On this my fourth smoke free anniversary I write a love letter to those who brought me here and those who keep me here. And to those who are struggling to be where I am now. But especially to my husband who loved me enough and badgered me enough to spur my journey.
I enjoyed smoking. Did not want to stop. Had no serious side affects, just a little phlegm in the morning. Not like so many I have come to know in this four year journey, who suffer so much because of this blasted addiction.
I started smoking at about age 19? Don’t really remember. Smoked for I’m not sure how long. Quit for a year not too long after that, knowing full well the health detriments even way back then. Began again when I was doing a show in which the character I portrayed smoked. I thought I could smoke as the character only. Right. I was instantly hooked again and smoked for another 35 years or so.
Stopped for three months on two separate occasions toward the end of that 35 year period, only to relapse. Because after three months I still wanted one. And I succumbed to that “want.” On-line support groups
were not available to me back then. Had they been, I might have made it.
Was finally badgered enough by someone who loved me enough to do so (though I wanted to KILL him because of it! Lol). I gave it one last full fledged attempt. NOT because I wanted to quit but because he wanted me to. I cannot emphasize this enough. I didn’t want to quit. And yet here I am four years later as a non smoker
through no real initial desire of my own. Now - there is nothing I want more than to remain free. As a very wise woman (Carole) recently said - "it's easier to stay quit than to quit."
So for all of you out there who say you aren’t motivated enough, you can’t do it because you really don’t want to...etc., I say hogwash. I joined my first support group writing: “I don’t want to quit, I’m here to get some motivation to do so." I guess I got it, eh?
To all of those old timers on that first UnofficialNicanon site; to those on Smoke Away; to those on Why Quit; to those on BecomeAnEx and those on Friends Helping Friends - I am here because you are there. As simple as that. Without your support I could not have done this. My life is healthier and more enriched because of you all. Your wisdom has given me courage, your failures have taught me how to avoid those pitfalls and your successes have kept me full of perseverance and hope. God bless you all for being there. And to the Big Guy upstairs - well...you know.
And finally to all you newcomers - your struggle keeps me in touch with that which I went through and reminds me of the cost and dear value of my freedom. To you I say - the gate is open. And it's beautiful on the other side. You CAN do it. And it IS worth it. So don’t give up. "When nothing is certain, everything is possible." And ALWAYS keep a grin somewhere inside during the process. ‘Cause it’s a wild and wacky ride!