Monday, October 11, 2010

20 years smoke free

Today marks exactly 20 years since I quit smoking for the final time. It was at 11:40 a.m. on October 11, 1990--7,305 days ago--that I had my final cigarette. I was 29 years old and had been smoking for about 15 years. I had quit a few times before, but those nasty cigarettes succeeded in luring me back each time. But October 11, 1990, was different.

I had gone to the doctor that morning because I had a cold. The doctor looked in my throat and asked me if I smoked. "Yes," I answered. He responded with, "Quit. Now. Not tomorrow, not a week from now. Now." That doctor's directive, coupled with the fact that my first-born son was 10 months old and starting to watch the things I did very carefully, was exactly what I needed to quit for good.

I left the doctor's office, went back to my office, went into the men's room, and lit a cigarette. "This," I told myself, "is my last cigarette." And that was it. Not once in the 7,305 days since then have I touched a cigarette. From somewhere within, I mustered up all the willpower I could imagine and stayed a non-smoker.

Quitting smoking is one of the accomplishments in my life that I'm most proud of. That might sound a bit hokey, but smoking is one of the hardest things in the world to quit. Nicotine puts its grip on you and doesn't let go. Even now, 20 years later, I still get cravings for cigarettes. But I will never ever give in to them. Smoking is a dangerous, nasty, dirty, expensive habit that I'm glad to be rid of.

Ironically, my oldest son, who was a big part of the inspiration for me quitting cigarettes, is a smoker. I hope and pray every day that he will see the light someday soon and join me as an ex-smoker.

No comments:

Post a Comment