So how did I do it? Well first of all a big thanks to Katherine of Explore Books in Aspen. I told her I did not want to quit smoking because I did not want to gain weight. This was about 15 years ago. Katherine looked me in the eyes and calmly said: "you know Lisa, it's not an either or situation." I have held on to that for 15 years, and when I did quit for a time, she was absolutely right, in fact I LOST weight. The other person I want to thank is my friend Barrie in OKC. About 6 months ago I began to really start trying to quit smoking. I would make it all day without a fag and then I'd have one. And the next day the same thing and then on the third or fourth day I would swan dive right back into the ashtray. This was going of day after day, week after week: It was torture. But Barrie said to me that every time I quit I am that much closer to staying quit. And let me tell you, I fucking held on to that too. Every time I "failed" at the end of the day, I'd repeat Barrie's words like a mantra
Now there were other people along the road who said just the opposite, to wit: that I would gain an average of X amount of pounds and that each time I quit and picked up a cigarette again that I was getting closer to never ever quitting. I'm glad I tuned in to Katherine and Barrie.
The next piece of the puzzle is to NEVER, EVER date a Smoker again. Especially the man version of crack cocaine, even if he is wrapped up in a pretty six-pack ripped package. It's still snogging an ashtray and there is nothing really appealing about that, except perhaps to another ashtray.
So how did it happen? I finally got it. I could not do it. At least not by myself. I started crying and said to a friend, I can't do this and I want so bad to be free from this slavery to Big Tobacco. She said to ask whatever version of God I believed in to help me. And I did. And four days later I was getting ready for bed and realized that I had not smoked one cigarette all day, and that I was ready to get into bed and turn out the light. And so I did.
This is the huge advantage of living in the buckle of the Bible Belt. People pray without shame. Anywhere. Even in Starbucks.