It's here - I'm cleaning out the stuff that reminds me of smoking here at the house. Not too much - don't smoke inside but I have an ashtray out on the screen porch. GONE! Then there's the fire pit on the back patio, used it to field strip cigarettes before I went to bed. Gonna light a small fire and throw my last cigarette pack in it! Also throw out my lighter (not in the fire, mind you ). Already thrown a couple of jackets in the washing machine - don't want them smelling like smoke anymore.
So many things running through my mind - excitement, conclusion, apprehension, hope, fear, achievement/pride, and yes, even failure. But that ain't gonna happen - been down this road too many times! I used to tell myself that one day I'll quit, then I'd tell myself I'll quit before I get old (I don't want to be one of those old people still smoking - guess what? - I am one), then after my last attempt 7 years ago, I got to the point where I'd tell myself I reckon I'll smoke the rest of my life. I felt so bad after failing that attempt, it stuck me in a rut.
I'm tired of it now - it has ruled my life for far, far ... far too long. Tired of sneaking away from everybody to get a smoke (very few of my friends smoke, mainly just co-workers but I can avoid them when they're puffin' away). Tired of counting to make sure I have enough to make it until I get to the store again. Tired of paying the monetary cost of the addiction but mostly tired of paying the health costs of the addiction. I used to think that it wasn't affecting me much, never really had that smoker's hack in the mornings, it's still not bad, though of late, I wake up in the night coughing to the point I can't get back to sleep. Found out a couple of years ago, I have mild signs of emphysema, kept ignoring it (amazing what that nicotine monster can do!), but in the last few months, I've noticed how much quicker I get out of breath climbing the hills here in the mountains where I live.
I love the outdoors - nothing calms me more and makes me more at peace than hiking in the mountains - can't imagine not being able to do that. My wife has pointed that out to me many times - and again, that monster made me keep ignoring it. Planning on a camping & hiking trip the weekend of Earth Day - that should help give me focus as I enter no mans land.
As I've prepared myself for tomorrow, I tracked my smokes and not only what was the trigger, but also whether I actually enjoyed it or not. Guess what (I'm sure most of you already know) - the vast majority of the time I really didn't enjoy it, I was just feeding the addiction. I paid attention to how it made me feel, and again, most of the time it made me lightheaded, foggy and tired. I'm done with that - a clearer mind to deal with what life brings my way, not a crutch to try and cover it up.
Gotta keep positive - there's so MANY good things awaiting!
THIS IS IT!!!