I quit my buddy

For all those times you stood by me...for all the truth that you made me see...for all the joy you brought to my life - I didn't imagine that I will sing this song as a tribute, not for somebody but for something I grieved for 2 days - my buddy, the cigarettes. All it took me was a nice tuesday afternoon, a bitchy doctor & a great friend to quit cold turkey on my buddy the next day. I am now on my 9th day of nicotine free life & I have barely begun my long farewell to an old pal who literally - even in my most intimate moments - was always there for me.

Looking back, I still remember the people I was with & exactly where we were when I first came in close encounter with my buddy. Didn't leave me a good first impression & we found each other again after 2 to 3 years & then, we never let go of each other. My buddy & I hit it off when a local pack was at 7 pesos & the blue seal was at around 15 - as of November last year, a local pack is at 30 pesos & blue seal is at 70. Thinking about this, I realized that I wouldn't remember how it feels to be nicotine free - I was dependent of my buddy for almost half of my lifetime - so you can imagine the grieve I had to go through.

But it was just a matter of time that we will surely be separated - not by sickness or in death - but surely way before one of the two happens, or both. I am a whole package of an ideal target market - I drink with my buddy - a deadly combination. So it just naturally happened, like an angel touched me, I suddenly don't have taste for alcohol - well, except for a glass of kir for appero but my head starts spinning at that - and I truly get sentimental with San Miguel Beer commercials & believe in "iba ang may pinagsamahan" - my ultimate memories revolve around SMB with my buddy - so the blessing of letting go of the alcohol first truly helped me to quit my buddy.

It was really sudden like that wednesday was the right time & it was screaming at me . I told my buddy that he'd be the last. I tried to read on nicotine detox to be a little ready for a big divorce but the sensation for the next few days were unexplainable. I literally felt my blood circulating in my feet & arms - I felt so high, I cannot concentrate, it felt like I was flying - I was sobbing - no, crying convulsively as if somebody close in my heart have died - things were amplified tenfold & simple thoughts depressed me - it felt like I lost an arm or something. This went on for 2 days right after quitting & thanks to Kala, who stayed with me through e-mail (wasn't ready to speak but to type, yes) & allowed me to freak out. In the weekend, things have calmed down & I know that I wouldn't be alone.

Nicotine detox seem to be simple & easy but it is as serious as it can get - and it is a big thing for smokers. In France, quitting smoking is a national campaign - the pharmacist gave me her whole support & even told me that if ever I needed anything more, I could just come up to them. Quitting cold turkey for a long time smoker is not evident - so abrupt that I needed the help of cigarettes without tabacco & nicotine instead of the nicotine patches & candies - I needed it for the habit since my buddy have become such a big part of my life - this pack & some vitamins really helped big time.

9 days of nicotine free life - I still don't see the difference of how my body is healing itself - I still pant like crazy when I do a 50m jog to catch the train - I still feel a residue of being high in the mornings & I noticed eyebags of probably unconscious stress - and they said after 2 days, you can already feel a change. But no matter, I feel good - it's tough but I am happy I finally decided to do it - surprisingly, I sleep better (respiratory healing), my appetite improved (at times I just smoke when I'm hungry! also because I'm lazy to cook & eat alone) & I am more determined to get back to sports.

I would probably gain a little weight & be a little more touchy than usual - it's still a loooong haul till I really get over my buddy & our separation - but I love myself more than my buddy now - and my body deserves a good master - 9 days may be nothing yet but 9 days without nicotine for a long time smoker is like the 5 seconds a salmon jumps out of the water - quitting on my buddy can actually reward us a great getaway at the end of the year & probably more years to my life.


From Manila to Paris, then to Marseille & to the Côte d'Azur, now in Singapore, clinging to a map of three worlds, where everything becomes all relative.


  1. way to go makis! (and again, super well written man!) quitting smoking really takes guts and it's a continuous struggle --- whether it's been nine weeks or nine years, you'll still find yourself craving for a drag from time to time because hey, no one can fully replace our buddies ;-),

    someone told me that a smoker will always be a smoker, so better not think of smoking one stick or everything you've worked for goes down the drain!

    true that you really get lots of encouragement in france! though sometimes i miss it so much i don't know why i quit. but if you take it a day at a time, then it's not so bad. good luck to you!

    your fellow support group-er,
    kala ;-)

  2. Wow 9 days nicotine free, proud ako sayo sis. I've been trying and trying to quit also pero para akong mababaliw if I can't smoke. One time ako lang mag-isa sa bahay, dinala ni mister ang cigs, gusto nya kasing i-try ko lang daw ng at least 4 hours with no smoking pero para akong mahimatay, feeling ko para akong nilalagnat at napaka init ng ulo ko. Called hubby and told him to hurry up kasi talagang di ko nakaya. I used to smoke one pack a day, siya ang bestfriend ko, pag gutom ako lalo na pag depressed cigs ko ang bestfriend ko. I did tried the nicotine patch but talagang di ko nakaya. I've been smoking for 9 years already at sabi nga ng nanay ko I can still quit pa daw,kayang-kaya ko raw. I'm still trying my best,I was doing good hanggang 4 cigs na lang ako, pero ngayon ewan ko balik na naman sa one pack a day. I have a lot of friends from work helping me to quit, sana nga, sana one day. Naku napahaba na tuloy ang comment ko, hehehehe

    I'm so happy for you Makis. Have a great weekend! mwaaaaaaaah

  3. Bon courage Makis, I'm happy for you. I can only imagine what you're going through. Fight the battle to the end!!!
    Now that makes me think of starting my own buddy-battle too...

  4. Makis, good luck! I'm rooting for you being nicotine free forever. Never really got the hang of smoking. Tried it when I was in h.s. in my room. I have this big mirror in my dresser, watched myself. Di bagay eh, kaya di ko na tinuloy hehe.

  5. hey congratulations for taking that courage. i know how hard it is, frenchguy was a smoker too...continue with the battle!

  6. kala: i really believe everything you said there! yesterday, i had the trembling & started rationalizing, "i can just smoke 1 stick - i was able to quit just like that & i can do it again!" then i looked at my NTB's & thought it will do :)

    ghie: your body will let you know when you're ready to let go of your buddy. i have been smoking for about 19 years now - my quitting was way long overdue :)

    lynn: i thought you already quit??? i still love my buddy though, it's just that my body seems to be screaming for healing already...

    geri: buti nalang di bumagay! i really wished that i didn't start because quitting is really a serious thing - but i loved smoking though :)

    analyse: battle has barely started - i feel i'm still on the starting line waiting for the bang! and hey, delivery date is so near!

    thank you guys for all the kind thoughts - i believe that you should tell a lot of people when you quit smoking - the support from it is enormous!

  7. Makis, the best of luck to you. I wish my hubby will find that inner strength and let go of his "buddy". It's annoying to me but more so, I worry about his health. He denies it but he always seems to be having respiratory problems. Just find support wherever you can and you'll make it. Take care.

  8. Thanks sistersalvation! At first I didn't want to tell anybody about my quitting - baka kasi mapahiya when I can't do it :) but I actually felt more motivated when I did & the simple support makes a long way! Thanks again!

  9. Kinalulugod kitang batiin Makis sa iyong patuloy na pakikipaglaban! Huhhh, really it's not very easy to continue in tagalog I don't have enough vocabularies (the true Filipino language) I guess, i'll buy Filipino dictionary, this time.
    Anyway, continue what you believe is right, time is consequential! Good job!

  10. Makis i commend you for the courage. I know you still fighting for it but sure am you will do great. God bless.

  11. Haze : maraming salamat sa pag alalay sa pamamagitan ng iyong bati!

    Bless : I think it's going to be a very long fight - once a smoker, always a smoker :) Thanks Bless!

  12. Hi. First time ko dito. WOW! I admire you. Way to go! I know how hard it is to quit and you're doing great! (I'm never a smoker, but I'm always around people who do and sometimes try really hard to break that habit) Keep it up...sooner than you think, you'll be out of it. Okay, take care always!

  13. Welcome & thank you Des! I really hope sooner is already near :)

  14. You are doing the right thing. Health is important. Hang in there... Congratulations!

  15. Way to go and I'm happy for you Makis! =)

    Hubby was a smoker a very long time, he tried many times to quit, pero after a few weeks sigarilyo ulit siya. I keep telling him na hindi maganda sa health niya, lalo na magkaka-baby kami. Thank God nakinig din, ngayon it's almost seven months nang hindi naninigarilyo. Sabi niya mas mahirap daw mag-quit on smoking kesa pag-inom ng alak. I know you can do it, good luck! =)

    thanks pala for the nice messages you left on my blog. wala pa akong masyadong time ngayon to blog, so pabisi-bisita na lang muna ako. take care always and happy weekend! kisses from Ninev and I. =)

  16. Welcome Agring!!! Nice to see you around my blog!!! I'm really trying to hang in there :) Thanks!!

    Hey Ligaya!!! Cigarettes are very, very evil - they are drugs!!! I'm happy that your hubby was able to quit for Ninev :) Thanks to you too for always leaving me kind messages!!!