There was a time, and no so long ago, that I thought I would always smoke. I worried each and every day about what I was doing to my body and how I was shortening my life, but still I continued to smoke. I just couldnt believe that I would be able to give up this addiction after over 30 years and live without my cigarettes. But guess what -
I did it!!!!!!!Last year at this time I was scheduled for eye surgery. I knew that in order to heal well and not have continuing problems with my eyes, I would need to stop smoking. This was the motivator and I finally did it. Several years ago, I was diagnosed with Graves disease. This is an overactive thyroid condition. One of the things that can happen is that eye problems can occur. Fatty tissue builds up behind the eyes and makes them protrude forward. Not everyone who gets Graves has eye problems, but if you smoke, you are four times as likely to develop them. Also, if you smoke you are 8 times more likely to develop Graves. Of course, I learned this after my diagnosis.
When I was diagnosed , the physicians told me to quit smoking so that my eyes would not get worse. Of course, I didnt listen and over the next 6 years or so, my eyes began to bulge quite a bit. I looked horrible and got a lot of stares wherever I went. I finally couldnt stand it anymore and went to an ocular specialist who performed the surgery. My eyes are back in a much more normal position now. All of this because I smoked! But no more!
It has not been an easy year. Many of you can attest to that as you read my posts and supported me and encouraged me and got me through the hardest of times. It really wasnt until about the 6th month for me that I began to turn a corner. Not that I found it easy at that point, but the discomfort and cravings were less frequent and intense.
I am so happy now to report that the next turning point for me was around the 10th month and since then, it is just so much easier. I am so thankful for how I feel now, no longer a battle and am so comfortable. I have everyone here to thank who got me through so many difficult times, making me feel like everything I was experiencing was normal; that hanging in there would be my reward because the passage of time makes this whole thing so much easier.
I am here at one year to say that everyone was so right. I thank you all so very much. If not for this place and the support of my wonderful family (particularly my son who called me every day for several months to ask how I was doing and to tell me how proud he was of me), I would never have been able to succeed with this quit!
There are so many incredible benefits, I could go on and on, but my speech has been long enough. However, the biggest benefit is and one so worth mentioning is how liberating it is to be smoke free! I also love being able to watch and listen to commercials about how to quit smoking and what to use and realize I no longer need those things, because I no longer smoke. I used to cringe when I saw them thinking that I should give What a relief!
Those of you just beginning this journey or having a tough time along the way, please hang in there. I am proof that this can be done. I had several really difficult months, but now it no longer hurts and feels FANTASTIC!
Smoke free since January 27, 2005