Posted by: mew | August 26, 2009

the 30-day mark

“Quitting smoking is easy. I’ve done it a thousand times.”  — Mark Twain


Personally, I’d rather not have to go through this another 993 times.  I figure I’ve tried — and failed — to quit about six times now.  This had better stick.  In fact, during some of our weakest moments, what has kept me going was F.’s assertion that he’d rather not go through this ever again.  Nicotine withdrawal sucks.

My main problem has been the mood control issue.  Well, this is no surprise.  I’ve known for some years now that I self-medicated by smoking, evening out the mood swings that come with bipolar disorder.  It’s sort of a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t scenario.  But in spite of that, tonight I will have made it to the 30-day mark.

Here is what that means:

  • Nicotine withdrawal symptoms are gone within one month.*
  • My blood pressure and pulse have dropped back to normal.
  • I have recovered most of my ability to smell and taste.
  • The temperature of my hands and feet has risen back to normal.
  • My carbon monoxide blood level is normal.
  • My blood is more oxygenated.
  • I have a decreased chance of heart attack.
  • My nerve endings have begun to repair and regrow.
  • My circulation is gradually improving, as is my lung function.
  • The cilia have begun to regrow in my lungs, increasing my ability to “handle mucus” and defend against infection.

At least, that is what the researchers say.  Here’s what I’ve noted:

  • I cough a lot less.  When I do cough, it doesn’t sound icky, and it doesn’t last for more than a couple of coughs.
  • I don’t have an automatic voice in my head saying, “Lung cancer, lung cancer!” whenever I cough.
  • I don’t need to clear my throat that often anymore.
  • I don’t feel embarrassed in public because I have to find a spot to go off and smoke.
  • My breath smells a lot better.  My mouth is not so dry.  (And I enjoy kissing more.)
  • I think I do smell food and other pleasant aromas more intensely now — not sure about the taste.  The only problem is, I notice nasty odors more often now, too.
  • I’m certainly less bitchy, jumpy, and irritable than I was the first week after quitting.
  • I can dance longer without getting out of breath
  • After an initial period where my body seemed to have a cold, my nose runs less often.  I used to have to blow my nose every a.m.
  • I can drink coffee without a cigarette craving.  (Hallelujah!)

Reason enough to keep going?  As my Mama would say, “I’m keepin’ on keepin’ on.”

*Note:  I’m probably not at quite one month on this one, as I used nicotine replacement therapy for about three days after my official quit date.



  1. hooray for 30 days! (and it does so freaking count…you still haven’t smoked a cigarette in 30 days so there…lol)

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