On January 7, 2019, I smoked a cigarette while I was taking a walk after work. It was a habit I’d started in February, 2012 and was “partaking” of in a fairly casual manner (it never evolved into a heavy addiction – just 2-3 a day, on average). I’d usually be hard pressed to smoke more than a pack per week (unless it was a camping or cabin trip – then all bets were off).
Fast forward one year, and I haven’t had any cigarettes since then.
I’m one of those fortunate souls who was able to quit an addictive, expensive and unhealthy habit – cold turkey. I know some people aren’t so lucky – and end up going to their graves – never having been able to quit smoking.
Several of my own family members died of smoking-related illnesses. Even a couple of my relatives who quit smoking – were never able to recover from the years of abuse it wreaked on their bodies.
So how did I do it? I got a tooth extracted! For some reason, the trauma/pain of having a tooth extracted was the way I was able to hit the “off switch” on this nasty habit (without trying, as it were). For one, you’re not supposed to smoke after having certain kinds of dental work done. Any nicotine withdrawal symptoms I might’ve been experiencing during the several days of recovery were probably dwarfed by other things. Focusing on keeping the pain at bay – and adhering to a “mushy food diet” – was a distraction as effective as a rodeo clown! That’s how I learned that vanilla chips in Cream of Wheat is so, so delicious…
I know smoking is a very, very tough thing to quit. My husband has been struggling with it for more than 30 years. He’ll stop – then start up again. I’m not nagging him into quitting, but have asked that he put forth a real effort to try stopping for good this year. Even if he needs a bit of help doing so (smoking cessation aids, etc.).
I’m not a preachy person -but anyone who wants to change their habits for 2020, needs to find their own path – or get help from someone/something to lead them down that path. Most importantly? They need to WANT to do it.
On that note? I haven’t made any real “resolutions” for 2020! Except maybe to stay smoke-free!