Today marks 21 days nicotine free. Three weeks. It's not the first time I've gotten this far, but it feels like the final time.
My story starts pretty much the same as every one else's. In my early teens I started stealing cigarettes from family and friends' family, and together with those friends we'd smoke wherever and whenever we could. By the time I hit my 20s it was just a normal part of my life. And at that time we all smoked at our desks, in stores, on airplanes...so hard to imagine now, isn't it?
I quit for a year once, and started again for absolutely no reason at all. It was so stupid.
Flash forward another 20 years and all of a sudden I can't smoke anywhere but outside and the price for cartons is through the roof. But still we soldiered on, rationalizing that it's a lifestyle and we love it and all my best friends go out for smoke breaks anyway.
Another 20 years. Thinking about a cruise? Have to consider if there's smoking allowed on board. Want to go on vacation? No hotels allow smoking in rooms anymore. Visiting my daughter and grandson? I have to take time (a LOT of time) to go out to smoke. Why am I even there if that's all I want to do? My life has become so limited, and I didn't even notice.
Finally, it was my 15 year-old granddaughter who gave me the awakening I needed. She got in trouble herself, and I helped her do it. I gave her cigarettes out of my own stash. Some role model I am. So I made a deal, and we both determined to change our lives. We're proud of each other, and I know just thinking of her gives me strength. I want to be here for her and for my other grandchildren as they grow into the fabulous people they'll become.
I will be here for all of them, and for myself. I will pledge every day, every hour, not to smoke. And I'll keep coming back here for encouragement to keep those pledges.
Thanks for reading.