Quitting, the emotional side

I want to write advice about quitting smoking.

I read the blog To feel peace again, my journey to freedom. She is where I was just 45 days ago.

I was a person with asthma that smoked. I know what you are thinking, “Why on earth would a person with asthma get near a cigarette???” You would look at me in utter disgust, and I would feel my self-esteem plummet again. I would also light another cigarette.

What you don’t realize, is that the smoking came first, long before the asthma. For most of us, the health issues have to get a lot worse before we consider quitting. The quitting is always in the back of our minds, but so is the pain of quitting.

Like her, the asthma has gotten worse, and it is harder to recover from.

This spring was bad. This spring was round after round of bronchitis, then pneumonia. More antibiotics, more steroids. Medicine that made you well, but made you sick with other things as well.

Let me tell you, heaped on to everything else, on all the other things that motivated me to quit smoking, the one thing that set it all in motion.

I read a blog written by a smoker. A smoker that began blogging after being diagnosed with cancer. First her lungs, then eventually her brain. It was a motivational, heartbreaking read. Deborah’s blog is here if you want to read, but be warned, it is a hard, hard story.

The thing I got from it, the thing I really want to share with you, is that often (not always, I know) people really begin to fight when the fight is so much harder.

They fight to live. They take horrible drugs that ravage their bodies, and they fight. They get in touch with all those they love, and reconcile their feelings, and they fight. They try special diets, new treatment, yoga, religion and they fight to live, to be cured, to win a few more years, a few more days.

Why not fight half that hard, right now, to quit. Why wait until you hear the word “cancer” to strap on your boots and fight for your life? Fight to breathe. Fight for the rest of your life. Why wait until you’re dying to fight to live?

40 days ago, I began my life over. I started the fight to LIVE. I started the fight to beat my addiction.

I have to tell you, going back and reading many of Deborah’s words again, my fight has been so much easier than hers. I am SO sorry her fight ended, but I am grateful she left her words behind for me to learn from, so maybe I will never have to wage the same battle she did.

I want to tell you, as soon as you can, quit.

Shalom, Jo

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5 thoughts on “Quitting, the emotional side

  1. Thank you so much for sharing that. I have a chronic illness, and need to quit as well. I tried about a week ago, and failed. Due to my illness, I have to take many of the same drugs as a cancer patient, so I really relate to the internal debate you are describing – fighting for health, instead of fighting to quit.. I am so proud of you for your strength and enormous effort. I’ll be following to hear how things turn out, but I’m sure that if you made it this far, you should be fine 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by, and thank you too, for your pride in my quit. It’s encouraging to know that maybe others can relate to what I feel.
      People like you, and me, and millions of others, struggle daily to simply have a good day. I cannot imagine the struggle just to have the NEXT day.
      Please don’t think I’m being cocky. Just because I quit smoking doesn’t mean I have dodged a bullet, after all, I have smoked for a LONG time and the healing is by no means instantaneous. However, on the smoking front, I am healing, so no matter what happens, I have taken a positive step to be in control of that part of my life. 😉
      I would like to say it’s easy, but it’s not. However, it does get easier every day!!!!

      1. It’s not cocky of you at all! You should be very proud tho, as its tough.. And, like you said, it takes time to heal, but every day w/o smokes is one more day of health and healing..
        And, I know even if you quit and fail, the time you spent off of them is still better than nothing.. its everywhere, and sorta cliche, but “never quit quitting”

  2. I too recently quit smoking (4 Weeks, 3 Days & 13 hours ago). I smoked for 20+ years with progressively worse asthma and Ankylosing spondylitis. About three years ago I quit and started running. Soon after I did not need my Advair and my AS pains went away. Then after a tragedy I started up again. I tried hard to keep the healthy lifestyle but the pressure was too much for me. Now three years later I am taking my own advise literally by re-reading the blog I kept back then. It really is an emotional ride but the best thing I’ve done for myself and my family in years. Good luck!

  3. Thank you and Congratulations on quitting! Your story sounds much like mine. I was once a runner and triathlete, activities I took up when I quit smoking before. I can’t wait to jump over and start reading your blog!

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