It has been nearly a year since I decided to quit smoking. For good. This time it’s for real. For the record, and before anybody gets too excited and offers congratulations – I do not have a year of freedom from nicotine. Nowhere even close. Yet.
I was one month in to a new job and figured that the steepest part of the learning curve was behind me. I wanted quit before I developed any ingrained habits or triggers. I wanted to quit before I was discovered as a closet smoker. I wanted to quit before it was too late; although I never stopped to consider what I meant by “too late”.
My mother smoked up until the moment her cancer robbed her of the ability to hold a cigarette. Obviously, she waited too long. So what was I thinking? I know that just because I quit smoking today, it won’t guarantee a cancer free tomorrow. I know that the next puff I take could be the one that’s starts cells mutating into cancer. I know that sooner is better. We all know this, right?
I have been struggling with this quit for nearly a year. I struggle because the pull of addiction is more urgent than the desire to be smoke-free. I struggle because I am still learning not to bargain with addiction. I struggle because I am just too damn stubborn to ask live people who are all around me for their support and encouragement. I struggle because I’m not sick, yet. I’m struggling because I have found ways to justify “just one”.
As each month has past, I played the game of Shoulda/Woulda/Coulda. I shoulda stopped smoking on my quit date. I woulda have had 30 days DOF if I did. I coulda been a year quit by now.
I have no excuses and I’m not trying to make any. I am trying to figure out what I need to do next, and I think that entails better tools for the “just one” thoughts. Because one is too many and a thousand aren’t enough. Because I am tired of quitting and want to be quit.
Keep the quit