We had a relationship. We still do, only I’m the one trying to end it.
It was such an innocent greeting that sunny afternoon. My brother stopped by my work to say hello and by chance introduced us, well I asked him to. Up until last year we’ve been inseparable.
I knew it wasn’t right from the beginning, but what relationship is? Unless something drastic comes along, that feeling something just isn’t right unfortunately isn’t enough to call it quits. And like those relationships, ours lasted far too long. That was over seven years ago.
I still have a hard time letting go. It took me three months to stop thinking about cigarettes every day. Every day. Everything from driving, a song on the radio, social settings etc. still induce real and strong cravings. Yet I choose to say no, despite wanting one, because I know what a downward slippery slope that is.
The decision to quit came after realizing our little one wasn’t so little anymore. She was growing up with parents that were smokers. Even as I type that word, it’s hard to admit we were ‘smokers.’ I was one of those, ‘I’m not a smoker I just do it on occasion’ types. That’s a lie. Try quitting, like really quitting, and you’ll see how addicted you really are.
Finally I set a date, December 2 2013. I decided I would put down the smokes and pick up a new workout regimen, Shaun T’s FOCUS T-25. The ten-week workout program with online support and an accountability partner helped me stay committed to myself and the group. Holidays were hard, really hard. Christmas almost set me back, but being a non-smoker was something I wanted bad enough to sit with uncomfortable for. So I continued to say ‘no thanks.’ Weeks turned into months and by then I had come too far to give in. My new goal was to make it one year cigarette free. So that’s what I did. December 2 2014 I celebrated one year no cigarettes!
I can’t say I haven’t have any substitutes. I started with e-cigarettes until those became too harsh to bear and on rare occasion have had a Black & Mild or cloves. I actually ‘relapsed’ while on vacation in NYC the weekend following my one year anniversary but in retrospect I believe it was for good reason. The utter curiosity and desire for a cigarette after so long without one was weighing on me (and it didn’t help that everyone and their mother smoked in the city!) I gave in. It was gross. Lesson learned.
If you’re like I was, casually lighting up two or three a day, telling yourself ‘I’m not a smoker’ listen closely. Nicotine is a very powerful drug. It appears innocent at first even pleasurable on occasion but it will come back and bite, always. A fellow coworker/ smoker just passed after losing her battle with lung cancer, at fifty-four years of age. I won’t bore you with facts, but I will tell you this. YOU CAN QUIT. If you want it bad enough, go out and fight for it! It’s not easy. I still walk a fine line of caving in, but I am finally free! Decide now before the ‘I don’t care if it’s bad for me we’re all gonna die somehow’ sets in. Breaking myself from the constant need to have a smoke to ‘enjoy’ life gave me so much more enjoyment out of life! Being a smoker is no way to live.