Quitting? R U thinking ya should, You want to? R U scared ? . I was scared . I had so much fear I would actually have panic attacks thinking about quitting . My mind ran in circles with fear ...fear of not knowing how to live without a cigarette . I played the "what ifs" in my head over and over like a broken record . What if I failed, what if I fell apart , what if I couldn't .
I attempted many times to set up a quit date . It was tomorrow, this week, or that day. It was after that stress , that crisis . After, after, after but I always found a way out of the commitment . To keep others happy I would quit to keep them satisfied . "I'm trying " I would say then fail three days later . It was my well known cycle .
What then was the deciding factor ; the final straw that made take quitting seriously ? An illness I would say , yet to be diagnosed , yet to be learned , but first I needed to meet some very special women and be shown and taught something that would change my life forever .
I walked into the hospital parking lot one day headed for tests and saw an elderly lady with an oxygen tank attached to her wheel chair . She was crying out for a cigarette . Seeing her in agony and pain over her addiction really woke me up .She was in distress with her breathing you could tell , but that wasn't her reason for tears . Her tears were the need to feed her addiction.
She begged me for a cigarette and tears rolled down her face as she told me her children wouldn’t bring her a cigarette.
I couldn’t give her a cigarette either because even though I was a smoker I knew how much smoking had hurt her . You see my dad had emphysema , a two pack a day smoker . His last days watching his organs shut down was devastating ,
I also knew that smoking was a killer and likely killing her , so instead I gave her a hug and we talked a while until the crave went away and she felt a little better .
I left with the hospital that day with the image of that wonderful woman paying the consequences of smoking in so many ways . Consequences that were not only affecting her , but also her family .
Would that be me ?
I was so full of denial for so many years ... all to protect my addiction . It took that encounter for me to see the truth .
Just after that incident, I had more confirmation that quitting was seriously something i needed to do for me and my family .
I was about to have my second encounter .
As I entered the hospital for yet more tests , just weeks later a lady was standing in the corner of a hospital waiting room; her face was disfigured and no one talked to her .
She seemed uncomfortable with the stares and I could see and feel her appearance was making people uneasy .
She came and sat beside me . We immediately struck up conversation . We both seemed comfortable speaking with each other and I asked her what had happened . My first thoughts were that she had been in an horrendous car accident . I listened to her story as she shared with me what SMOKING had done…..how many surgeries she had had to reconstruct her face and what she was was still facing ahead . She asked me to please quit ; her eyes caring, loving, and pleading and I said I would .
Her story helped me to look at the truth about addiction and the years of denial again that I protect it over myself .
These women saved my life. It was no coincidence that my appointments were those days and those two women put in my path .
Don’t wait until you get bad news ; don’t wait thinking it won’t happen to you or until it does happen to you .
Don’t wait for the final straw where you have no choice !
Right now you can choose to quit and spend more time with families who love you .
You can choose right now never to smoke again .
To these two women , Your higher power knows your name , I never did get yours but He and I both thank you —thank you for your honesty and sharing your reality and the truth that helped to set me free. It will not be forgotten .
We can change our thoughts right now about how we see smoking . Is your romance over ? Will you see smoking for what it is in your life ?
I went home ; googled quit smoking sites and signed up. Yup me a lady terrified of quitting . I set a quit date .
I began that quit a week before my planned date because anxiety was just too much . I put the toe in the water and hey it wasn't so bad . So I put the other foot in , and the rest is history .
Just a few days after I quit I recieved a call from the specialist . A diagnosis that for many many years went undiagnosed had finally shown up in bloodwork . Treatment began a week later .
Ironically and totally not on purpose the date I quit was the same date as my father's passing.
I just wanted to bring in my quit with fireworks July 1 . He passed away June 30 , 1989 . Just before midnight on June 30 , 2011 I lit my last cigarette .
My father died far too young and such a great father he was . Dang I wish he were here today even in all this chaos , but he too got caught by an evil enemy called a cigarette and taking the first puff . My dad quit smoking . I'm so proud of him . It was not easy .
Quitting was hard in the beginning , even though I had a previous easy 8 year quit many and I remember ( smiling now , not then ) that I even went out and bought 3 packages of cigarettes on three separate occasions thinking I couldn't do it. I wanted to throw life away because quitting was just too hard .. well gee I'm glad I didn't . Life is too precious to throw away by our own hand . There will be no fear when it's our time .
I can tell you the moment I made the decision to quit and took that plunge to quit that fear and anxiety vanished .
I still had cravings , lots of them , but no matter what , I was determined to get through every one of them . Get through no matter what and keep my promise .
Quitting is NOT impossible it's DOABLE because we ARE ABLE to DO it .
It's not hard , it's not easy , it doable .
The hardest part perhaps , is deciding if we will KEEP our quit or will we find an excuse NOT to .
This ones for you dad . I know you were watching the whole time .
I love you .