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Monday, May 9, 2011

And The Cake Should Say “To Pearl, Who Bravely Persists…”

Hi, my name is Pearl; and it’s been almost 14 weeks since my last cigarette.

Hi, Pearl.

Who knew how easy quitting would be? Why, I’ve only considered begging for smokes oh, 10 - 20 times now; and the skin around my fingernails has almost entirely re-grown.

I feel like a new woman.

Even if I was quite fond of the old.

I recount the number of weeks it’s been since my last cigarette like a woman giving an infant’s age. Fourteen weeks now…

And I tell myself: I could have a cigarette if I wanted one, but I can’t.

And you know why?

Because I quit.

And that’s all there is to it. I no longer cough at night, I don’t stand outside in the rain/snow because of my addiction, and I no longer spend money on cigarettes that could go towards the good cosmetics.

Because I quit.

But…

The whole problem with quitting is that, once everyone’s heard the big announcement “I’ve quit smoking”, there’s very little hoopla.

Darn little hoopla.

See, everyone is proud of you when you quit. “Congratulations! Hope you can stick with it!”

Of course I can stick with it. I said I quit.

But that’s all bravado, isn’t it? Sure, you feel all puffed up and righteous when you first quit. Look at me! I’m doing something responsible! Hey! Look over here! I’m a mature individual doing the right thing!

And then that wears off, and you’re left wondering how long you can keep it up.

And then your friends, drink in hand, eyes glazed with drunken camaraderie, grab you by the arm and slur into your ear, “Hey! Less go out an’ ‘ave a ‘grit!”

And that’s when you notice that the hoopla has worn off.

You’re hoople-free.

OK! You think. Now that I’ve quit, maybe I could just have one?

No. You cannot.

Because you quit. And quitting is lonely.

I keep my mouth shut. I want my smoking friends to quit, too, to save their money, to live longer.

But mostly I want them to stay with me.



Hi. My name is Pearl, and it’s been almost 14 weeks since I’ve had a cigarette.

50 comments:

laughingmom said...

CONGRATULATIONS PEARL!! Do you feel better, now? How about this: With the money you have saved you could either buy yourself a little something special each week to mark the anniversary OR get a tattoo across your forehead that says "I quit! Join me!"

Yandie, Goddess of Pickles. said...

Woohoo!! Good job!! It's not an easy task at all, and I will admit that dancing at the bar by yourself while all your friends are out on the patio chatting can be sucky, but it can also be fun because hey, YOU'RE not the one freezing your butt off. (unless they still allow smoking in bars in Minnesota? We can't in Ontario)

Pearl said...

I actually do feel a lot better. :-) Coughing is over-rated.

And , no, Minnesota has not allowed smoking in bars for several years now, so it's not unusual to see crowds of people standing in a blizzard, smoking...

Kate Mohler said...

You keep it up, Pearl! I'm proud of you. :-)

Bossy Betty said...

Yeah for you!!!!!

Oilfield Trash said...

I am still very proud of you for quiting.

Camille said...

Shazaam Pearl! Fourteen weeks is like...*squinting eyes and mentally calculating*...98 days or...3 months and a week or...a very long time! Big congratulations!

IndigoWrath said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
IndigoWrath said...

Hey Pearl!

You're fucking amazing.

And even more attractive to the opposite sex. Who knew?!

This comment is 100% Hoopla. I thought it might just be Hoop, but the La happened all on its own. Funny how things turn out.

Indigo x

Pat said...

The worst thing is when you wake up - having dreamed you smoked again.
The best is not choking on phlegm and seeing your skin get a little more radiant everyday.
It's been 34 years - hopefully before too much damage was done.

SeaD said...

Pearl,
I will send you all the HOOPLA you need/want/require. Kicking the nicotine habit is no easy task and you quit, dammit, so you deserve hoopla. Keep at it, and it will get easier.
p.s. you smell so much better now. ;-)

lime said...

woohoo! fourteen weeks! good job! you deserve some hoopla!!!

burzum said...

Great read, this was.

Mark Twain had this to say about quitting smoking-

"Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I've done it thousands of times."

^Amen.

WrathofDawn said...

HOOP-LA!

HOOP-LA!HOOP-LA!HOOP-LA!HOOP-LA!HOOP-LA!HOOP-LA!HOOP-LA!HOOP-LA!HOOP-LA!HOOP-LA!HOOP-LA!HOOP-LA!HOOP-LA!HOOP-LA!HOOP-LA!

That's one for every week.

You hang in there, Pearly-Girl. I'm proud of you! And I know just what it feels like. Quitting cigarettes is one of the most difficult things we ever do. It's been a couple of years since I quit (for the most recent time) and I never, EVER have a craving anymore. Not even when someone smokes right in front of me. You keep on keepin' on until you reach that stage.

HOOP-LA!!! (One in advance for next week.)

Daisy said...

Good for you - doing such a wonderful thing for yourself Pearl! I quit a few years ago. The times I thought it would be awkward or difficult to not smoke, passed, I survived them, even enjoyed my new freedom from the stench in my clothes, house, body. And all that money I saved! And being comfortable in restaurants. And not harming my dog by polluting our air. So many benefits! No down side, just a little pain of letting go of an addiction.

Time to take the money saved and treat yourself to a spa day, or week-end! Live it up! You deserve it.

lgsquirrel said...

You should throw yourself a party for every week you have quit. Have a cake with candles. Celebrate the clean air in your lungs. (Smokin' hot Male dancer jumping out of cake is optional)

Glen said...

Have some hoop and indeed some lah on me.
ohhhh........

Pearl took a sniff of her breath one day,
said “man this stink of tar needs to go away,” She wanted to do some top level huggin’ and a kissin’,
So she shouted from now on, it’s the smokes I’ll be missin’!

The crowds clapped and cheered at the strength of the call,
They couldn’t quite get over the audacity of it all,
Could Pearl dance from a wheeze and a choke,
To a frisky ballerina who does not smoke?

Three months in,
The furore caved in,
No one sat with Pearl - for laughs and chats, So she was left alone with her music and her cats.

No wanted to know the girl who had beat the stick,
Success had grated on them surprisingly quick, Surely there’s a way to compromise,
So Pearl admitted to her friends that she was addicted to pies.

Oh ‘Chicken and Mushroom’ – ‘Beef and Ale’, Anything that comes on the two for one sale, But nothing can compare to an evening with Sidney,
Sharing a thick crusted ‘Steak and Kidney’!
………………..

There are actually 457 more verses – but I haven’t got time to write them out right now. To be honest I can’t see them getting any better than rhyming Sidney with Kidney – but if you really want to see them visit –
www.therearenotreally457moreversesofthiskak.co.uk

Kay Dennison said...

Good stuff!!! Congrats!!!!

Ponita in Real Life said...

Seems like you're getting lots of hoopla today, Pearl. As you should! 14 weeks is nothing to cough at... Oh, right. You've stopped coughing. Good for you!!! As a nurse, I wish the tobacco plant would be eradicated from the planet because of all the damage it causes. Somehow I think someone would just find something to replace it...

But good for you! I am proud that you are sticking it out and staying quit!!!

lifeshighway said...

Congratulations Pearl! I have much hoopla for you as well as the hoopla you have received before me and probably after me.

When you feel a little down, post again for another round a hoopla. Pick another important milestone.

Glad you will be living longer.

savannah said...

hurray for you, sugar! it ain't easy, but you're 14 weeks clean and fresh. WELL DONE YOU! xoxox

jenny_o said...

Go Pearl!

I don't smoke but I am married to a wonderful guy who does, and I know how strong the pull is for him.

My addiction is chocolate. Not sure I could give it up forever. So I have no words of wisdom for you, just admiration. HUGE admiration.

Jeannie said...

Mucha hoopla to you! Happy 14 weeks!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I'm clapping and whooping for you--one of the toughest habits in the world to quit! You GO girl!

Douglas said...

The next big milestone is 6 months. You are halfway there. At that point, you will be tempted to take a puff or two, just to see if you can do it without smoking a whole cigarette. The cigarette will feel thicker than they used to, it will feel "foreign", it will not feel like that comfortable old pal. You will take one puff, feel the burn in your lungs when you inhale, cough a little bit and thank the person but turn down the offer of a cigarette of your own. The 6 month stretch from there until the 1st anniversary will pass rapidly.

You have done well, grasshopper. Soon you will be able to look upon those huddled, freezing groups of people standing near doorways in really bad weather and have pity. Later, you will find them "amusing."

You have quit. You know it and that's all that matters.

Wow, that was awkward said...

Yay!!! Don't cave in. You have done so well and your friends will eventually stop asking you to join them in the blizzard. And write about it again every now and then so you can get more hoopla!! Hoopla on command is a nice thing.

Madame DeFarge said...

You may consider this an advance on tomorrow's hoopla, just in case you run short. Congrats!

Drake Sigar said...

I feel sorry for smokers, they're treated like lepers these days.

Happy Frog and I said...

I know what you mean about the hoopla, but you've done brilliantly so far. Hopefully this blog post has helped a little, knowing there are so many people behind you. x

Gigi said...

YOU GO, GIRL!!! I'm so proud of you!!!

Nancy said...

I have quit for 20 weeks now and I still really crave cigs everyday. I am going to keep it up though and you do the same. I know how hard it is. Congrats to you!

hocam said...

Congratulations. You deserve lots of hoopla. Put the money you save on buying cigarettes to one side and buy something really nice or frivilous to celebrate!

Boom Boom Larew said...

YAY, Pearl! I'm doing a happy hoopla dance for you right now!

Nessa Roo said...

Yippeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And I mean that from the bottom of my heart.
I can't even transmit my happiness for you. I know you'll never smoke again!!!!

Sioux said...

Hoop! Hoop! Hoop!
Hoop! Hoop! Hoop!
Hoop! Hoop! Hoop!

Congratulations! Quitting is easy. Continuing to abstain is the hard part (I imagine).

Kevin Musgrove said...

Yay! Well done you!

Coincidentally, I've been living with a smoker for just over 14 weeks. I reckon that's a win-win.

Belle said...

Good for you. I think it is just terrific you quit. Wanting to beg 10-20 times isn't bad over six weeks, in fact it is wonderful.

Charlotte Ann said...

In March it was 2 yrs for me. I don't crave them..but I do know I'm an addict..and to take one puff would put me back to 3 packs a day within the week. You stay quit girlie. Soon days and days will go by without ever thinking about having one..then months and months..and...well..you get the picture huh? Good JOB!

vanilla said...

Sure we notice. Two thumbs up for Pearl!

On My Soapbox said...

Congrats on 14 weeks, Pearl! It's all downhill (i.e. coasting) from here (I mean that in a good way).

Joanna Jenkins said...

HIGH FIVE to YOU PEARL. 14 weeks is a huge accomplishment. Congrats on quitting smoking. YOU ROCK!!!

xo jj

Tempo said...

It's lonely at the top Pearl my dear. Just remind us from time to time and we'll all cheer you from the comfort of the smokers lounge...
Hi Im Kymbo and it's been 23 years since I last smoked (apart from that time when I caught my pants on fire)...and I STILL feel like one from time to time. But I cant cause I quit.

Gary Baker said...

It's been 19 years, 4 months, 3 days, 2 hours, 17 minutes and 16 seconds since my last cigarette - but I'm fine now.

hoodyhoo said...

love you, baby -- it sucks here in our boat, but we have to stay strong ( I guess so we can row?)

Laurie said...

I recently quit smoking too, so I felt like I wrote this post myself.

I used to think "well, what could happen if I have just another one now? I mean, I quit, it's not like I'll get addicted again with just one sigarette, right?" but now I'm over that point, thanks to friends (smoker friends) that hide themselves when they smoke because they don't want me to see them and be sad or something. I love them. And I feel so strong and proud *_* It is hard, sometimes, but we can manage...because we quit.

Barbara Blundell said...

Hi ! My name is Barbara and I quit smoking 20 years ago and I still miss them !

Macy said...

Hi! My name is Macy, and I'm just back from hospital...I've looked into the abyss and decided I don't really miss fags at all....

Cheryl K said...

Yay you!!!

The Retired One said...

I am so proud of you Pearl. I was afraid to ask, because people that have tried to quit so many times are embarrassed if they restart...but you DID NOT>>>and I am soooo happy for you!!

Hookin It With Mr. Lick Lick said...

Yea...I quit 2.5 years ago. Gained weight but hey...I quit! I smoked for 40 years. I never thought I could quit but I tried the Chantix and it worked wonderful. Now to lose the 30 pounds I have put on. Congratulations!