes. To the left, to the left

    When you're a stay at home mom who just quit smoking, you have to replace those blessed 7-minute breaks you used to take every 2 hours with something enjoyable. Or else you'll have a stroke. A lot of people might be surprised to find out that I used to be a smoker, and that's because I never liked announcing it. Some people can be judgmental, and when you already wake up coughing and hoarse, judgment is the last thing you need. Am I right? Anyway, the point is, my husband and I decided to quit smoking so we could be better examples for our daughter, improve our health, smell better, and not die. I ranked those in order of importance, by the way. This is the 3rd attempt I've made to quit smoking. First, when I was 18 and wanted to stop before I got "in too deep." Second, when I got pregnant. And this time, when I realized that paying $2000 a year to shorten my life span was optional (so I'm choosing not to).

    The point of telling you this wasn't to shame current smokers or hurt feelings. I'm a firm believer in the phrase "To each his own." I'm telling you this because I wanted to share the great methods I've been using to curb my cigarette cravings and get healthier.
First, I bought a disposable electronic cigarette (E-cig) in menthol flavor and started cutting back on cigarettes. I set my quit date for January 13, 2013, and I held on for dear life as that date approached. I wasn't just addicted to the nicotine, but also to the hand-to-mouth motion of smoking, those wonderful breaks conveniently placed throughout my day, the stress relief, and being able to go outside often. I can still do those things with the E-cig, minus the carbon monoxide and tar. Electronic cigarettes are available in different nicotine levels, so you can slowly taper off instead of quitting cold turkey (read: Mama's not going crazy). The vapor that they produce is not toxic or harmful and tastes much better than smoke.

These are what the electronic cigarettes look like:

   Aside from the electronic cigarettes, you know what helped the most while trying to quit, starting a new semester of college, raising a 2 year old, and writing for 4 newspapers? Coffee and tea. I can't sing their praises enough. Sure, maybe I'm just transferring my addiction from nicotine to caffeine, but caffeine is cheaper. Plus, I strongly feel it makes me a nicer person. I decided to treat myself and buy expensive coffee because of all the money we're saving. And expensive coffee tastes so much better than cheap coffee. A friend of my husband's gave us a Bodum Assam Teapot with some awesome loose-leaf teas, which I've also been using the crap out of. 

    So, that's how I got through those harrowing first three days. I pretended I hadn't quit smoking and used the electronic cigarette in its place. But those things get incredibly expensive, so I couldn't keep using them for long. As I write this, I am on my last e-cig and I only use it about 3 times a day. I haven't hurt anyone, gone through terrible withdrawls, or had a mental breakdown. Yet. Wish me luck!

Email: interruptedmom@gmail.com
Website: www.motherinterrupted.com

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