The first time I tried to quit smoking seriously was in March of 1979!
I paid big bucks and joined Smokenders. I remember our teacher gave us a test to determine how addicted we were. Everyone put their hands up, and if the situation did not apply to you, you would put your hand down. The questions were ones like: have you ever violated a "No Smoking" sign?, or, Have you ever gotten out of bed in the middle of the night to smoke?, or , Is smoking the first thing you do in the morning? By the end of the test, there were three people in the room with their hands still raised. Two guys in the back who looked like they were eighty and homeless, and, you guessed it, ME! The teacher didn't seem too concerned about this, but it confirmed my deepest and darkest beliefs:No one in life was more addicted than I was.
That quit ended about four months later when I started cutting the filters off my husband's Carlton cigarettes, and hiding in the bathroom, blowing smoke out the window. Ha - I sure fooled everyone!
Over the years, I tried many ways to quit. I repeated Smokenders, and then tried Smoke Stoppers. I told myself when they made NRT's
I would quit. Well, that day and year(s) came and went and I still smoked. My little daughter would leave notes all over the house:"Please don't smoke - I will choke coff coff"
with sad pictures. I actually saved these.
My kids got older - my son became a State champion in tennis; my daughter was a State champion soloist in synchronized swimming. Both of these sports require a lot of oxygen and stamina. Here is what I did to help them: I drove them to meets in a car filled with cigarette smoke, and made certain to smoke in every room of the house. I missed some of the highlights of their competitions, as I got so nervous, I was always racing outside to smoke!!
Finally, I tried the gum. This worked until one day I got so fed up with the process, I decided I needed a little reward. So...I went to the store, bought a pack, lit up one, and threw the entire pack out of the car window. About three hours later, I was back at that spot, madly searching for that beautiful pack I threw out.
One of my best friend's husband is a doctor. He supplied me with free patches that sat in my drawer until they expired and I threw them out. By this time, I could no longer sleep through the night, as I was coughing all the time. I coughed so hard I don't know how anyone slept.
Then the unthinkable happened...
My ex-husband, father of my two children, and
his wife both were diagnosed with lung cancer
. My children's world fell apart. School and activities were put on hold as they cared for the two of them. My daughter would call me, sobbing about how her father moaned in his sleep like a wounded animal, he was in so much pain. He went down hill so fast. 5 months after the diagnosis, my daughter was changing his diapers, and 6 months after the diagnosis, he was dead. His wife died 7 months later.