Monday, December 19, 2011

Quitting for me.

Lets see.  How did I start smoking...I remember clear as day.  All throughout high school you could not have met a bigger anti-smoking advocate.  If I found a friend smoking the ration of shit that followed would scare them into the closet, and then their car would forever smell of Yankee candle car spray and stale nicotine.  Or they would just deal with the annoying barrage of insults thrown their way about the smell, the cancer, the yellow teeth etc.  I was the girl who cried, "I grew up with a smoker and it is disgusting and nasty and blah blah blah."
Still a smoking virgin here.

Fast forward to a breakup, graduating high school, and the impending move away from family and friends for college.  Those were the ingredients I needed to make my excuse that I wanted, slash that, NEEDED a cigarette.  The first pack of "butts" were amazing.  It was like a legal buzz.  The light headed feeling, the low hum in your ears, the impending lack of appetite, it was everything I wanted at the time.  Lots of late night hours spent cruising around my home town listening to music with my dear friend cigarette.

 3 months later.  The day I left for college.  Note the butt hanging from my hand.  Nice touch to any picture right?

I had solidly convinced myself for the first two years that I was a "social smoker" that the butts alone in the car or before bed were just because I was "stressed" that day.  But around year three I knew that I was a tried and true smoker.  I had anxiety when I was down to my last couple cigs and couldn't get to the store till the next day.  I would be out to dinner and all I could think about was when I could get outside to light up.  I thought up reasons why it was good to smoke...hey more breaks at work right?  Yes, year three I knew I was hooked.

Then I was getting married and things were going great.  I was planning my wedding, eating healthy, exercising and smoking didn't fit the image I had in mind of the bride I wanted to be.  I didn't want to be in my gown, huffing a butt down before the cake cutting.  I made a promise to myself that I was going to quit.  And I did.  For 8 months.  Then I gave in to the "stress" excuse and lit up two weeks before my wedding.  And yes, I was the bride smoking a butt in her beautiful gown.  GROSS. NOT CLASSY. and I was so mad at myself.

Yes Dad had to come get me outside for our Father Daughter dance...had to have that butt!

One month after my wedding I was pregnant.  SMOKING WAS NOT A OPTION.  As soon as the test confirmed that we were going to be three I threw my pack in the trash.  I didn't think of them again for 10 months.  Noah was about one month old when I picked up a cigarette again.  I could not believe that I had gone back to it.  I convinced myself that I would only smoke at night, outside, when I was not near the baby etc. etc.  And for the most part I did stick to that.  I never smoked near Noah or in the house.  Not that it makes it any better.  Hurting yourself is as bad as hurting your child.

With my second pregnancy I quit again.  This time it was harder.  I was far away from my family, my pregnancy had taken a bad turn and become VERY SCARY.  During Bella's pregnancy there were definitely times that I wanted to smoke.  I was steadfast though and didn't give in...till she was a week old.  Again I had let myself and my family down.

Here is the thing.  When my mother was diagnosed with cancer, when my uncle was diagnosed with cancer, none of those things were enough to make me quit.  I had to be REALLY sick of it.  SO SICK OF NEEDING AND WANTING A CIGARETTE.  I was tied to them and I hated it.  I hated the feeling I had in the morning after a night of smoking.  I knew that it was slowly killing me.  I loved my family and I wanted to spend every minute I could get out of this life with them, not a cigarette.  That is why it worked this time.  I love the fact that my kids don't know I ever smoked...I want to keep it that way.  Hey, little white lies don't count.  Nagging won't work.  Lead by example. When the person you love is ready, they will quit.  I am sure they hate the fact that they smoke even more then you do.


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