A Profound Effect At Just The Right Moment
Today was a Day 1 for me in the smoking department and I'm telling you, my addiction to nicotine is driving me crazy, but I'm still standing. People tell me their stories of quitting cold turkey and sometimes they make it sound so easy. It's like hearing about weight loss success stories when I was a miserable 505 pounds and felt completely hopeless. “I just walked over to the trash can, threw 'em away, and never looked back!” or “I woke up one day and decided that I'd had enough, never touched another one again” and “My kid asked me to quit, I did it right then and there, you can too.” My late Aunt Violet threw away a brand new carton of cigarettes after hearing a radio news report about the harmful effects of second hand smoke in the mid nineteen-eighties. She couldn't stop thinking about how she was hurting her grandkids, that was it for her---it was done. She passed away early last year and it had nothing to do with cigarettes. So why is it so hard for me?
I don't want the gum or the patch. I want to be like them! I want to be free without any thing other than my resolve to help me through. A friend offered me an electronic cigarette and smokeless filters today, completely free of charge. It delivers nicotine and looks and feels like a cigarette, but it doesn't actually light---and the smoke is just water vapor. I thanked them and declined. Then two hours later I found myself parked outside of a convenience store struggling with the idea of failure and what it would mean to me. My addiction to nicotine was winning. I was just minutes from sucking on another nasty cigarette---just minutes from destroying the integrity of my mission to quit, and then it happened. It was like one of those stories you watch in a movie where everything happens at just the right time, making everything so clear and understood.
I was sitting there in the parking lot of the convenience store ready to break my promise to myself, my family, my readers---not even a day into this, and I was ready to give up---how pathetic is that? Just then the e-mail alert went off on my phone. I decided to check it before going into the store and what I found was this blog comment from Dawne: I am attending a funeral for my 41 year old friend, who was diagnosed with lung cancer 2 weeks ago, on Tuesday. I spent her last night on earth with her, holding her hand in the hospital. I thought of you and prayed that you would make this decision. No one should have to die the way my friend did. Congrats on your decision and I know you will find the strength to kick that habit for good!
I read it over and over and I just sit and slowly cried right there at the Stop and Go. I couldn't give in now, I couldn't do it. Dawne, I'm so sorry to hear about your friend and I sincerely thank you for sharing that with me. It had a profound effect. I put the vehicle in reverse and went home. I'm doing this now. I'm not looking back and I'm not giving in, this is it. Because I've been too lucky for too long, I can't tempt fate another day with those things. It's over.
I really wanted to do a 10K on the treadmill today, but I didn't. I did complete a 5K with enough jogging to really get the sweat pouring. It was a great workout. I didn't do the 10K because---well, honestly---there isn't a good reason. I had the time and nothing was stopping me, except me I guess. Today has been a constant struggle to do what's right and good, and my focus has been zeroed in on that---everything else is kind of a blur.
I prepared the biggest egg white omelet known to man today. OK, probably not the biggest egg wise, let me explain. We recently bought a new non-stick griddle type pan, it's huge. I took four egg whites and poured them on, letting them spread out real thin. When that thing was ready for the cheese, boy, I knew I had created a special omelet. I put in some cheese and fresh mushrooms, then rolled it up instead of folding it over. It was so big it actually hung off the plate on both sides. And the thing was still under 200 calories. I also grilled some chicken today. My food is solid and I don't see that changing regardless of my fight to stay off cigarettes. It's too important—both issues. We've come too far to ever go back, you know what I mean?
Our oldest turns twenty tomorrow. Twenty years old, wow. I can't believe it really. It just doesn't seem possible. I'll be calling her at precisely 12:19pm tomorrow. Amber is no longer a teenager! Crazy, isn't it? Makes me feel old...but I'm only 38, I swear!
Thank you for reading. And to everyone that has left encouraging words of support, I can't thank you enough. You're helping me more than you know, sincerely—thank you. Goodnight and...