[Guess's pseudonymous attempt to quit smoking was intimately chronicled over the course of four weeks last year on the Internet.]
The attention when the clips went live last September was crazy. I didn't know it would be that big. On the Metro, I was reading the Express paper. Suddenly I saw my face on the back. I looked up, and everyone on the train was holding up that paper. I saw dozens of myself. My mouth dropped open. I was afraid they'd recognize me, so I dropped my head. Just last week I was at a grocery store in Loudoun County, and a girl came up and said, "You're Mary!" She recognized me and was concerned: "How are you? Did you marry your fiance? Did you stay off cigarettes?" All year I've felt like when I told people I'd relapsed [in January], they'd be angry, like "How could you!" It's humiliating. But, 100 percent, they've been very supportive.
I smoked in Germantown. I could not smoke in D.C.! Not at work, not after all those pictures of me outside the office -- I'd feel like I was a horrible person. No way. There's so many people at work who quit because of me. I was honest if they asked, but to see me? No. It would be almost like I was showing that smoking is okay after all.
In May I really quit again. My husband, he's happy [my smoking is] over again. I think I smell better to him, too. I could tell this year he was thinking, "Is this ever going to end?" I was hoping he wouldn't lose faith in me -- because I was losing faith in me. But now I'm pregnant. When my home pregnancy test came back, it made me want to run out and have a cigarette. Totally stressed. Now I'm still stressed, but I want food more than a cigarette.
-- Interview by Ellen Ryan