I didn’t choose this day. I was not ready to quit. I have been extremely ill, and that started in late October, early November. I may go back and visit those trials, but not now. The two days before, I was still having trouble breathing. I was on inhalers through out the day. I was recovering (or lack there of) from a trip and overnight stay in January at the most expensive resort…. the ER – maybe you have been there?
I would start to feel better, start to wean off the inhalers, and then I’d have another episode. I am weak, tired, unable to eat for 3 or 4 days at a time. I cough until I vomit. And then I think I am starting to get better again- and it repeats. I don’t know if food, the cold, the smoking- the what is causing these episodes. All I know is something is going to give. My lifes breath is weak and I know it. I feel it in my heart and soul. I am so saddened at the thought of leaving my husband and daughter. I am so saddened for putting them through this.
On January 30, I wanted all the smoking necessities completely out of the house. I had to cut down, no question. Everything went out to the sun-room. If I was going to smoke, it would have to be a NEED. Period. I couldn’t just smoke casually it was killing me. And worse, my family had to watch me unable to breathe, unable to walk across the room with out needing to sit. It came on harsh and relentless. The slightest efforts on my part left me breathy and exhausted. My daughter had to help me- I couldn’t even afford this task. I washed every ash tray, she had to walk everything where I wanted it. I was angry at myself, and the cigarette company. They KNEW this would happen to many people- and have not tried to make it safer. THEY LIED. I was deeply heart broken for hurting my family. I had to cut down. I smoked 7 cigarettes- or choked 7 cigarettes this day. Every cigarette was a coughing bout so violent I would almost vomit and pee my pants. Each time, I would think- “Oh isn’t this sexy, and attractive. Isn’t this a beautiful end all to show my daughter.” and lots of praying for God’s help, his love and mercy, as I am a weak and stupid person.
A lot of praying went on this day as well. A lot of forgiving people for their wrong doings. A lot of asking for forgiveness for the wrongs I have done. It was a lot like the previous day, only today I asked for prayer support from a few friends and family members. I cried. Crying-That seems to be a regular thing when oxygen can’t reach the body. Being dependent- instead of the care taker- watching others do what you should be able to do- Oh how I cried, and prayed, and read the bible. I tell my husband- I think I have to quit- I don’t think I have a choice. My husband suggests that I call the insurance company to see if they will cover the patch- I didn’t want to spend the money- God knows how much my ragged health was going to cost us if this continued- They will cover the patch. I pick up the patch- with the intention, that I will continue to cut back.
My UNINTENTIONAL QUIT DAY
I woke up. I wanted a cigarette. Mornings are when I smoke the most. I looked out at the sun room. I was filled with hurt and disgust. I put the patch on. (I was scared to put it on the evening before.) I cut a straw the length of my cigarette. I would inhale deeply through the straw (as much as I could anyway) and hack and cough (and all that goes with that). Oh Good morning. I held my daughters hand and cried. It is so hard, but I promise her I am going to quit. Even if I screw up- I will not stop trying to quit. I never break my promises. I am shaky and scared. I am still having trouble breathing.
Most of the day- it’s weird. I am at peace with not smoking- and the why behind it. I believe God has stepped in. I believe the prayers are helping. But the physical withdrawal symptoms are strong- like the other failed attempts. I feel like a crack head- I am an emotional crying shaking not able to breath scared addict. If this was alcohol, crack, heroin – any other drug- I would have the strength to over-come regardless of the symptoms. How can cigarettes be this bad, this addictive? Especially when I have the patch on?
My daughter leaves me sticky notes all over the house. I love you. You can do this. I get my stubbornness from you. I am proud of you. You are making your baby girl proud. Every time “the habit part would come up- or the just one- or just 1/2 of one” an angel on my shoulder (so to speak) would remind me “it won’t make this easier, your daughter and husband love you and your family needs you, and the worst- my daughters anguish seeing me like this. I don’t want her to hurt. And I would look at the carton of cigarettes- almost like they spoke to me- They LIED to me. They LIED.
My neighbor, my dear sweet, kind, God loving neighbor, has been texting me, talking to me and listening to me cry. She confesses she has never known anyone to be addicted to anything- my points are understood and felt, but not experienced. She invites me over- so I am not alone. I don’t want to go. I am a mess. I might break down and have a cigarette. If I do- I don’t want witnesses to my failure- not that I would hide it, but I don’t want anyone to see it. My daughters face pops in my head again- I decide to go.
My daughter and I have already emptied all the “emergency” stashes out of the vehicle. Got rid of the ashtray- swept up the ashes. If I get weak- I will have to wait to get a smoke. I drive down to the neighbors, who is busy canning- something I have always wanted to learn. She listens as I babble, get teary eyed, and suck on my straw. I try to pay attention as she goes through the motions- but I can’t soak in anything. Time moves so slowly- and I feel ansy, emotional, grateful, peaceful and sad. Like a train wreck-but I survived. Its strange to feel peace while feeling all these other emotions. It’s time to go. I still have to hit the store and pick up my daughter.
Oddly, the straw helps so much in the car- I barely miss smoking. In the store I get a few glances- I don’t care. No body can ban you from sucking on a straw! At the checkout lane, I joke with a couple behind me- like the straw? First day as a non-smoker. I didn’t say I quit smoking today- how odd. I said first day as a non-smoker. When people would ask me to quit, or encourage me to quit- my reply was always with a smile-“I’ve never been a quitter.”
I pick up my daughter and we go home. She tells me how proud she is of me that I haven’t smoked any today. I cry.
I am still hacking, still having trouble breathing, still scared. I tell myself in a few hours I can go to bed and this day will be behind me. With her home, I feel even more peace and less struggle. I love my daughter and husband so much. They make me so happy. I love taking care of them. I will beat this and get better if it is God’s will, and with his help. I can’t do it alone.
I spend the next hour reading the health benefits taking place in the body from online sources. It seems to be 1-3 days for most when the smokers cough lightens up and usually within 1 short week that it is gone. I hold on to this.
I am exhausted. I fall to sleep grateful for my family, my friends, the prayers and support.