This time: TEN days, zero tobacco

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This time: TEN days, zero tobacco

Postby manas » Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:31 am

Hi all
(*EDIT: this original post refers to my first stint of giving up for seven days only; I have since completed this, and am now undertaking a slightly longer stint at abstinence.)
these postings will give a day by day account of my week-long journey to fulfil this resolve: to totally abstain from smoking for one week exactly, beginning from today (I have had none at all today). I hope to make the abstinence permanent, but one week is longer than I have done all of this year so far, so I'm starting with that as a 'short-term goal' that I know I can achieve. I can do a couple of days on my own easily, but to do a week, I need the fear of having to disclose publicly that I wasn't able to make it, because I am hereby stating that I will truthfully report daily, for seven days, on whether or not I have kept this going.

Just so everyone knows, my 'habit' is very low-level, about one, two or three self-rolled, 'processed chemical free tobacco' rollies a day, but I want to quit while it it still not too difficult. I can sense that I am near the threshold of being addicted to this stuff (nicotene), and that, as a member here pointed out, "it might not breach the lay five-precepts (to smoke tobacco), but it does breach common sense". I've got to get it out of my life. Day one.
Last edited by manas on Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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I could die today, and I don't want to die without having done
some citta-bhavana, so I will do some citta-bhavana today.
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Re: seven days with zero tobacco

Postby James the Giant » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:36 am

Best wishes Manas!
I'm watching you...
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
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Re: seven days with zero tobacco

Postby manas » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:51 am

James the Giant wrote:Best wishes Manas!
I'm watching you...


Thanks James. From previous experience, 'day two' I might experience just some irritability, but from 'day three' or so, some mild cravings. Or maybe worse. So I hope I will be able to 'delight in the destruction of (this) craving' rather than just endure it, but either way the die is cast now and it needs to be done.

kind regards :)
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I could die today, and I don't want to die without having done
some citta-bhavana, so I will do some citta-bhavana today.
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Re: seven days with zero tobacco

Postby cooran » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:42 am

Best wishes manas! Hopefully knowing you have to let us know each day will help to withstand craving. You CAN do it!

mahametta
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Re: seven days with zero tobacco

Postby Ben » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:01 am

Congratulations on your adhitthana to give up tobacco, Manas.
I wish you every success! I used to smoke and I know exactly how hard it is to kick the addiction.
kind regards,

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Re: seven days with zero tobacco

Postby manas » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:47 am

Thank you everyone! Although I don't think I am really addicted, but rather at risk of it (which is why I think I should quit while it's still not too hard to do so), it is possible I will find myself really missing that evening 'smoke or two' in a few days time. What I find, is that painful emotions start to surface, emotions that even the small amount of nicotene I've been imbibing seemed to distract me from. So if or when that happens, is when I will possibly write a somewhat emotional posting here...ha...anyway, your encouragement means much to me, and hopefully will literally en-courage me to see this through. (A week is a start, anyway.)

_/I\_
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I could die today, and I don't want to die without having done
some citta-bhavana, so I will do some citta-bhavana today.
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Re: seven days with zero tobacco

Postby Roland » Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:23 pm

This post is a great idea!

Quitting as early as possible, when smoking the least, is ideal.

48 hours after my last smoke was the most extreme physical withdrawals, but after that it was only mental craving.

I think there are 2 types of change. Either one "chooses" to change or is forced to change. I almost died from smoking self rolled (and filterless) cigs. I was forced to quit, or I would have died. In that way, it was more simple because I had no choice. But also very difficult because I suffered hard for about a month and a half. Smoking was completely illogical beyond the normal concerns for me because I had asthma even before I started smoking and lived with pets who's dander I was allergic to. Eventually my lungs quit and closed up completely. Subsequently I had bronchitis for a month and a half while on heavy prescribed steroids which made me feel like a zombie (not that I know exactly what a zombie feels or doesn't feel. Maybe they are blissed out.) all day.

I would wish such an experience on no one. Although my case is rather extreme, I wish you good luck on your particular endeavor and I know it can be done!
"No tree becomes rooted and sturdy unless many a wind assails it. For by its very tossing it tightens its grip and plants its roots more securely; the fragile trees are those that have grown in a sunny valley."

--Seneca the Younger (57 BCE- 65 AD)
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Re: seven days with zero tobacco

Postby Modus.Ponens » Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:51 pm

Excelent resolution! You can do it. If you want help from meditation either focus on equanimity towards bodily sensations, or contemplate the drawbacks of smoking in your cushion time.

I hope you succeed! :)
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: seven days with zero tobacco

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:59 pm

Anumodana! Quitting smoking was the hardest and best thing I ever did for myself.
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
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Re: seven days with zero tobacco

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:52 pm

Good luck, hope it works out!
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Re: seven days with zero tobacco

Postby manas » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:46 pm

Day 2

Today won't be a struggle, in my experience day 2 is always good: the little pains in my head are gone, and my physical brain and mind are both clearer already. It's strange, I feel better and clearer without the stuff, yet after a few days, I know my body (or is it the mind, or both?) will 'feel like having one'.

My dear younger brother had a stroke last year. He can walk around again with the aid of a stick, and still has full use and strength in his right arm. But his left arm and hand, are not so good. This causes him much sadness. Although we do not know if it was smoking or another factor that caused him to have the stroke, he has now sworn off cigs for life, and needs no encouragement, despite his previous addiction being far worse than mine. I should not think myself immune from the risks inherent in smoking. Smoking does increase the risk of stroke. So, if I'm wise, I will quit now while it's still not too difficult. I don't want to let myself get strongly addicted. I sense that this could happen, because otherwise, why is it easy to give up for a few days, but hard to give up for a whole week?

So for today, things are still fine. Once again I appreciate the interest shown. :)

A few hours later...

Well this was unexpected. I feel like having a smoke! Damn. Maybe things are going to be a bit harder than I expected after all. But it's mild, like an 'i want' rather than a screaming mess in my head crying for it. The recollection of the sensation of drawing in the smoke enters my mind. I have to counter this with the recollection of images of the human brain, tender, soft and fragile, blemished with blood clots. Ok, move onwards and on to something productive. But no smoking! Today, I choose a healthier brain over a few minutes of dubious 'pleasure'.
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I could die today, and I don't want to die without having done
some citta-bhavana, so I will do some citta-bhavana today.
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Re: seven days with zero tobacco

Postby SarathW » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:54 am

Hi Manas
Congratulations! :twothumbsup:
I stopped smoking about 25 years ago. It is not an easy thing to do.
Not only you will improve your health, you will improve the health of the people around you as well.

So what are you planning to do with all the money you have saved now! :)
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Re: seven days with zero tobacco

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:09 am

Keep at it, chief.

:twothumbsup:

Metta,
Retro. :)
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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: seven days with zero tobacco

Postby marc108 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:49 pm

i think doing some smoking based contemplations will be useful and will help you build dispassion and dare i say ... aversion... towards smoking. perhaps contemplations on what it will be like to die of cancer, how much your love ones will suffer, or on the disease body parts (lungs, etc) themselves. good luck to you!

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Re: seven days with zero tobacco

Postby manas » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:43 pm

Day Three

I can't be too self indulgent here, because what I am attempting is easy compared with what a regular smoker would go through. I was only smoking 2 or 3 rollies a day. However, I imagine a packet a day habit would be like hell to give up.

Having said that, even this has it's challenges. Thank goodness it's hot here in Melbourne. My body is sweating out toxins, and so long as I keep hydrated, this all helps. And, the less I think about it, and just engage my mind in useful activities, the less of an issue this entire task is.

Right now, the remaining tobacco I had left is lying under a rock in an old abandoned quarry near my home. The place is wild and overgrown, so there are plenty of secluded locations and rocks under which one can hide things. It's wrapped in two layers of plastic, of course; wouldn't want it to get drenched if it rains now, would we...

I do know one thing already: if I had not made this topic, I would be walking there right now to claim it back. But the encouragement and support I've gotten here, plus my concern for my own dignity (in the fulfilling of a public promise made), keeps me going. It's only seven days.

So, I definitely recommend this method of publicly declaring and journalling one's resolve to give up smoking. I've got too much pride to go back on it, haha!

I am already contemplating a much harder step that I ought to take at some stage, the sooner the better: give up tobacco forever. This 'one week' thing is just a first step. But if had tried to abstain forever, I would not have been able to do it. That's why I began with an easily achievable goal. But I am dreading giving up forever...how does one lose the desire to smoke, permanently? Could an ex-smoker tell me, does the desire eventually fade and disappear for good? I hope so.

Never should have even started this filthy habit. That's the easiest strategy with smoking: don't start. It's a bad move. And if any guest or member thinks that 'processed chemical free' or 'organically grown' is any less addictive, I can tell you, don't be so sure.

metta :anjali:
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I could die today, and I don't want to die without having done
some citta-bhavana, so I will do some citta-bhavana today.
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Re: seven days with zero tobacco

Postby thaijeppe » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:47 am

Good job so far Manas

If you can stop for 7 days you can stop forever.
Don't start after the 7 days.
I stop smoking 16 month ago and I can tell you the first days are the worst and then it slowly fade away,
today I never think of it, and I feel as I haver never smoked.

Just keep up the good work, you will be so happy when you have abandon that habit

:anjali:
Jeppe
If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you
let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace. If you let go completely,
you will know complete peace and freedom.
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Re: seven days with zero tobacco

Postby Justsit » Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:10 am

You're kickin' it, Manas!

If I can do it, you can do it.

I grew up in a house with my dad, a three pack a day smoker. The ceiling was yellow over the chair where he sat. He died at 62 after 3 heart attacks. I swore I would never smoke, but when I got to college, somehow I started. Then I worked in bar for a number of years, before Smoke-eaters were invented. I smoked my own, and everybody else's too. I knew I should quit, but I didn't really want to quit, so my half-hearted attempts always ended in failure.
Then I started coughing up pieces of lung. I started to really want to quit.. Still, I was pretty well hooked, and didn't quite get around to it.

Until a guy challenged me.
We were sitting at the bar, and the conversation came around to smoking. We both smoked, and both thought we ought to quit. We teased each other for a while, and then he said..."I'll bet you $100 you can't quit." That did it.
I put the cigarette down and never intended to pick up another one

Well, I didn't quite figure on massive constipation. :tongue: Yes! No cup of coffee and a cigarette in the AM, no trip to the Ladies. For a week. I was so bloated I couldn't close my pants. In desperation, I caved. I smoked 1 butt with a cuppa, and well...success. But I was still determined to quit. So, forewarned being forearmed - I started drinking mass quantities of water for a day or two, then quit again. More water, more water, more water...then, more water.

That was 1982. I haven't smoked one cigarette since.

The jerk never gave me the $100 - he kept smoking.
I still think I won.
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Re: seven days with zero tobacco

Postby Roland » Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:35 am

manas wrote:Could an ex-smoker tell me, does the desire eventually fade and disappear for good? I hope so.


When I initially quit, I had been smoking about a half a pack per day. My lungs could never handle more than that. That was also the hardest to quit. For about a year, I dabbled with cigarettes, smoking 1 or 2 a week, then It would slowly increase to 1-3 per day. I realized I was getting sucked back into it and quit again, those time with no withdrawals. This cycle occurred about 2 or 3 times over the course of about a year after initially quitting. Eventually I decided I needed to stop feeding the cravings and worsening my already damaged and asthmatic lungs, so I stopped completely. After a while I didn't even think about smoking again except for the rare dream in which I would smoke a cig then wake up very disappointed in myself, even though I was a dream. After that until this day, I only thought about cigs when someone would ask me "are you still not smoking?" Or asking me if I still crave it, which I don't. So the cravings will dissipate. On the other hand, my grandmother quit smoking 25 years ago and still has the rare dream of smoking and subsequent waking up disappointed. It's scary how powerful the influence of nicotine is on one's mindstream.

Keep at it!

:namaste:
"No tree becomes rooted and sturdy unless many a wind assails it. For by its very tossing it tightens its grip and plants its roots more securely; the fragile trees are those that have grown in a sunny valley."

--Seneca the Younger (57 BCE- 65 AD)
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Re: seven days with zero tobacco

Postby Justsit » Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:09 am

Some scientists assert that nicotine is as addictive, if not more so, than heroin.
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Re: seven days with zero tobacco

Postby manas » Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:04 am

Day Five

Still going. Thanks all for the kind comments, I do appreciate every one of them. :anjali:

Once I realized that I had created something I could not, as I explained above, back out of, I decided that rather than 'endure' the cravings, which sounds like slow torture, I would use this week as an opportunity to practice Dhamma more intensively than usual. That way, my mind chafes a bit from the extra exertion, yes, but at least it is not thinking about smoking. I even forgot to check in to this topic yesterday, I was too busy listening to dhamma talks.

Only a few days to go now.

:anjali:
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I could die today, and I don't want to die without having done
some citta-bhavana, so I will do some citta-bhavana today.
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