One of the most poignant “Becoming an Ex” stories I ever heard from a patient was about leaving a loved one out in the rain!
I worked with a 40-year old gentleman, who had smoked all of his adult life, 2 packs a day, for 25 years! He had a large heart attack, and was reminiscing about what might have “put him in this state of health”, as he described his situation.
Just a few weeks earlier, the patient told me that he was on his way to pick up his 5-year old daughter, from kindergarten. It was a very stormy day and the rain was coming down heavily. When he was just a short distance from her school, he saw his little girl standing in the rain, with no umbrella and soaking wet. His heart went out to her!
At that very same moment, he also realized that he had used his last cigarette just 20 minutes earlier, and he was totally out! Without missing a beat, the gentleman drove right past his crying daughter, two blocks further to the nearest drug store, and bought, not a pack, but a carton of cigarettes!
As he got back in his car in the pouring rain, now almost hailing; he headed back to pick up his daughter. “All of a sudden”, he said “it was like I was hit, alongside of the head with a brick! What had I just done?? My tobacco addiction, yes addiction, had sent me right past my little girl, on to the nearest drug store, to feed my habit! At that moment in time, I realized that my priorities needed to change and fast! I was addicted to tobacco, no matter how I wanted to deny it!
Many times, we make major life changes when our health suffers, when we lose someone close to us, or something important gets our attention!
You are now on the path to “tobacco-free living”! Don’t leave those you love, “out in the rain”! The BEST thing you can do for anyone you care about is to take care of yourself first, so you are around for them! You ARE doing that with the support of “Become an Ex”! Please reach around and pat yourself on the back, each minute/hour/day you are tobacco-free! It is one of the most important things you will ever do for yourself and those you care about.
Kathy Zarling, MS, APRN