This post is hard to write. Bear with me…
So, there’s something I haven’t been telling you. Sin of omission.
Last May I publicly stated that I was trying to turn my health around. I was low-energy, overstressed, carrying some extra inches around my middle, and I was still smoking a few cigarettes a day, having. I had quit twice, each for a period of several years, starting up heavily after my dad died and my mom’s death two months later. I quit again when I started this blog, but was triggered again by the stress of essentially being a single parent of 3 while Jeff struggled with a prolonged illness.
Every so often I think about the story of how my dad picked up a pamphlet in the hospital waiting room while I was being born. He read about the dangers of secondhand smoke. When my mom and I came home, she went to empty the ashtrays and couldn’t find them. He’d quit, just like that. For me.
My dad was stronger than I am, but that’s not news.
I still smoke one or two a day. Always before bed. Sometimes after dinner. Sometimes I skip a day or two.
On occasion I’ll have one or two more. I always feel like hell the next day.
I don’t need the nicotine. The patch or the gum isn’t going to work for me; they deliver more nicotine than I get now.
Quitting is tricky that way. The dependency is two-fold; the physical dependency on the drug(which you address with nicotine replacement), and the pschyological & emotional craving which is treated with behavioral support. You need to treat both for long-term success.
Which I am a poster child for. I associate these little time outs with stress relief. And I’m having a really hard time letting go of them.
If you’re like me and having a hard time letting go of smoking— even though you know you should, have tried in the past, hate yourself for your weakness every time you light up— it’s time.
(The Great American Smokeout is coming up next month. Commit now to being smoke-free by then, so that your kids don’t try to sponsor you. Trust me, that’s heartbreaking.)
If a support system is what you’re lacking, you can join QuitNet, an online behavioral support community with expert help. It does cost money, which in my mind is helpful because it makes it harder to conveniently forget about (kinda like a gym membership). You can join QuitNet on its own or bundle with select Nicorette or Nicoderm products, which can be ordered online.
The latest study shows that teenage smokers are more likely to eventually die of heart disease, even if they quit before they hit middle age. If you smoke continuously from those early years to mid adulthood, you’re twice as likely to die early.
I’m 36 on Monday. My first pack of cigarettes was when I was 11, bought for a buck fifty from a vending machine at the bowling alley. Two and a half decades of stupidity.
A quarter of a century of slowly poisoning myself is about enough, I think. I’m ready to ask for some help.
This is the part where you comment and tell me I can do it. Please.
I’m a member of the Mom Bloggers Club and this is a sponsored post, but all of these words are mine.