introduction to the tales

tales from the quit is a collection of stories, essays, rambles, and rants written as part of the process of winning back my freedom from my addiction to nicotine. i smoked for 35 years, give or take; i began as a child of 10, and kept at it until it paid off: i was diagnosed with an advanced case of emphysema on november 12th, 2001. i quit smoking a week later, after having gone through the american lung association's freedom from smoking online program.

one of the features of that program was a set of threaded discussion boards that paralleled the program's various "modules". participants in the program were encouraged to post their questions, concerns, observations, etc., and offer each other their support, as they worked through each module's lessons. most of the early "tales" were originally posted to one of those message boards.

the positive response i got to these postings encouraged me to continue writing, and the more i wrote, the more i remembered how writing had always been one of the ways that i dealt with life changes; especially the ending of long-term relationships (and my relationship with cigarettes was one of the longest i ever had). choosing to break off my thirty-five-year relationship with cigarettes, and dealing with the consequences of that choice, totally altered the trajectory of my life.

the tales collected here are the chronicle of my journey to freedom from smoking. they are presented here as they were originally posted, with a short introduction, the original post date, and any comments that were left on them at the original "tales from the quit" site (

the tales from the quit start here (and you can always get back to the index of the tales by clicking the link up top that says "the tales").

note: i reposted these in the order they were originally posted, and i started doing that on december 26, 2008, so the "original" tales end with "85 months, one moment at a time", which was reposted on march 3rd, 2009, and the "new" tales start on march 4th.