Wow! It seems like just yesterday that I started this journey. I will never forget those first couple of months at war. It was hard. I would even list it among the top 25 hardiest things I've ever did in my life. Many times I thought of giving in but I didn't! I made the choice to persevere! I listened to the elders and took it minute by minute, day by day, and as they promised, I eventually stopped thinking about it on a regular basis. Now ~ weeks go by without a thought to smoking. Even at the 3 year mark, I still have days the nicodemon jumps out of the shadows to tempt me. You see, I enjoyed smoking. No, I mean that I REALLY, REALLY enjoyed smoking! Reality tells me that like a heroin addict, I enjoyed it at all cost. I was an addict! PERIOD! Reality also tells me that if I picked a cigarette up today, 3 years later, and tried it--the addiction would kick right back in and I would want more. Sad but true. For me, and for most, there is no such thing as "just one puff!"
Staying smoke free is a strong * conscience* decision! It takes will power. It's a decision that only YOU can control the outcome of. Y ou will find many excuses along the way as to why you could/do pick up a cigarette. There will always be trials, tribulation and stresses along this amazing journey called life. But there is nothing more beautiful than the journey and I don't want it to end any sooner than it has to. Neither do I want to waste a single minute of life because I'm busy thinking of a cigarette. And you know we do! We start living our life around when and where we can have our next one!! We avoid going places and doing things if we can't smoke. Sometimes, especially if we are with a non-smoker, we avoid a kiss. We avoid the touch of a loved one or holding a sweet child! We avoid going on a date or a vacation if smoking isn't an option. Life is too short for that my friend!
This I promise -- despite the many references to "SLIPPING" --- I promise you that you will NEVER accidentally SLIP and have a lite cigarette pop into your mouth and start smoking itself!! NEVER will that happen! It's IMPOSSIBLE so come to terms with the fact that Y OU and only YOU will decide to smoke. If you do--it WILL be a conscious decision! There will be multiple steps that you will have to think about and complete in order to smoke a cigarette. At any time during that process you have the option to just say NO! It's that simple. Think about this:
1. You have to get a cigarette. Regardless if you have to borrow one or buy a pack--you have to think about it and ask for it.
2. Open pack and take out a cigarette.
3. Light the cigarette.
4. Put it to your mouth
Repeat Action--Repeat Action--Repeat Action-- Repeat Action--Repeat Action--Repeat Action (Get the drift???) YOU have to think about these actions. They WILL NOT just happen without YOUR consent!!!
Now - Why quit? Well of course -- for your health and for the health of those around you. But after a while, you will discover other benefits that you didn't think about. Notice that I listed my dollars saved with my 3 year mark. That's because money has been a huge motivator for me. For those that have read my blogs, you know how much I am enjoying going on vacations and seeing all the places that I simply couldn't afford to do--until I started using that smoking money as vacation money. And have I told you about my children and grandchildren? No, got a couple of years? ;) Do you know how nice it is to hold and kiss those sweet kids without their allergies kicking in or me causing them to stink? Do you know how wonderful it is to spend time just with them rather than having to walk outside for a cigarette every 45 min to an hour? Do you know how nice it is to only need to shower once a day and have a fresh mouth so I can kiss my non-smoker husband whenever the moment strikes. Do you know how nice it is to climb into sheets that don't smell of stale cigarette smoke every night and to put on clothes that don't stink of it? That stale smell embedded into my skin and clothes was something I didn't notice when I smoked. Boy, I can smell it when I'm around a smoker now!! So many really great things happen when you quit smoking. Just do it! Just QUIT!
I was blessed to have some amazing elders that helped me through with their words of encouragement and wisdom. I was also blessed to have a group of amazing peers that walked with me through this journey. Some of those peers didn't survive the battle with nicotine and fell by the wayside :( I pray those that fell during the battle were able to pick themselves up and try again. To each of you that helped me on the battlefield --- Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!