5 on…Wednesday?

Sometimes I need to keep you on your toes. So today we are having our Firday 5 on Wednesday. First off…I will be out of town on Friday, but more importantly, today is a super special day for me…..5 years as a non-smoker!

So are you ready for a special 5? Here is five things that I think about when I think about no longer being a smoker….

1.  Fresh Scented for Your Pleasure. I no longer stink. Isn't that fabulous? Now, if there is a stink hovering over me, it is because I just ate an Italian sandwhich, or maybe ate some garlic bread. But it's NOT because I just smoked a cigarette.

2.  Huff & Puff.  ok, confession: I still huff and puff a bit, but now it is because I am overweight (which I lovingly blame on the quitting, but it was SO worth it!), not because I smoked a pack of cigarettes.

3.  Freedom.  It is amazing how tied down smoking can make you. Suddenly you are a slave to the habit. You MUST smoke that cigarette after a meal. You don't care if there is a tornado happening outside of that door, you MUST step out for a quick drag on the cigarette. Quitting smoking equals freedom from that.

4.  Riches.  When you quit smoking, suddenly you are rolling in money. Oh, the riches!!! You say that when cigarettes go past a certain price, you will quit. I say I smell smoke because your pants are on fire. Liar! They could be $10 a pack, and you will still buy them. It is only after you quit that you realize what a rip off those nasty things are and how could you ever have spent all that money on them?!

5.  Pride.  I am proud that I am no longer a smoker. I quit many times, but I can say this is official. I will never smoke again. I grew up in a household of smokers. I hated it. I despised it. And then I stole a cigarette. And I smoked it. I thought it was gross. So I smoked another, sure that I would figure out WHY everyone smoked, WHAT made it so fabulous. And then it was all over. I was a smoker. For years I thought I would end up a little old lady, with a damn cigarette pressed between her fingers. And then I decided I didn't like that image. And I quit. And I am proud of that.

I feel like I cannot type this post without telling you the why behind my quitting. So settle in and let me tell you a little story….

I had been smoking for about ten years. I was a pack a day girl, sometimes more. I woke the neighborhood each day with my gorgeous smoker's cough. I wanted to quit. Really, truly, I did. I even tried a few times…even making it almost a year. But I just couldn't do it. I used to wish for an incredibly horrible cold, because I couldn't smoke when I was sick, and I could use that to get me through the first rough days of going cold turkey. You would think that if I was to the point that I would wish for sickness that I would know it was time to just quit already. But nope.

So two things presented themselves as the perfect storm for quitting. First, I got dry socket, because yup, I smoked after I had a wisdom tooth pulled. Because I am intelligent that way. Let me tell you something about me and dental pain…I have had a lot of it. I am a dental trooper, if I do say so myself. My classic tip off to a dentist to let him know I am in pain is when he sees a tear leave my eye. Because I try to suck it up and not say anything. But sometimes, I can't stop the tears. So to experience the pain I was in, and actually have to call the dentist to complain? A tragedy! But I called. I got totally and completely busted for smoking. I had to have treatments for the dry socket for three days…and was sternly instructed to not smoke during these treatments. After experiencing that kind of pain, I promised, and meant it, that I would not smoke for those three days.

And then, the deal braker. At the same time of my dental woes, one of the nurses at work was hit with the ultimate tragedy. Her husband was feeling chest pain. They went to the emergency room. They took xrays. They did scans. And then they said, you are not having a heart attack, you are dying of lung cancer. You have maybe three months. I witnessed the devestation this news brought to this family. I listened as they discussed that he felt comforted in knowing his death would help with their debt because of the life insurance. I listened as they discussed how to tell his precious granddaughter that he would not be in her life for much longer. I listened to a wife cry at the thought of losing the love of her life. I listened. I cried. I felt guilty. By smoking, wasn't I esentially asking for the same events to eventually happen to me? And so I quit. My co-worker posted a picture of her husband in my workspace so that every time I thought that I wanted to smoke, I could look at his photo and be reminded of his pending death. Of a family's heartache. Of the foolishness of smoking. I never had another cigarette. My co-worker's husband defied the doctor's timeline, but not by much. And when he went downhill, it happened fast. He died. And I quit smoking.

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2 Comments to “5 on…Wednesday?”

  1. Kritie — That is amazing congratulations. I wish my Mom had been that inspired by my Father’s bout with lung cancer. She still smokes and he has been gone for nine years.

  2. congrats kristie on the 5 years.. thats awesome!!!

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