Congratulations Diane, and thanks for sharing your story. The work you're putting into quitting now will pay you back with benefits for many years to come.
I've been smoking all my life, until now.
I was born in 1960, a time when there was no real link between smoking and health issues. Smoking was not only acceptable, smoking was fashionable. Everyone smoked. Not just the movies stars of the silver screen, or the television stars, doctors also smoked. You could smoke on a plane, in a public building, even in a hospital. Smoking was a way of life. It wasn’t until 1966 that the Surgeon General put the warning on cigarette packages...
Caution: Cigarette Smoking May be Hazardous to Your Health
Caution? May be? That was a joke because nobody was paying attention.
My mother was a good and wonderful woman. I had a great childhood. There was nothing dysfunctional about us and by no means do I blame my smoking addiction on my mother. My mother was a nurse who smoked, but again, in the 60's, medicine was not as advanced as it is now. If she knew the dangers, I know my mother would have never smoked while pregnant, and not around me and my brother.
I started smoking at conception. I smoked in the womb with my mother during pregnancy and in the course of my childhood through secondhand smoke. So for me, I was predisposed to pick up the habit of smoking. Nicotine has always been in my system.
I didn't feed my craving for it though until I was in college. I really wasn’t a legitimate smoker (yet) and could always quit with ease. In 1985 I became a bona fide smoker and could not – would not – did not want to quit smoking.
There was a brief moment in time when I did quit for three years with the pregnancies of my two children (who are 15 months apart and are now 17 and 18 years old), but I hit a bump in my life and picked up that crutch - cigarettes. I used to think cigarettes eased the stress; I used to think cigarettes were good after a meal or made alcohol taste better. I thought smoking made me look cool. It didn’t.
A Slave to Smoking No More...
Fast-forward to September 2010. I turned 50 years old and decided it was time. Time to take the shackles off so I could be free. I made a plan, talked to my doctor, and on December 31, 2010 at 11:45 p.m., I smoked my LAST cigarette and my journey to freedom began.
I ain’t gonna lie – it wasn’t easy in the beginning. But I promise you, I have not looked back. I prayed often and still do.
One day I stumbled upon a book (that can be downloaded for free) on the internet when I was having a moment of doubt and had no sponsor to talk to. It’s called Never Take Another Puff by Joel Spitzer. This book was a gift out of nowhere. Something I needed at the time to keep me going and whisper in my ear that I was going to make it. It help me understand the addiction to smoking. It gave me knowledge about nicotine that armed me to never want to take another puff.
I had no intention on rattling on about this, but perhaps I needed to tell this part of my story so I can keep traveling. I am a recovering smoker, it's been six months and I am smoke free!
I am Diane.