Déjà Brew


Three years or so ago, a friend asked me to help him in his efforts to quit smoking—he wanted moral support. I’ve always thought that supporting someone is always more effective when done actively, so I told him that since I didn’t smoke I would stop drinking coffee instead. Anyone who knows about my coffee lust would understand that this was a HUGE sacrifice for me. But I didn’t mind. My friend had developed severe respiratory issues because of the smoking and I wanted to help him reclaim his health.

The first few days were torture. My brain resented the lack of caffeine and it showed its anger via migraine-like headaches. I was irritated all the time. Going to the bathroom… let’s just say that the whole thing was a nightmare. But after a week without my beloved brew, I was fine biologically, even if spent a lot of my writing time fantasizing about sweet, hot French vanilla coffee…
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Whenever I found myself reaching for a cup, I would remember that my friend needed me—the thought kept me honest. One day, my friend and I met up for tea. I gave him a hug. He smelled like cigarette smoke. I didn’t say a word, but the glare on my face cursed him out in several languages.

“I’m sorry,” he said.

I sighed. “When did you start smoking again?”

Silence…

“You, little shit!” I shrieked. “You never stopped, did you?”

I was so mad at him that I walked out. That was a long time ago, and I forgave him. Then he called me yesterday. He has been seeing a guy who doesn’t care for smoking, so he wants help quitting.

“No,” I told him.

He sent me blackmail studies detailing the dangers of coffee. I counterattacked with article after article explaining the benefits of drinking on the dark-side. I sent him deep coffeeology thoughts.
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But all quirkiness aside, today I’m sending him a link to this post and a more serious message:
My sweet B, I know you want to stop smoking to please your guy, and I know that your intentions are true. I won’t help you by quitting coffee so that “we can suffer together.” If I remember correctly, and I do, the last time I suffered all by myself (read above). But I want to help by saying that if you really wish to put out the smokes forever, love is the best of all incentives. However, it should be love for yourself first and then for anyone else. 

So… I’m hoping this works for B. Three years ago, he wanted to quit because of the same guy. They broke up a few days into B’s cessation efforts, so my friend gave up. I think he might find success, if the motivations are his health and happiness. What do you think, my Wicked Luvs?  
“I do believe [coffee] fairies! I do! I do!”
and in you, B

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49 comments:

  1. Dear B, if you truly want to quit, then do it for YOURSELF, do it for your health, your quality of life, for YOU out of love for yourself, for in this sincere effort to improve your life out of love for you and no other, will you succeed. Wishing you blessings of strength towards a healthier happier life. <3

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    1. Indeed. When we do something for another, the efforts tend to stay attached to that individual. Not only that, if we fail we might resent the person... It's a difficult situation.

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  2. I hope your friend is successful in his efforts to quit this time and I hope it sticks. My mom was a smoker for 40+ years, and I and my children beg her to quit for many years. She now has COPD and is dying, and it was 10 years into her disease before she quit. I never want to know another soul who suffers the way she does just for the sake of smoking.

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    1. I'm sorry your mom is so sick, Ash-Lynn. I hope she is not in too much pain. Addiction is so devastating, and often times more to the person who love (and suffer for) the addict.

      Hugs and healing to you and to your family.

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  3. I had wondered what had been keeping you busy all day. Seems like a good cause though. :)

    I would give you Dragon's method for quitting, that has worked for others he's helped... but it's kinda militant and I won't post it on a public forum.

    My thought is that maybe a good round of research - not into the damaging effects of it, but the aftermath of quitting - the physiological specifics, and the fact that the herb Lobelia can assist with the psychological withdrawals. Or the fact that the body produces nicotine naturally, and the physiological withdrawal symptoms are because the brain ceases to produce nicotine when there's an external source of it, so the symptoms occur because the brain is getting used to having to produce nicotine by itself again...

    *ahem* anyway, my point is that maybe some specific knowledge and understanding of what he'll be going through will help him face it with a little more peace and maybe have a bit better time of it? I know that facing something like that - a huge physiological change - can be terrifying, but understanding it can take some of the scare out of its sails... like you said, Magaly: "drag those monsters kicking and screaming out from under the bed..."

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    1. We did spend quite a bit of time trying to figure things out ;-)

      B has been going through this for a long time. He started smoking when he was 12 or 13 (his first cigarettes were pilfered from his mother). In 2009, I gave him a gift certificate to a smoking cessation retreat (okay, it was a spa lol) that focused on how happy the body, the mind, and the wallet would be after the person stopped smoking. It didn't work. But I'm thinking that it was because his heart wasn't into it. I'm hoping things will be different this time around.

      I'm still refusing to quit coffee to help him, but I will do everything else to help expose his monsters.

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  4. Your answer is the best - first love yourself and value your health, then others. I have an example of my husband's cousin, whose wife told me that she put a question like this: either me or smoking..and he quit. Lucky she, however I don't believe that simply making a person to choose between his love and love for smoking will really stop this habit. It is person's own wish and realization that this habit has bad consequences.
    I wish all the best to B and he is lucky to have you as his friend. I'm sure he will fight smoking and will win!
    I myself addicted to coffee and it's been few days I haven't had it..but it is okay now. I substitute with black and green tea - they taste good too!
    That coffee fairy and the first one deja-brew - lovely illustration of our addiction :)
    Have a wonderful day, Magaly!
    Hugs!

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    1. My ex-husband was a smoker when I met him. I told him that I wouldn't go on a date with him, if he didn't quit. The truth is that I wouldn't be able to--the smell of cigarette smoke makes me sick to my stomach, and I didn't think it would be effective to date someone whose scent would make me want to puke. I understand the lady's request, and they are both lucky that he was able to quit. I pray he embraces the change and make it something that he is proud of.

      Coffee is the brew of the gods (and of this witchy woman lol). I like tea, but coffee is my old time love. However, if my old time love hurt my health, I would kick it to the curb. I, for instance, love bread. Left to my own devices, I would eat a couple of loaves every day. But my body can't process bread very well, and it turns it into fat faster than I can say toast and jam. I have many health issues that would be made worse if I gained weight, so I only eat bread a couple of times a year or none a all. I know it's not the same as an addiction, but trust me it takes a LOT of discipline not to sink my teeth into warm French bread when I smell it.

      Hugs!

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    2. Yes, bad smell from a partner can be a problem...it is good when you can fix it.
      Brew of Gods - i Like it! I believe that everything is good in limits - like sugar, salt, chocolate coffee and bread. I started eating much less meat and bread here in India, and I feel it is actually good for me. Thanks to my destiny :)
      I hope your friend would read all this and finds his way.
      (does my Hugs! look as lonely as yours?) I better say - Have an awesome day! Bless you, dear Magaly!

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    3. He has been reading all the comment with huge eyes. It's hilarious lol

      And your "Hugs!" never look lonely, they come surrounded by warm smiles ;-)

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  5. I think changing anything because of anone else but one self is futile. Still I wish your friend the best of luck, for smoking is really disgusting (and from brief experience I can say that kissing a smoker is like licking through a dirty ashtray).

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  6. To stop smoking is a difficult task. They are more addictive than narcotics!! I know...I smoked for many many years. After several attempts to stop I finally decided that I was being stupid. I have severe asthma!! Duh!! So I threw all smoking products away...cleaned the carpet and draperys and washed the walls down. No trace of smell...then it began. Withdrawal! Awful! Spent many hours in bathroom, night sweats, shakes, hunger!! After two weeks, symptoms finally eased up. But I never picked them up and I never did the patches either. Cold turkey. The best way! Haven't smoked since....twenty years now! You have to want to and only you. Doing it for someone never works...never!!
    Good luck to your friend. And kudos to you for taking that journey with him...even though he didn't travel it! Sheesh!
    Hugs
    SueAnn

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    1. I'm proud of you and then some, dear SueAnn! And I will be proud of you every day. It takes a very strong person to quit smoking cold turkey, so I know that you have brains, guts and soul. I hope B reads this and understands that he isn't been weak because it is so hard to quit, he is just being human. Now he has to become a superhero, like you, and fly above the smoke.

      Many hugs ;-)

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  7. He has to quit for himself not for someone else, you are quite right. I was a heavy smoker for years and quit by using acupuncture, vitamin B12 shots and a record of how much money I was saving. But it isn't easy, I wish him the best.

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    1. I bet the "record of how much money" you got to keep helped a lot. I can't believe how expensive cigarettes are. Insane!

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  8. Send him here. http://www.mtbakervapor.com/electronic-cigarette-starter-kits/

    The initial investment is big, I won't lie. But, as a smoker, I can tell you that the worst part of quitting is the 4000 OTHER chemicals in cigarettes, not the nicotine. People can argue all the want, but there's a reason that some smokers have gotten down to vaping 0 nicotine. Including me. With vaping, he can get rid of the other 4000 chemicals, improve his lung function (I"m an asthmatic, and mine have), stop smelling like a used and abused ashtray, and taper the nicotine down gradually instead of just quitting cold turkey. I would send him here, too. http://www.reddit.com/r/electronic_cigarette/

    Quitting smoking isn't easy unless you're committed, but vaping will help dramatically!

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    1. I sent him your link. I'm wondering that if he can't quit the habit, at least he can quit the smell.

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  9. Go for it, B! Remember, you only have to resist ONE cigarette -- the NEXT one. Just keep resisting that one cigarette for the rest of your life.

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    1. Indeed! That next one is the killer!

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  10. B sounds a lot like my former soninlaw. He refuses to attempt exercising because he 'can't afford' a personal trainer. His thinking goes along the lines of 'I need someone to tell me what to do & harass me into doing it or I won't do it'. I call 'rot'. If B truly wants to quit smoking, then he will make a good faith attempt by himself. Support of friends is a wonderful thing, but the only thing needed is his Will.

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    1. Also, it is very hard to embrace the change when one is trying to depend on someone else. It is nice to have someone to lean on, but we still need to take those very important steps on our own.

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  11. I think you're right on the money. Years ago when Dh and I first got together we made a deal. I would quit smoking cold turkey because I had only been smoking for a year and wasn't all that addicted. He had been smoking for many years and his journey would be harder. So he said he'd use the patch method to quit.

    I did quit smoking. It wasn't that difficult for me. Dh did not. BOOO. I'm convinced that a "quit smoking buddy" does not work. You must quit smoking for you and no one else.

    DH is quitting smoking again. He's using Chantax this time and so far he's been cig free for 10 days. Yay. :)

    I also think I should have bought you that Starbucks gift card I started to buy for your birthday. I didn't because I wasn't sure if you drank coffee. lol

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    1. I hope your husband can go all the way and stay off the smokes. It will save so much money! Just imagine the things you guys can do with it...

      And it's probably a good thing I didn't get Starbucks gift card, as I only drink my (cheap and) delicious home-brewed Folgers French Vanilla yumminess. I know, my classiness and chicness extend to my coffee habits lol

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    2. OH well that makes me feel better for being a cheap ass and only saying Happy bday. lol

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  12. Any change we make has to start in the heart, and in the head - being true to ourselves. Once again, intent is everything.

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    1. No one can destroy intent. It is the reason that even when we mean well, if our intent is focused on something else, then things don't quite work out.

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  13. He has to want to quit on himself. No one can help him but himself. I had some in my family that quit cold turkey and others it took awhile. But they did it because they were sick of it or it saved them money and saved there health. You were brave the first time because I couldn't give up my coffee. I love coffee to much to give it up. Coffee is my habit that I love. :)

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    1. If coffee made me sick, like soda pop and certain foods do, then I would quit--there is nothing I like more than myself. But coffee and I exist in harmony and pure love, so... yum!

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  14. Even in the face of harm, we continue to do things that are bad for us. It is only when an awakening of self love occurs are we empowered to change behaviors. B.....love you first then and only then will you be able to quit because you are worth it. Endeavor to persevere. Oma Linda
    I quit drinking coffee 7 months ago....I had to and so I did. Still smells good but isn't worth the pain. Quit smoking 35 years ago, can't stand to be near anyone who smells like smoke. Sure wish I could quit eating......

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    1. I think it is one of the reasons some people stay in abusive relationships--they just don't love themselves enough to see how much they matter. I would not stay with someone or something that hurt me. So I'm glad you quit the coffee. I did the same with soda. It was delicious, but it hurt my kidneys, so goodbye. I still look at it longingly when I see it...

      I have never wished I could stop eating, but I probably should stop wishing that I could quit eating so much ice cream, sweets and cheese lol

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  15. Totally agree with you...I would have bought a coffee and poured it over him!!!..and the cheek of the guy , asking you to help him again! He has to quit because he wants to , not because he thinks someone else wants him to. Tell him to try those electric ciggys, I hear they are very good :D XXX

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    1. I was tempted to hit him with the teapot, but I'm cheap, um... thrifty enough to remember that if I broke something I had to pay for it lol

      I'm hearing a lot about these electronic cigarettes. I hope he tries them and forgets the nasties.

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  16. You are so right my friend! You have to quit for you! You have to love yourself first and do it for you! Don't do it for someone else, it doesn't work!!!
    I don't drink coffee Magaly. Actually, the smell gives me a headache! But, my brother is like you! If I take his coffee from him, he would probably break something, and hopefully it wouldn't be me! LOL!

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    1. I'm right there with your brother. Anyone who tries to get between me and my brew these days will suffer *muahahahahah * lol

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  17. "However, it should be love for yourself first and then for anyone else."

    Exactly! And, B, you can do it. My mum quit cold-turkey 27 years ago when my cousin's son was born. She got winded carrying my then 2 year old godson up the stairs to check on the baby, announced she'd smoked her last cigarette, and that was that. She decided she loved the idea of being able to play with the babies more than she loved smoking... so, yes, you can do it, too! Maybe not cold turkey like my mum -- I only wish my determined streak was half as big as hers *wink*.

    My Elder Beast (son) is doing the electronic cigarettes to wean himself off the others. He seems favourably impressed with them and his clothes smell 100% better.

    As for coffee... Nectar of the Gods. I save my enjoyment of it for long, lazy weekend mornings when I can linger in bed reading and delighting in the aroma and taste.

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    1. Your mom (and other great ladies who have commented today) are true heroines. I watched many of my clients try to quit smoking and failing every time. Addiction is a terrible monster to battle. B

      So glad your boy gave up the nasties. I hope he can give up the replacement soon.

      Ambrosia is just another name for coffee ;-D

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  18. Whatever it is you're quitting, motivation is the key. I've quit two tobacco habits, and smoking was the easy one. There's no point in smoking when you're coughing so bad you can't inhale the smoke :) and I said I was going to quit the snuff when I got pregnant, so I did. The first three days are the worst, after that it gets a lot easier.

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    1. I bet your babe is really proud of you. I sure am ;-)

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  19. Oh boy can I relate to this one! Quit smoking cold turkey years ago ~ that was tough but I cared too much (about myself) not to. *smile* Now coffee is another thing ~ yep, those migraines and I are well acquainted and those faeries? Girls after my own heart... *smile*
    Your approach was perfect~ bravo!
    ♥Sharon

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    1. The more we interact, the prouder I feel of my circle. So many strong souls... one can't help but smile and be grateful for the blessings ;-)

      And have some coffee, of course... to celebrate!

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  20. Coffee is my dark mistress, too....can't dream of a life without her :)

    ....and yes, your friend has to be doing it for himself...or only folly will ensue.

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    1. "Coffee is my dark mistress"! Yum!! I might have to steal those words, or at least borrow them a few times a day--delicious!!!

      B has been doing a lot of reading these days *cough, cough* He told me, "My goodness your blog people are relentless." I laughed, he sounded a bit scared lol

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  21. You are a wise and wonderful friend sweetie. AND - those coffeeology thoughts are hilarious! Dan will love them. He is an espresso junkie.

    Speaking as a woman who smoked for 29 years and quit (after 569.56 attempts) just 6 years ago, yes...only doing it for yourself is the real key. When I was diagnosed with lupus and told that smoking increased my risk of organ failure due to the disease by 50%, that was my incentive. I am not afraid to pass over, but I am terrified of suffering, both for myself or those who love me. Today, I am so happy to be free from that addiction. Now, where's my coffee cup? ;-)

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  22. You can do it, B! (Magaly, I'd be pissed too that I suffered alone the first time.) As a reformed smoker, I'll tell you that once you quit for good, the smell of cigarette smoke will make you nauseous 9 times out of 10. The other time you'll crave one like crazy...resist it. You'll respect yourself more and you won't stink, be rotting your lungs or the lungs of others. I won't lie to you; it ain't easy, but it's worth it.

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    1. He is trying. I talked to him last night and... well, he is cranky. It is to be expected (he can't go to the bathroom, his head hurts, and he doesn't know what to do with his fingers) poor thing. But I'm proud of him. And I keep on sending him all the comments to this post, over and over and over lol

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  23. I would have killed him! I only gave up coffee when I was pregnant till I complained to my OB of constant migraines and not being able to function at work and she goes DRINK YOUR COFFEE! lol.

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