With my smoke free day coming (it was yesterday) I knew I should start telling people about my plan. I was hesitant. It was as if saying it out loud made it more real. If I told people I would really have to commit. It started slow, real slow. In fact the first person outside of my family I told is a colleague I have known for many years, but only see a few times a year. It happened organically. I didn't intend on telling him. It just seemed to fit in the conversation, and without even thinking about it the words were out of my mouth. I wasn't sure how he would react. Our conversation paused and I braced myself for...what? Disdain, sarcasm, condescension? It was none of that. He was so thrilled for me and flattered that I was willing to share this with him that he teared up and asked if he could give me a hug. He offered support at anytime and told me he would follow up more often to lend an ear or whatever else I need. I was floored and comforted by his response. So I tried it out on someone else.
The next person I told is a co-worker I see everyday. She sits in the office next to mine. Again, the opportunity just seemed to present itself and naturally work in a conversation. Her response? She took out her phone and marked the day on her calendar. She wanted to be sure not to miss the momentous day. Wow! I don't know what I expected from people, but it certainly wasn't this kind of reaction. On it went from here. I sent an email to my office, 16 people, to let them know too. It was a warning that there might be some crabby days and my door would probably be closed more often than normal for a short period of time. Every single person thanked me for the warning and provided words of encouragement. Two came to my office in tears with more hugs. Yesterday, when I arrived at work there was a bag of hard candies and inspirations words from an anonymous giver.
Every single person I have told, whether close friend, colleague, or acquaintance, has been wonderful. In the last week I have heard many a person's story recounting the habits broken and strategies for success. I am amazed by the obstacles so many people I know have overcome, inspired by all I have heard, and thankful beyond words for the support.