Out on good behavior :)

Blog Post created by TomW5.15.17 on Oct 30, 2017

I haven’t posted anything for a while because I’ve been in prison since Thursday afternoon.  Well, not constantly.  My team would leave around 9pm to sleep in a nearby church gym, and then return at 7am each day.  I’ve been with this volunteer program for 13 years now.  We put on a retreat in April and October, and follow up with the participants weekly every Wednesday evening.  So, while I have mentioned many times here that I have quit 6 times before, that isn’t exactly accurate.  In addition to those 6 attempted quits, I have stopped smoking 26 times for 3 and ½ days in the last 13 years.  And every single one of those times, I tried to make up all the cigarettes I missed on the following Monday.  Even though I didn’t think about smoking the entire weekend, I was pretty sure today would be a trigger.  And it was big time.  But I got thru it, and I’m fine now.


It’s weird how all those prison weekends were bearable for me.  It was similar with the 2 times I’ve been hospitalized for a few days, or when I travelled overseas.  If I was in a situation where I knew I could not smoke, I could bear it as long as I had a time certain that I would be able to smoke.  During that 2nd hospitalization, the doctors began talking about possibly keeping me for 3 days rather than 2.  I started panicking, because I was mentally prepared for 2 days, not 3.  Even though I had survived plenty of my 3 and ½ day prison weekends at that point.


Last night, one of the newer volunteers asked me how I got started in this ministry.  I explained that I had volunteered in nursing homes for many years until I just couldn’t take it anymore.  He asked what I meant by that.  I told him I got tired of getting so close to someone, only to have them die on me.  So I looked for some other way to volunteer my time, and just sorta fell into this.  I was thinking about that conversation when I got on EX this morning, and saw that apparently, 3 more of my recent friends here seem to have disappeared.  With all my failed attempts at quitting, I certainly can’t judge anyone.  But it still saddens me greatly every time I notice someone drop off.