A Choice

I just celebrated 18 yrs smoke-free! I never thought I'd make it 18 days, much less 18 years! I had my first cigarette at 13 years old. I was getting teased for being on the honour roll in my first year in junior high and wanted to show them that I wasn't a "goodie two shoes' as they were calling me. I was pretty much a full time pack a day smoker by 16.

I quit when I was 28 yrs old. I was hiking with 3 other friends and we were going up a small hill. They were conversing casually and I couldn't even breathe! I didn't want that and worse for the rest of my life. I quit that day. It was excruciating for the first several days, but I kept myself motivated in several ways: 1) I never wanted to go through quitting again and each day got easier (though slowly) 2) I bought myself treats every week, then monthly to celebrate (and use the money I saved from not smoking). I even went to Safeway and ordered myself a cake and got them to write on it "Congratulations - 2 months smoke - free!" 3) I carried around a list I made of 101 reason WHY I was quitting- I looked at it all the time!

After 3 yrs, I picked up a cigarette (as my husband was still smoking in the house) and I lit it and took a drag. It was like I never even quit. It tasted great, fit perfectly between my fingers and felt so natural. I realized at that moment that it came down to A CHOICE. I could keep living my life as a non-smoker or go right back to being a full-time smoker. There was no such thing as a casual smoker for me. I loved being a non-smoker so I made that choice that day and 15 yrs later I am still smoke -free. Fortunately, my husband also quit shortly after that! He is still smoke-free too! Quitting is hard but it's worth it - life is so much better without that ball and chain!
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A Choice
Calgary