Wow! I can’t believe I said it out loud. “I quit smoking”.
I started smoking when I was 21 years old. Thanks to the graduation from being 20 to the legal age of 21, I started the bar scene with my best friend who smoked, and the next thing you know, it’s 23 years later.
It’s so fascinating how a cigarette can take hold of you. The only times I could control my cravings were when I knew that it was not just affecting me (when I was pregnant with both of my children). It’s funny how I really believed that then. I knew that everything I put in my body would transfer to my unborn child, and for that reason I was able to quit smoking throughout both of my pregnancies. I even breast fed for months afterwards without smoking. But guess what? As soon as I knew it was safe, and the kids no longer lived off of what I was putting in my body, I lit a cigarette.
What I did not realize then is that it WAS affecting them, and everyone else that I love. As I got older, I realized that it was no longer about what I wanted, it was about what I needed. And what I need is to be healthy for my children, my husband, and later on in life when I am blessed with grandchildren.
I don’t want to be that haggard old lady with a smoker’s cough and yellow teeth. Even worse, I don’t want to be that woman on the television commercial begging me to quit smoking, or risk ending up like her.
Last week, my husband and I were in the car when I looked over and saw a woman who was probably in her mid 50’s, although she could have passed for 60, smoking a cigarette. And I mean taking long drags of it like it was going to vanish before she could get another hit. I realized right then how disgusting the habit is in every way.
That day, I decided to choose my quit date. I have been thinking about quitting for a couple of years now, but I always find an excuse as to why it’s not a good time.
Not wanting to say good-bye to my best friend too soon, I chose September 24th as my quit day.
I know what you’re thinking: “But wait? I thought you said you already quit? Today is only the 5th?”
I DID! I woke up the morning of September 4th, which was a Tuesday, I made coffee and went down to put a load of laundry in while my coffee was brewing. By the time I got back upstairs, I realized how hard I was breathing from that simple task. I am an otherwise healthy woman. I am not overweight, and I am fairly active.
I poured a cup off coffee, got the dog, and we headed outside for a cigarette (I never smoke in the house).
I sat down in my chair, opened up the flap on my cigarettes, and I saw 3 cigarettes were left in the pack.
So I asked myself: If I can’t breathe after putting laundry in, and I already chose a quit date, why would I continue buying cigarettes? Just to get to my quit date? It made absolutely no sense. I lit a cigarette, took 4 or 5 hits, and on the last one I said good bye to my best friend of 23 years.
As I write this, it has been 31 hours since I smoked that last cigarette. The pack with 2 lonely cigarettes has remained on the counter since yesterday morning, and I can honestly say that I have yet to even think about lighting one. It’s like I flipped the switch in my brain.
I do know that it will get harder before it gets easier, and from everything I’ve read, I just need to get through the first week or two.
The reason I decided to share this with you was to make myself accountable to someone other than me. As soon as this is published, I expect my readers to comment and ask me how I am hanging in there. This way, I have no choice but to do what I set out to do, and that is to live a healthier lifestyle starting NOW!
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I plan to keep all of you updated of the ups and downs of my new life of being a non-smoker.