Monday, July 14, 2014

The first week... Its time to quit!

Here is where it all begins. Giving up after 14 years.

Monday

 It's the first day of quitting smoking for me, so far it hasn't gone too bad. The worst part of it is waiting... The cravings aren't too bad though, I am able to manage it pretty well actually. I have been trying to keep busy when I feel like I want a cigarette and that in itself has helped tremendously. The worst is when I am sitting at the computer with a nice hot cup of coffee like right now. I want one, I guess because it has become so natural to me to smoke at these times. It had become a habit that when I was drinking coffee I would also be having a cigarette. But my willpower is stronger than my habit and I will stop smoking. There is no question in my mind about it, it has to happen not just for myself but for the rest of my family.

The Numbers

  I figured while the kids were taking their naps I would go over some of the numbers of my habit. These figures are based on smoking a pack a day, sometimes I smoked more sometimes less but I figured averaging it out would make it a bit easier to figure out the math.

14 years of smoking a pack a day turned out to be 102,200 cigarettes. WHAT!!! Oh my god that is a lot!

If you figure about five minutes per cigarette and smoking 102,200 in the past 14 years... I have wasted 511,000 minutes of my life smoking, roughly 8,516 hours I will never get back... Which turns out to be almost 355 days, that is close to a year of my life thrown away from smoking. 

14 years is 5,110 days and figure the average cost per pack is say $4.50... Wow that is $22,995.00 I  am honestly astounded... That's enough for a car or a house somewhere, and all of it just went up in smoke...

Those are some of the numbers, I am sure I could come up with some more. But right now I need to get back to my duties as a stay at home dad and get some chores done. 

Tuesday

The second day is almost over and I am going strong, keeping to my routine only smoking once every hour. Unlike yesterday I have noticed little cravings once in awhile between hours. Though they arent that bad, I have a feeling they are going to start getting worse though but I am going to fight my way through them no matter how bad they get. I am on the path to quitting and I am going to keep following it until I have smoked my last cigarette.

Wednesday

What a day it has been, the kids think it is a day to run rampant and try and test how far they can push the parents buttons. As far as quitting smoking goes I am still rocking it out only smoking one cigarette a hour. The cravings aren't going away between cigarettes actually I think they may be getting a little worse but it's kind of hard to tell right now. I have been thinking about this coming Monday, I will start smoking only one cigarette every two hours. I am not sure how it's going to work out, I haven't made it that far when I tried quitting like this in the past. Though I am going to succeed because it is time to quit and be smoke free. Positive thinking is my best friend at the moment!

Thursday and Friday

Things got off track.... Seriously off track, I had been doing so well with sticking to my quit plan. Unfortunately I had run out of cigarettes during the middle of the day while Anna was at work Thursday, It was seriously hard the kids had seemed to be doing every little thing they could to test my limits. Though honestly I am not sure it may have been the fact that I was craving a cigarette so bad when Anna had got home. In the end I had failed, I smoked 2 within 45 minutes of her being home. Friday wasn't any better, I was back to smoking on a regular basis and not the once a hour I was trying to keep to. 

The end? No not really.

I had failed yet again, it has taken me awhile to bring you up to date with this blog. I think part of it is because I was ashamed of myself. It's a really sucky feeling to know you have failed at something you want to do so bad. I want to quit and know that I need to but it is so hard. Life has been so stressful and smoking only adds to it. I am fighting a mental war with this, and I have lost this battle. But in the end I will end the war, I have to re-organize and strike out again. attacking the problem head on, I am going to try again and succeed no matter how many times I have to try. My allies are there for me to help me through this, and together I know we can win! So today I will begin again and as I said before no matter how much I have to I will keep trying to quit until I am victorious!

To those of you out there who are also trying to quit and having a hard time, you are not alone and there are others who know just how hard it is. If anyone has fought this war and won please feel free to comment below about how you succeeded, things that may have worked for you and may work for someone else. If you know anyone who is trying to quit please feel free to share this with them so that they can know they aren't alone! Thanks for reading I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A stay at home dad giving up after 14 years

My Affair

  I've been having an affair for almost twice as long as I have been a father. For 14 years of my adult life I have been cheating not only on myself but on everyone I have loved. It all started when I was 18, I was working for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. I was young and impressionable. I wanted to fit in with the rest of the guys around me. I didn't really think it was cool or anything, it just sorta felt more like I belonged. Most of the guys I knew were doing it and I honestly didn't see anything wrong with it. I do know there were many times when I had trouble finding the time, there were countless wasted moments....

 But they were always there when I needed them, No matter what the trouble was I could count on them. When I needed someone to listen they didn't say a word, just listened to my problems and we came up with quite a few solutions together. Over the years it has become more than an affair.... It has become more of an obsession. It has become an absolute need, the 5 minutes that I was able to steal away from my wife and kids. But it isn't just 5 minutes, The time adds up 5 minutes here and there doesn't seem like much but it really is. five minutes at a time 20 times a day is almost 2 hours I have been cheating us all out of everyday.

And do I feel guilty stealing this time away from us.I absolutely do, but I really didn't realize I was doing it. I don't think anyone really does. It controls us telling us we have to have that time the 5 minutes whether it is raining or shinning, it doesn't matter if it is 101 degrees or 11 degrees. I have sacrificed my time in all manner of extremes. And all just for a cigarette.

It's been a long time coming

 The thing about it is that I have been trying to quit on and off for a few years now, most of the time without any success whatsoever. It maybe easy for some people to just up and quit, and there maybe things out there who have helped others quit successfully, but none of that has worked for me. I've tried the e-cigs, the patches, the gum, and pretty much everything else you can think of short of getting a prescription for something. All the ways I have tried hadn't worked, be it because there was someone smoking around me or simply because I had easy access to them. One of the ways I had tried and had the most success was a design of my own, The basic idea was one cigarette per hour for a week, Then changing it to one cigarette per two hours the next week. And basically continuing on from there slowly kicking the habit.

  I had started out making myself wait to smoke, I would only allow myself to smoke  one cigarette a hour. and while by myself without anyone else smoking around me it worked great. however when I was around other people it was quite hard to make myself commit to the only one per hour rule. Especially when I would be sitting there waiting on the guys I was working with to get done smoking before we got back to working. I had fought through 3 weeks of this and did pretty well, however in the end I was still smoking.

Losing the control

 I would be willing to bet that every single person who has smoked or smokes now knows just how bad it can be for them, I knew and there were quite a few times it had crossed into my thought's while I was smoking. And even when I was sitting there thinking about it I would still be taking another drag off my smoke. The thought didn't phase me, I knew it was bad for me and what kind of stuff it could do to my body. The thought of getting something like cancer didn't even really concern me when it came right down to it I wanted the nicotine from that cigarette. No it was really more the feeling that I had to have the cigarette. My willpower had been beaten to a pulp over 14 years and I was no longer in control of my smoking habit. It had control of me. 

 Normally I am a strong willed person and when I put my mind to something I get it done. But I had become a slave to the cigarette. Which is most certainly not something that is easy for me to admit. However it is the truth. My smoking had stopped becoming I want a cigarette and turned into I need a cigarette, when it wasn't there I craved the next one, even to the point of not being able to wait. I would get antsy and fidgety craving the next drag off of a cigarette.

The thought just occurred to me...

 When did I lose control of smoking.... Was I ever really in control of it? When I was younger and had just started smoking it wasn't really a problem to go a few hours without a cigarette, I know I didn't feel the need to smoke like I do now when I go a long time without one. Then again it could possibly be a situation where the longer you smoke the more you want it... Regardless it's something that needs to stop.

But where to start?

 I know cold turkey isn't going to work, I have tried it more than once without success. The first day wasn't so bad, I had some cravings I wanted to smoke but I didn't have to have it. The second day I really wanted a smoke with my coffee like REALLY wanted it. I made it through that part of the day without too much difficulty, but by the end of the day I was craving a cigarette so bad I could taste it. My hands were shaking, I was grinding my teeth, and getting snappy with everyone in the house. It wasn't their fault and I knew that but it just seemed that every little thing would set me off. I felt like a real... Well there are quite a few very inappropriate words I could use to describe how I felt about myself afterwards. Which we won't be mentioning here but I am sure you can figure some of them out. The third day well, The third day was torture it's really incredible how something so small as a cigarette can have such a major impact on you and your outlook on life. 

 The cravings were so intense and it wasn't just short little bursts of cravings like the first two days, no these lasted all day from the time I got up to the time I went to sleep and laid there for a couple hours wishing I had a cigarette, feeling that I needed that smoke had to have it. The need to smoke kept me up for a couple extra hours that night. I couldn't get my mind to stop telling me I had to have it. 

 Of the countless ways out there to quit smoking I think the best way is to use my quitting method. The first week, start out with only letting myself smoke one cigarette a hour, and only allowing myself to smoke outside. Then the second week only one cigarette every two hours, the third week every three hours. until I get down to one cigarette a day, then the week after NONE! 

  I think I can do it this way. No wait I KNOW I can do it this way I have to have the mindset to quit as well I need to program it into my mind to unravel the need to have a smoke.  Just coming up with a plan to quit isn't going to work. There is a need for the will power as well. The want, need, desire, and ability to quit, it's here and I will do it. Not just for myself, though that is a very valid reason. I have to do this for my kids and my wife. 

Stay tuned...

There will be more to come, I will be keeping up with this blog and updating everyone as the weeks pass. I honestly hope that this may help someone else with quitting smoking, I know just how hard it is to do. Even if it only helped one person that would be amazing. So please feel free to share with your friends and comments are always welcome below. Thanks for reading, Have a great day.

This is my entry for the first week.... I know it has been awhile since I had originally posted this, and the explanation is in this thread. The first week.
  

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Fish Tails

 As the stay at home parent its also my job to take care of the four legged animals and the fishy ones. We currently have a full blooded Chihuahua, a mixed Chihuahua \ Miniature Pinscher, a full blooded Miniature Pinscher, and a Shiba Inu Mixed with something else. Those are the four legged hooligans we have running around. In the fish tank we have two fantail goldfish and a black moor goldfish, as well as 14 ghost shrimp and three snails.

 Recently one of our goldfish started showing signs of distress black coming in on his fins and a couple little patches on his side. Since he had just got over a case of Ich and Swim Bladder Disease. I know poor guy has had it rough lately. I had just assumed it was coloring showing he had gotten over a sickness like they do sometimes. last week I was watching Doctor Who (Which is what rebel decided to name her fish.) Though I do really enjoy the show as well. 

 I noticed his tail fin was showing signs of coming apart, for a week there was no change. I had been keeping a close eye on him and it wasn't getting worse it was staying the same. just two little bits missing out of his tail fin. I decided to put him in a hospital tank and start a treatment with him, this way I'm not medicating the fish who are still healthy and showing no sign of illness. 

There was a problem with this idea though... I didn't have another filter I could use for the hospital tank. After doing some research and some thinking I came up with a idea for a impromptu bacteria filter. I gathered material I had laying around the house. 

-An empty fish food container.
-Some extra fish tank rock.
-A bath Loofah

  And naturally any chance I get to use a power tool I will take it so I also broke out my 18 volt drill, and a 1\8" drill bit.

Bottom of the food container

Bottom again to allow
for airflow

Side with holes drilled


I started by drilling a hole in the middle of the bottom, since the drill bit I was using was too small for the air hose to go through I had to made it a little bigger with a knife. Then I made the holes in the side this way the water can come into the filter at the bottom. I added the holes at the top for letting water and air escape. the filter. As a after thought I pulled the filter back out and added some holes in the screw on cap to increase water flow into the filter.

Added rock into the top
And the loofah sits in the bottom














After all the drilling and cleaning off the spurs of plastic (sandpaper works great) and don't forget to rinse it. I added the rocks into the top for weight and put the loofah in the bottom around the air stone. Which is where the bacteria will be living in theory...

The whole concept
After watching the filter while writing this blog I discovered putting a little rock in the bottom as well helps to stabilize the filter, the filter had kept flipping on it's side but now it seems to be standing upright like I intended it to.  I hope you enjoyed this small blog about my homemade filter and you found it useful in some way. Please feel free to share with your friends. If you have any thought's or comments please let us know. As always thanks for reading, I hope you have a wonderful day.