Dirty, Dirty Smokers.

by Lori Dwyer on November 2, 2011 · 32 comments

The Quit family series
highlights how smoking can impact your family and is made possible by
Quit Victoria. Smoking doesn’t
have to kill you to have an enormous impact on you and your family.
You CAN Quit. Make an appointment with your GP or meet Mick to learn more.

***

Blogging in my undies last week, I got a comment from a regular RRSAHM reader named Paul who, lucky man, lives in Melbourne.

I spoke in my BodyLove post about the rampant abuse I sometimes inflict on my body, and how well it copes. Paul had this to say

And, not judging ( and I’m a non smoker, ex athlete, who use to love smokey live music venues mind you, and still does, if I could find one now it’s illegal ), but are you not concerned the heavy smoking will have a big bad effect at all one day ?

YOU have talents and good things to offer to the world, and your kids, and your grandkids. How much of a gamble are you willing to make on that ?

Bloody good question Paul. It’s one that, back in the Purple Before, kept me awake at night. Different things keep me awake at night now.

My mate Emma Sbrain and I. Don’t we look cool? Not… really. OK then.

Most parents who smoke get it, I’m sure. All parents are aware of it, somewhere. But smokers more so because, as much as we laugh about it and try to ignore and pretend that the health risks of smoking are embellished if not outright lies…. as much as we do all that, we still know that smoking kills. And it kills you when you’re young, and it’s fast and painful.

And that question hangs in the back of your mind… What would happen to my children, if I died? How would I cope?

I watch clips like this one with Mick Roberts from Quit and I shudder. 49 years old. My children would be 23 and 21. And that’s not fair.

Especially for me, for us. And once again, I feel like a dick saying that, but it feels that way… especially for us. My children have already lost one parent. The odds are against them. My being a smoker stacks those odds again.

I know that might strike people as odd, but truly that’s the way it is. I love my children desperately, but that’s not my primary reason for not wanting to go and die. It’s just that it would be so unfair, so unjust. Putting them on a back foot in the world, before they’ve even begun. It would leave them as orphans.

And that’s just the end result. Before that, there’s be something akin to what I wrote about, with the relief of someone dieing… taking care of me, with me unable to take care of myself.  Attached to an oxygen tank. Having to sleep sitting upright because I will drown in the fluid on my lungs if I don’t. I’ve seen it happen. I wouldn’t wish having to watch that on my kids. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

So, I guess in answer to your question Paul… yep. I think about it. I have attempted to quit, back in the Before. And thanks to various events and happenings, it’s on my mind again.

Let me think about this one, jellybeans. I’ll keep you posted.

***
Sponsored Series by Nuffnang
The Quit family series highlights how
smoking can impact your family and is made possible by Quit Victoria. Smoking doesn’t have
to kill you to have an enormous impact on you and your family. You CAN
Quit. Make an appointment with your GP or meet Mick to learn more.

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Bethany March 7, 2012 at 1:49 pm

It is great that you are trying to get back your will to stop. My uncle consulted a chemist to help ease the cravings. Maybe this can help.

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paul in tropical melbourne November 3, 2011 at 12:58 pm

PART 2 ( part 1 is above ) :

So, to all the smokers out there I say – if you like it, get into it fully, and really enjoy it to the max, just accept the responsibilities and any conseqences that may come with it. Any Scorp worth their salt will tell you that, coz we have no guilty pleasures. Pleasures yes. Guilt no. So go for it.

Or don't. Just don't be half arsed about it. Don't 'try to give up'. Do. Make a decision and back yourself to the hilt. Expect unexpected challenges and plan reviews. Plan for long term and be happy if it's shorter. The commenters here seem to have lots of good, first hand advice .

Focus on building the new you, rather than on giving up the old. The old will die off from lack of energy being given to it.

There is a 74 year old guy that works at the fruit market nearby. He smokes like train on steroids. I asked him about it a few months ago and he said that he's never had a sick day or bad effect from his smoking in his life. Not even a cough. His doctor does the tests and still can't believe it. I know of one other person like this ( 20 years ago ). But this is an obvious minority.

Everybody's health is subjective and unique. It's like how people respond to fatty foods – some get high cholesterol, some don't, and everything in between. You have to find what works for you.

And if I was Lori, I'd be looking at working on an overall approach – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual – build a new version Lori, from within, so to speak.

To me, from the outside here, this is the opportunity that Life is presenting her with strongly at the moment.

( Sorry to talk about you in the third person, Lori. Feels a bit weird. )

Now I have to get back to my own life, and apply some of my own advice to myself….

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paul in tropical melbourne November 3, 2011 at 12:57 pm

( I had to split this into two parts as there must be a characters limitation in comments )

PART 1 :

Spacejump.

That's how it looks to me – giving up smoking is a spacejump – the jump from an old you to a new you.

I prepared myself for a possible reader lashing before opening the comments box. I was relieved somewhat I have to say. But I am also someone who would stand alone before the world and speak a truth if I believed it. Even if it was against myself. I have to be honest with myself first and always. ( Just so you know where I'm coming from. )

—————————

@wanderlust ( first post here ): ( I'm not a heartless bastard btw ) nor, I believe, a 'goodie-goodie' – I DID give careful consideration, and several rewites, before I posted that original piece about the timing, value and appropriateness of it. And remember, this is an issue of possible life and death, pain and suffering and major life effect, on more than one person. This is really, really, really important. Do I just let a fellow human being go on without checking ?

The other thing to remember is that any person's potential is infinite. And I think I'd seen enough fire in Lori's belly, post After, to chance it.

—————————

Way back, there use to be smoking and non smoking sections on planes ( yes, unbelievably ). Amusingly only separated by a row of seats, nothing else. I would always choose the non smoking row immediately behind the last smoking row, because the conversations were better with the smokers I found. ( Less anal ? Whatever it was, the vibe was different. ) True story.

( continued in PART 2 following )

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Anonymous November 3, 2011 at 12:39 pm

I knew when I read Paul's comment that some people wouldn't see the kindness in what he had to say. He's not being judgmental but is genuinely concerned. Lori, you have inner strength and you know it. Giving up smoking is hard but you have dealt with much harder things recently. You l have the determination to do it when you are ready. I just hope you are ready soon. Keep thinking on it!

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Ms Kate November 3, 2011 at 10:12 am

I am so pleased you are thinking about it again. We all want you to live lots longer :P

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Anonymous November 3, 2011 at 1:51 am

And also- yes to whoever said you have a lot on your plate right now. I went through a wretched divorce, stopped eating, smoked two packs a day and just drank wine. I survived. You just have to survive right now. More will come when you're ready. -Liz

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Anonymous November 3, 2011 at 1:50 am

I am an ex smoker who LOVED to smoke. Everything you say is so familiar.

I finally quit with Chantix. It truly helped me. It wasn't easy, but it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. You have to do it when you're ready. Nobody can guilt you into it. It won't stick.

I just want to affirm that it's possible, it gets easier and easier and even though this sounds impossible–you eventually don't even think about cigs anymore. Good luck! -Liz

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Sharon @ Hear Mum Roar November 2, 2011 at 10:52 pm

I know what you mean, except of course, your situation would make it more urgent.

We have our step daughter (15) coming to stay and she smokes as well. We're going to quit smoking, otherwise it'll be hypocritical of us to ask it of her.

I just wish I'd never started the filthy habit to begin with

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marketingtomilk November 2, 2011 at 10:38 pm

You know i'm 100% behind you, not just because my mum just died of lung cancer, but because it is the most wonderful thing you could ever do. I'm still delighted 13 years later that i don't have to carry that dark cloud around with me all day, every day.

Yes you can smoke and still want the best for your children – it's a ridiculous addictive drug addiction at the end of the day. Gah – non smokers will never get that.

but i'm with you, and hope you feel the strength at some point to give it another go.

M2M

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Anonymous November 2, 2011 at 10:01 pm

I've always wondered about this. I am a non-smoker, always have been….and it's interesting to see the thoughts of a smoking parent (who loves their children very much) about the subject. Very brave of you to put the new ad up! ;) Look forward to reading more of your thoughts about the subject. Much love xx Julia

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wishihadakarmaanghia November 2, 2011 at 9:29 pm

It IS so hard to stop smoking. I try at least 3 times a year and always go back to it. My reasons for quitting are that I have 2 boys on the autistic spectrum, one of whom possibly won't lead an independent adult life and will always need me. But my big fat excuse is that day to day living is sooooo bloody hard sometimes that every time there's a huge crisis I reach for the cigs again.

The thing I find the least helpful is people telling me that I have bigger things in my life to worry about – "be kind to yourself" – and that I should do what I need to do – ie keep smoking! Even my Doctor has said this to me!!! This gives me the perfect excuse to go back to smoking every single time. Basically people are saying "your life is so hard that you shouldn't make it harder by quitting". Surely getting a debilitating illness would just make it all the harder!

I've set myself a quit date of this Saturday. Not looking forward to it but it has to be done. Addiction is not pretty and I want to get rid of it once and for all. No more excuses.

Good luck to you, Lori!

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Diminishing Lucy November 2, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Hey Lori

I saw Mark Stephens this weekend. He asked after you.

You will do the giving up thing when you are ready.

And when you are ready, it will be easy.

Promise.

Lucy xx

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MultipleMum November 2, 2011 at 7:18 pm

One step at at time Lori. I have the same relationship with food. We all die from something; it is just that smoking speeds up the process! x

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Anonymous November 2, 2011 at 4:43 pm

What Wanderlust said. You've got enough on. When you haven't and you're ready, it will happen. For now, be gentle with yourself. Xxx

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pinktutu72 November 2, 2011 at 3:01 pm

I started smoking when I was 13 and quit so many times, once even for 9 months when I got pregnant with my son, but I picked it back up again each time. About 11 years ago I woke up sick one morning and I was just tired of it all so I quit and never picked it back up. Quitting smoking is WAY harder on you emotionally than it is physically. You'll quit when you can, when you feel you're strong enough. :)
Karlene

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Irene November 2, 2011 at 2:54 pm

My father died of lung cancer when I was 28 and my brother was 22. It was incredibly hard on us, constantly going back and forth to the hospital as he gradually lost weight and strength, until he couldn't get out of bed and would just lie there staring at the ceiling until someone spoke to him. My brother and I also had to make decisions about treatment, such as did we want to do procedures that would prolong his life but not cure him? He would still be an invalid but we would have him a little longer. He didn't want those measures but it still seemed to last a very long time. We canceled trip plans and holiday gatherings, stopped doing anything else really except going to the hospital.
It was a horrible way to die and it was really awful to watch someone you love waste away like that. If it helps motivate you to quit, think about your kids having to go through that.

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Anonymous November 2, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Lori, I wish you the best of luck. You can do this. I quit using patches, and did an all or nothing approach, and have not smoked for 17 years. I know I will never have another cigarette- it's just something I know. And it was the best thing I ever did, because when my husband died from lung cancer 4 years ago, leaving me with a 1 year old and a 3 year old, at least I know I am doing the most I can to ensure that my kids don't lose both parents. Good luck to you- I have never commented before but I read your blog and my heart goes out to you. You are very strong- and you can do this too. Think of it as something you are doing FOR yourself and the kids, not depriving yourself.

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Shellye November 2, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Lori, you make some very good points about what would happen to your children if something happened to you.

I have a friend who is 33 years old and has COPD. She can barely do anything without stopping to catch her breath. She has coughing fits that last five to ten minutes. Doctors have advised her to quit many times, but she hasn't, and it's only going to get worse. Two of her aunts are in their 50's and have COPD. (One of them almost died during a coughing fit.) One aunt and one uncle have lung cancer. Her mother has heart failure from smoking. Her father is pretty lucky. Her parents both quit the day her mother went into heart failure. I keep trying urge her to quit because I'm afraid she's going to get a worse health problem or die in her forties because of smoking.

These things being said, I don't know how much you smoke. I don't know if you are already having breathing problems, and I don't know if it has affected your health in other aspects. I agree that it is your decision to make. The reason I push my friend so much is because her smoking is affecting her health and well being. I will tell you this; smoking does affect a person's health in ways that smokers don't realize, and it takes fifteen years for the body to repair itself.

Some things to think about…
I wrote several posts about why quitting is important. Allow me to share them.

Why Quitting Is Important:
http://confessionsofaredhead-shellye.blogspot.com/2011/07/why-quitting-is-important.html

Why Quitting is Important Part 2:
http://confessionsofaredhead-shellye.blogspot.com/2011/10/why-quitting-is-important-part-2.html

I'm not trying to tell you what to do. I'm just presenting some facts for you to think about. Whenever you're ready, I'm here to offer love, help, and support.

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MarietteRD November 2, 2011 at 1:48 pm

One day at a time..even 5 mins at a time. Some clever person said.."excellence is the next 5 mins" and you just keep putting those 5 mins together (easy said, I know)
Maybe take the money you would have spent and spend it on something else.. for yourself. First every day, then save it for 2-3 days, then a week and then save it for a month…
Could work!
Meanwhile no chocolate for me for at least the next 5 mins.
Good luck!

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Anonymous November 2, 2011 at 1:40 pm

I realize this might not work for everyone, and that, for some, cold turkey is the only option, but cutting down and rationing cigarettes was the only thing that worked for me! I found cold turkey to be brutal… Instead, I worked out how many cigs I was smoking a day, and cut them down bit by bit… Eventually, when I was down to just 3 a day, I would smoke them in half cigarettes, butting half out and putting it back into the packet so 3 became 6 tiny cigarettes! Either way, this worked for me as I weaned myself off them and needed less and less each day. Like I said, perhaps only a good method for those good at self control- which normally I'm not! All the very best with it. xx

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Amy xxoo November 2, 2011 at 12:23 pm

I also agree with the whole " one day at a time " theory. If you can say " i'm not having a cigarette before breakfast today " then maybe you can skip the one at morning tea aswell, then maybe the mid afternoon one…. and you might slip up and have a smoke that night, but you can start the whole thing over in the morning until one day ( hopefully ) you realise you havent had a smoke for a week, or a fortnight or a few months…
Whichever way you decide, when you're ready to try i think we're all behind you!

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whatsinemmasbrain November 2, 2011 at 11:43 am

I lurve that photo, I call it….. The dirty, filthy disgusting habit.
I get it, although I would desperately like to give up.
Xxx

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Samantha Mawdsley November 2, 2011 at 11:10 am

Good luck, pretty lady! I hope you decide to quit & I wish you every success in happiness in your journey! xx

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feryxlim November 2, 2011 at 11:01 am

I think the problem with quitting is people tell themselves "NEVERMORE" for the rest of their lives. I have been very specific about the life events I would feel require cigarettes. Only when I happen to hve one in my hand and someone happens to light it for me, then why not. But seriously though, quitting is easier when you don't think in forever terms.

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Toots November 2, 2011 at 9:53 am

The comment about give up each day is so true. Don't think "I'm giving up ciggies from now until forever." Just decide not to have this one. Then maybe don't have the next one.

You ever tried walking up a mountain looking at the top? Impossibly demoralising. Just watch your feet, as they take one step and then one more.

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Vicky November 2, 2011 at 9:46 am

good luck Lori. Thinking about it is a start. I gave up 18months ago. I tried to do it cold turkey – unsuccesfully, much to my dismay.

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Me November 2, 2011 at 9:24 am

I totally get where you are coming from – as you are with smoking, so I am with eating ! I know that if I don't lose weight I am at risk of heart disease, diabetes etc etc but I don't think about that when I am stuffing my face with junk.

This time I am losing weight for a vain reason – I don't want to look fat in my holiday snaps but ultimately, it is for my health. I am not as young as I used to be and I have noticed that it takes me longer to recover when I am sick. My daughter is 19yo and I want to see her grow up and get married and have children and be a grandma. But I want to be a grandma who can actively play with her grandchildren – not one who sits in front of the TV and can only have them sit on my lap.

When you are ready, you will be able to do it. My mind is in a completely different place now and I am just doing it one day at a time.

Good luck with whatever you decide !

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Kate November 2, 2011 at 9:15 am

I started smoking back when it was cool. Seriously. That long ago. I've had periods of not smoking here and there, but I am still a smoker.

Those ads kill me. You know the little boy crying one? He looks like my small boy, it rips me up. Then I go and have a ciggie. *sigh*

I don't smoke in public. I don't even really smoke at other people's houses. Such is my guilt and disgust. But still I smoke.

Literally as I type this the hub is at the docs sussing out champix. I'm going to get those inhaler fellows. It's time to try again.

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Eccentricess November 2, 2011 at 9:00 am

Give up every day! When you slip up, forgive yourself and start trying again.

And every morning, make the resolution to not smoke today. No guilt, no stress, just that wonderful feeling in the morning that today, you will do something positive for yourself and everyone who loves you. :-D

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A Dose of Dannie November 2, 2011 at 8:56 am

Right now i am taking the new (Nicorette inhaler) ? so far it hasd been 3 days and so far so good .
I have stopped and started so many times i lost count . But i really need to stick to it this time! :-)

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Missy November 2, 2011 at 8:39 am

Okay, I fucking LOVED smoking for the majority of the time I smoked. I thought I would always smoke and had no plans to quit…

Then one of my mothers friends died of lung cancer. Then another of emphesema. Then another, and another. And I knew in my heart I had a good twenty years left of smoking before it killed me. And I thought 'that isnt enough time'.

I also was starting to suffer some of the early signs of emphesema myself. At the age of 28.

So I did it. I stopped. First for a year, then I started again, and smoked for nine more months, then I did it again and I am still not smoking. And you know what? It's actually easy. Once you decide, and decide properly. If your heart isn't in it, it will be hard. But if it is, and you can keep your eye on the prize (i think the prize is not getting lung cancer…), it's easy as.

So if you really want to, you can do it and it will be easy. I promise! You can also try reading Allen Carr's Easyway to quit smoking, I have found it to be very helpful.

Good luck!!

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Wanderlust November 2, 2011 at 8:39 am

Everyone who has unhealthy habits knows they are unhealthy and battles them in their own private way. Not necessary for goody-goodies to come along and point it out, as if it never had crossed our minds.

I'm sure you'll deal with this when you're ready. You have been shouldering a heavy burden. One thing at a time.

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