Today I celebrate 14 years of not smoking. Yes, I know that is a huge accomplishment. It is one of the hardest things I have ever done in my entire life. Even harder than childbirth! Can you believe that? Richard was also a smoker but he quit 16 years before I quit. And the only reason I quit was because we were getting ready to go on a 'long' cruise and I was the only one left in our group that smoked. I didn't want to always have to excuse myself to go away from the group to smoke.
So my best friend and I decided to quit smoking on November 1, 1999. I smoked my last cigarette on my way to work on Halloween night 1999. I had been planning this for a few months. I weaned myself down. I had a plan. And I also was equipped with Zyban (an antidepressant used in smoking cessation) and nicotine patches. My first step in quitting was I quit smoking in my car. We had just gotten a new car so that was easy to decide that I wasn't going to smoke in it. And that cigarette was the hardest one to give up. Because I got into the car, put the key in the ignition, started the car and lit a cigarette. Everyday since the day I learned to drive. Hard, hard, hard habit to break.
I was so determined to be successful with quitting that I even had a plan how I was not going to put on the 'normal' 30-50 pound weight gain that most people do when they quit. Every time I craved a cigarette in those weeks leading up to quitting, I made a pact with myself, to walk down to the corner and back before I lit up. Heck, I couldn't breathe by the time I got back so often I didn't want that cigarette.
Anyway my plan was successful.(My plan to quit smoking that is, I still ended up gaining 40 pounds). It was NOT easy. It was horrible. There are still days that I wished I smoked. There are still times that I want to go right back to it. Do you want to know why I don't? Nope, it's not because my family would disown me (and they would). It's not because it has gotten so much more expensive (and it has). The one and ONLY reason I have not started smoking again is because it STINKS. Like B.A.D. Why didn't anyone ever tell me I smelled like an ashtray? Why didn't anyone ever tell me my kids and all their belongings stunk? Once I quit smoking, I was astounded by how horrible it smelled.
So that is my story on how and why I quit smoking.
Happy 'no smoking' anniversary to me!