My decision to quit smoking has been something I have been putting off for a long time. The signs have been all around me, telling me to stop. I didn’t listen to them, until now.
A relative of mine recently passed away after being diagnosed with lung cancer. Another relative has recently been diagnosed with emphysema. After a few visits to the doctor my father and my sister have successfully quit smoking.
Then, the other day, I got news within my writing community, the Accentuate Writers Forum, that a fellow writer friend had suffered a mild heart attack.
This stemmed something for me. Someone mentioned she needed to stop smoking and I looked over at my kids and thought about if I were to have a heart attack. How would this affect my kids? Right then I decided I was going to quit the next day.
I posted a reply about my intentions on the forum and also stated that since I would be saving money, I would donate half a pack of smokes ($2.00) to a fund for helping my friend. She is a single mother and with writing as her only income, I want her to rest as much as possible.
I embarked on this journey to become healthier. I want my family to be healthier. I want my life to be longer.
As I sit here and write this it is on edge of my mind that tomorrow will mark one week being nicotine free. It has been a hard week, a hard road, but what makes it easier are the people who have joined me on this journey.
A few people from the Accentuate Writers Forum decided to join me in my quest for a smokeless life. We are supporting each other and also have several cheerleaders who pop in to tell us how great we are doing.
Many things I have come across in this week as a non-smoker are hilarious when I think back on them, but at the time they were happening I felt like a different person. It is like being a different person when you are trying to break an addiction.
For me, I found myself thinking things I would never think. I used bad language in front of my kids and my poor husband suffered from the mood swings. It probably crossed his mind once or twice to run away.
The first day, was probably the hardest for me, but the best for my house. I cleaned something every time I craved a cigarette, I ate a ton of snacks, and I found no solace in the fact that I was becoming healthier. I actually didn’t care one bit about my health on that day. What kept me from smoking was thinking about all the people who I told I was going to quit, all the people who praised me for what I was doing, and all the people who said they were inspired to quit with me. They were what I was thinking about.
The first day was about them, but the second day I began to think more about myself every time I had a craving. I also decided not to worry so much about what I was eating. It is a step by step process and if I had time to think about how fat the food I was eating was going to make me then I would probably run to the cigarettes instead.
Here is an excerpt of a few of the lessons I learned during day two. I posted these in the thread we are keeping in the Accentuate Writers Forum. I have been writing these down as a combination of venting and humor, in a journaling type fashion.
Lesson number one, do not quit smoking and decide to take the kids to Wal-Mart for grocery shopping. That was a very bad idea.
Lesson number two, road construction people do not like it when you give them dirty looks because you were the last car in the line and they decided to turn the sign from slow to stop and wave their arms around that you must stop. (Seriously she should have let me go…I was the only car there) Had to wait fifteen minutes to go.
Lesson number three, you can eat a regular bag of Cheetos in fifteen minutes.
Lesson number four, Learned that I can and will defeat this addiction. If I can go through today without a smoke then I should be able to go everyday without a smoke.
Has been 28 hours now!
That night, I slept horribly. I think the toxins were pushing themselves out of my body because I kept waking up thirsty and I was sweaty from head to toe. I wasn’t hot or sick. I know it had to be from not smoking.
I woke up on day three feeling better. I bought baking stuff to keep myself busy. That was the biggest thing for me, keeping busy. By the end of day three I had ended up having a really bad day. Here are more lesson excerpts from day three.
Number one, do not tell a person on their third day of smoking that they need mud flaps on their car, then insist that they need them even when you are told outright that they don’t want to worry about it right now. If you continue to insist that person needs mud flaps you will be told that they don’t need this right now and if you think they need mud flaps so bad then go ahead and put mud flaps on the car.
Number two, husbands do not tell your wife on third day of quitting smoking that the house smells good for once, especially when she sells Scentsy for a business and always has something good warming. She will not take this as a compliment…I promise.
Number three, Do not… I repeat… Do not let your five children go visit the four children of a person who has quit smoking recently. It’s just a really bad idea.
Day four, there was only one lesson.
Do not stand at car window of someone four days into no smoking with your lit cigarette and talk about how you are quitting and at the same time blowing the smoke into the car. It is rude, rude, rude, to blow smoke at person who is quitting cigarettes.
Day five was pretty much the same. It gets easier, but the cravings are still there. Today, I have gotten back into a workout routine to curb some of the weight gain. However, I haven’t been eating quite as much today or yesterday.
I am amazed! Amazed at how much having some support has helped me to kick this habit. I am proud of myself and of the others who have joined us on this journey.
My friend who suffered the heart attack has ridden this ride with us. Something bad, has turned into a fight for good health among many of us. She told us in the forum that if we don’t quit smoking, we would eventually be in her place. I don’t want to be there.
I am going to take this moment to say that I love my family at Accentuate Writers Forum. We have come together with a love of writing, but you see things in this forum which you do not see in your daily lives.
When we found out my friend was in the hospital, several writing communities came together to help and raised well over $300 to help her during her recovery. This is merely one of the several times where I have seen this community come together to help someone who needs it. I continue to be amazed by these wonderful people, and it gives me hope for the bigger picture.
Look forward to another article next week. Week two of the journey to a non-smoking life!