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About Christian99

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  1. Christian99

    Failure on day 17

    All I want to (or feel that I can) add at this point is that, in 2001, I "lost" (the more appropriate phrase is "gave up") a quit of about 21 days. Somehow, I was able to marshal the energy to begin again. And seventeen-plus years later, my life has been transformed and literally saved by beginning again. All the best, and we know you can do it-- Christian99 17+ years quit
  2. Christian99

    What Freedom Means to Me !!!

    Freedom, for me, has been so surprisingly generative. During my quitting process, I developed skills that continue to help me when I face difficult circumstances, and frankly I never would have predicted that I would continue to reap the (non-physical) benefits so long after I was able to extinguish the associations and cravings related to smoking. Christian99 17 Years Quit
  3. Christian99

    Complexion a better color--not gray

    That was one of the very first (and quite unexpected) consequences of my quit. I really had no idea about my grey pallor until I began to see something very different emerging after a week or so into my quit. It was eye-opening! If you're like me, it'll be the first of many (ultimately endless) benefits you'll enjoy. Christian99 17 Years Quit
  4. Christian99

    Indecision causes me to crave smoking

    I'm not sure the distinction matters that much, but I'd argue that your indecision is as much an effect of recovery as a cause of a craving. I was extraordinarily indecisive and unfocused for quite some time in the early stages of my quit, and it would be wise to anticipate and plan for such symptoms moving forward. Don't feel like there's anything wrong with the quit if these experiences persist--they're frustrating for sure, but not at all atypical. Time is your friend in this process. Christian99 17 Years Quit
  5. Christian99

    Christian99 is 17 Years Smoke Free Today!!!

    Thanks, friends. :) Christian99 17 Years Quit
  6. Christian99

    Father died of emphysema last night

    My condolences on the passing of your father. Please do not confuse thinking of and planning for quitting for actually quitting and trying to save your life. I have seen hundreds (thousands?) of people over the years use lengthy preparation as an unconscious method of avoiding the actual quit. The time to quit is now, and every cigarette is damaging and potentially killing you. You have everything you need to be successful right now. Christian99 Nearing 17 Years Quit
  7. Christian99

    What worked for you?

    In my own case, there was no lightbulb, and I felt exactly like you in your four month failed quit. I'm just a stubborn mofo, and I kept persisting, believing in my process, which included pretty dramatic changes to my diet and daily exercise. At some point (around 12-15 months), I simply stopped thinking about smoking. I share my experience because I firmly believe that it isn't necessary to change one's thinking at the outset (and may, in fact, be inconsistent with the personalities of certain kinds of people); instead, it's also possible to QUIT one's way into a lifetime quit. Christian99 Nearing 17 Years Quit
  8. Christian99

    What's so great about not smoking?

    I had no idea--and I think few smokers do--of how the benefits would continue to emerge many years after the quit. The quit helped/forced me to develop psychological resources that I still draw on today when I face different kinds of challenges. Relatedly, I'm more patient, humble, and humane, and these things have made me a better friend, spouse, father, and teacher. Now, I'm also more than a decade and a half older than I was when I quit, and I guess I'd hope that I'd grow as a person in such time regardless of quitting smoking; however, I'm convinced that the quit has directly impacted much of these positive changes--especially since I regularly use explicit imagery of my quit success to inspire or calm myself. Christian99 16 1/2 Years Quit
  9. Christian99

    WOW !!! 5 years smoke free !!!!

    So fricking awesome, Doreen. You're an inspiration, friend. Christian99
  10. Christian99

    1 August - World Lung Cancer Day

    Please quit. My brother died a terrible death from lung cancer at age 41. Christian99 16 1/2 Years Quit
  11. Christian99

    Increase Smoking Bans and Regulations

    By the way, the very best book I've read on the subject and the one that has most influenced my thinking on the issue is Robert Proctor's Golden Holocaust: Origins of the Cigarette Catastrophe and the Case for Abolition (U of CA P, 2010). I wouldn't call it a beach read (I'd characterize the genre as academic cultural history), but it's definitely worth one's time and attention. C99
  12. Christian99

    Increase Smoking Bans and Regulations

    No, I definitely don't hold this position with regard to alcohol (and, for that matter, cannibas, though that's a different issue entirely). I haven't thought much about the alcohol issue, but I'd say that a guiding principle for me is whether there's a reasonable chance that moderate use of a product won't lead to significant harm. Commerical tobacco fails that test for me in a couple of ways: given its toxicity there's really no safe or least health-neutral consumption of cigarettes; more importantly, the product is absolutely designed to render moderate use impossible. I wouldn't say that's the case with alcohol (which isn't to say that many lives haven't been ruined by it). Cigarettes and their industry just strike me as uniquely offensive and deadly and warrant a special remedy, and we should be smart and courageous enough to figure out a way to eliminate them. I know my position is pretty aggressive and strident (maybe others would use a different adjective than "pretty!"), and people who read/hear it (especially those who don't know me in person) sometimes infer that I'm on some sort of nanny-state crusader. I don't think I'm deluding myself when I say that I actually tend toward libertarianism when it comes to drugs and alcohol. But given the history, carnage, and (industry) immorality of global tobacco, I can't in good conscience situate the mass produced cigarette in the category of other substances whose restrictions should be modest at best. By the way, I'm really intrigued by your idea to require a license to purchase tobacco; if done well, the "continuing education" piece could be a crucial moment to get quitting resources in the hands of smokers and showing that quitting is, in fact, possible. I'm not at all opposed to an incremental approach like this that leads to my ultimate goal. C99
  13.    Sorry...I was trying to fill out my profile and mistakenly posted it here initially.  

  14. Christian99

    Increase Smoking Bans and Regulations

    I am a proud and unapologetic tobacco abolitionist, particularly when we're talking about commercially produced tobacco products (I'm a bit more flexible/noncommittal when it comes to folks growing their own for their own use, primarily because it's through the processing that companies have been able to manipulate the chemistry of the product for maximum addictiveness), and I support an agenda that ultimately makes commercially produced products completely illegal (and ultimately irrelevant and anachronistic). The approach would need to phased in allow for the continued practice of adult smokers who, at the time of enactment, "choose" to continue, though substantial resources would be directed to provide cessation support to them. Individuals who are not of age at the time of the "structured elimination" would not be permitted to purchase or consume the products. The easy and tired and hysterical references to "PROHIBITION" (that is, "We can't possibly eliminate tobacco because look what happened when we tried with alcohol!") simply doesn't apply to this situation, in large part because the global tobacco industry literally has no precedent for the deception, manipulation, and immorality of which it has shown itself capable in its advocacy for a product that killed at least 100 million people in the 20th Century. And every time someone pauses to consider the (completely fictitious) threat on personal freedom that restriction or prohibition of tobacco seems to imply, it's another example of the extraordinary success of the decades-long rhetorical strategy of the industry of linking smoking with powerful ideals like "freedom" and "liberty." We regulate and prohibit things all the time in the name of public health, and I don't hear too many clamoring for the "freedom" to eat food with lysteria or botulism, or--perhaps slightly more relevantly--to have unfettered access to cocaine or bath salts. The difference, of course, is the bewildering amount of money and rhetorical energy spent in legitimizing and normalizing the cigarette. I'm pretty convinced that the world's position on and use of commercial tobacco will be among a small number of crucial issues (and ultimately disgraces) by which future generations will characterize the previous century. I'm hopeful that its eradication in our current century will be one of the things by which the 21st is remembered. Christian99 16 1/2 Years Quit
  15. Christian99

    Preparing for a difficult situation

    I agree that it's a really good sign that you're trying to think through some of the dimensions of this in advance and develop some strategies in case things get dicey. I guess I just want to strike a slightly different note/tone, though (to complement not to undermine others' remarks): that is, given the circumstances you describe, it's possible you WILL have some very unsettling stretches during and even after his visit, despite the terrific advice you've gotten and your best of intentions going in. This is an enormously powerful addiction with deep affective registers, which, at one (glorious!) month quit, you're still unraveling. His presence and all it conjurs may twist and obscure its meanings and your commitment. I say all this in large part to remind you to be vigilant, humble, and absolutely ruthless in your abstinence. Regardless of how the visit goes (and I hope it's awesome), nothing is more important than the quit. Christian99 About 16 1/2 Years Quit

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