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Mike n @lanta's Story

Posted by Mike.n.Atlanta Jan 26, 2010

September 30th 2004. I was wheezin & gaspin & rattlin in my chest. I could hardly mow the lawn & I couldn't keep up with my 5 year old. We had applied for another adopted girl from China & just recieved notification along with photos & health history of a beautiful litle girl named Yu Tao. All I could think about at the time was a 15 hour flight to get her. I remembered 5 years before & what a hard time I had on the trip to get Lulu. I did not want to face that again. I knew I should quit & with the latest problems felt it was time. All the other times I quit only lasted a few hours at most because I lacked that real comittment to stop. I was scared to death to try to quit smoking. I had no idea how I would do it. I really didn't think I could. I thought I was too far gone. I would just die a smoker. I was mad as hell that I had let cigarettes take over & control my life the way they did. I was such a selfish person to deny my family the time they deserved.

The 30th day of September was the last time I smoked a cigarette. I went on line that day in September & found a site that I came to love. There I met a few that changed my life. From the first day they let me know that I could do this. I believed them because hey, some of them had smoked way longer than me. Who was I to say I couldn't do it. They believed in me. They made me believe in myself. It wasn't all a bed of roses but it sure was a lot easier than doing it alone. I was on that site reading & smoking all day. At 7:30 that evening I was down to my last smoke. Should I go to the store & get more or should I make the comittment? It was an easier decision than I thought it would be. That was my last smoke.

I went to the doctor with my congestion & she was aggressive & knocked it out because she knew we were headed to China for the adoption. We left Atlanta on November 19th, 2004. I had a month & a half quit under my belt & felt really good. It was tough over there. Everyone smoked anywhere they wanted. We even turned down some elevator rides because of smokers on them. I still felt good though. We were back home on December 4th, 2004 & one of the first things I did was get back on line & talk to my new friends. Everyone was as proud of me as I was. They all wanted me to succeed. I don't think I could have stood the shame to ever go back to them & admit that I had smoked. That is one huge reason that I remained smoke free. These friends had as much invested in my quit as I did. I was not going to let them down.

That's been 5 years, 3 months, 3 weeks & 4 days ago. I had found my peace with my quit somewhere around 3 months. That's when I knew deep down that I could never smoke again & I was comfortable with that. It took me the first two years to really get rid of all the urges. Occasionally there are circumstance that arise & my inner junkie will try to justify smoking "just one" but I'm far enough along in my quit to recognize junkie thinking for what it is & shrug it off most of the time. Some times are harder than others. I guess that's why I still need to be around you guys, I need to be held accountable. If I ever slip up I want you all to give me hell. Please.

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