Smokefree days: 1488 days
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 14880
Total savings: $8,184.00

Today is my birthday. I have reached that grand old age of 70.
Four years and 28 days ago I was in hospital feeling very sorry for myself. I had just had surgery (relatively minor) but had almost come unstuck because I failed to breathe properly in recovery. I remember the frightened looks on the faces of my daughters and the lecture I received about giving up smoking from the surgeon and deciding maybe I really should try to stop. I was scared – afraid that I would fail and make a complete fool of myself. I was already feeling bad because I knew that my 49 years of heavy smoking was the main reason I had breathing problems and I thought that if I failed I would never live it down. Also, I didn’t really want to stop my habit and abandon my “friend” of 49 years. Fortunately common sense prevailed and I decided to try. I promised myself I would never smoke again. I told no one, just got on with it.
I decided to talk to Quitline on my 12th day, just to get re-assurance if nothing else. They were amazing. I will never forget feeling at ease and being able to express my thoughts to someone who was non judgmental and willing to listen to my silly excuses for wanting to remain a smoker.
I read some of the blogs and quickly realized I was not the only person who felt the way I did. This gave me the confidence to continue my smokefree quest.
At first every day was a milestone. I would look forward to bedtime so that I could put a line through another smokefree day. I remember completing my first smokefree month and thinking I would never get to 2 months. It took a long time for me to stop wanting a cigarette, but one day it dawned on me that I had gone several days without giving smokes a thought. That was a day for celebration. Then I started to go out and meet friends and it was so nice not to have to seek an opportunity to sneak off to have a puff.
The first smokefree year was exciting, then came the second and third and on the 1st September my fourth smokefree breathday. I still occasionally have a fleeting thought that a cigarette would be “nice”, but I do not for one minute regret my decision to quit.
I have made so many friends through Quitline. It is like a big family.
I feel for each “Newbie” who struggles over the first few days and weeks. I want to reach out and do it for them, but this is a battle that must be fought alone. I love to hear news of those who were new when I joined and I really enjoy hearing from those who were “old hands” when I joined. I was so in awe of them.
I may not have a bigger bank balance than 4 years ago, but my discretional spending has improved greatly. I can afford little luxuries when I feel like them.
I certainly have a bigger waistline, but I am slowly coming to terms with that. I bought new clothes and try to exercise as much as my COPD will allow.
Although my health is not perfect I feel I can look forward to living long enough to enjoy any great grand children that will happen now that my grandchildren are adult.
Life is so good now that I am SMOKEFREE and I will never go back on my promise to myself.

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Comments

  • avatar-icon
    Shewa said:
    28 September 2014

    Congratulations and a very Happy Birthday ;-)

  • avatar-icon
    Yorkshire Lass said:
    28 September 2014

    Think this should get `Blogger of the Week` if Quit Line still do this. Totally awesome Clarence. And I`ll take this opportunity to thank you for all the support you have given me. You are certainly an inspiration to us all. Well Done.xxxx

  • avatar-icon
    Gilly60 said:
    28 September 2014

    Wonderful blog! Inspiring. Thank you! And congratulations to you! :)

  • avatar-icon
    Gilly60 said:
    28 September 2014

    I agree Yorkshire Lass. Blogger of the Week most definitely :)

  • avatar-icon
    SusyQ said:
    28 September 2014

    Clarence the cat! Happy birthday and well done! And well done 4 years and a month smoke free. What a huge achievement! You are a true inspiration! That feeling of fear is so big, fear of not being able to quit, but you did it! You have blown it out of the water. I congratulate you for your amazing achievement, and I hope you have been spoilt rotten today. Happy birthday.

  • avatar-icon
    Sexymwahz said:
    28 September 2014

    Absolutely beautiful Clarance the Cat.. Loved your journey. Happy 70th birthday and many blessings to you on this beautiful day and Congratz on your 4th breatheday.. A miracle ii can only dream of and am continuing to pursue.

    Thank you for being more than an inspiration, for you are a leader paving the way for us to follow, learn and understand that thiiz journey can be achieved.

    ~mw(",)h~

  • avatar-icon
    sparke said:
    28 September 2014

    Happy birthday and we'll done :)

  • avatar-icon
    AXL said:
    28 September 2014

    Wow. What am awesome blog. Happy 70th birthday☺

  • avatar-icon
    Selly said:
    28 September 2014

    This was the loveliest blog:) and inspiration,c0pd is difficult to deal with but you seem to just get out there and push through life I bet your daughter is very proud, I gave up a year ago as I wTched my mother with COPD:( thanks for the inspiring words x

  • avatar-icon
    Cheekyhua said:
    28 September 2014

    Whoa :) Happy 70th birthday that is amazing, simply inspirational :)

  • avatar-icon
    Yorkshire Lass said:
    28 September 2014

    Oops, Sorry Clarence, I was so blown away by your blog I forgot to wish you a Very Happy 70th Birthday. Hope you are having a lovely day.xxxx

  • avatar-icon
    Elevtheria said:
    28 September 2014

    Happy birthday lovely :) what an inspirational blog! Thank you for sharing and thank you for your support. Love xxxx

  • avatar-icon
    Hollie said:
    28 September 2014

    What a tremendous achievement. Happy 70th birthday.

    Most definitely Blog of the Week. :) :)

  • avatar-icon
    Saffron said:
    28 September 2014

    Adding my vote for "Blogger of the Week" - so inspirational and beautiful.

    Happy, Happy 70th Birthday, clarence the cat and Many Happy Returns!

    Congratulations for that and for your incredible stats!

    Enjoy celebrating and thank you so much for all your support.

    Take care of your lovely self ♥xx♥

  • avatar-icon
    sunray said:
    28 September 2014

    Wow awesome inspiring stats you have Clarence the cat. A winner of a blog for "blogger of the week". A very Happy Birthday to you. Have a lovely afternoon. ⭐

  • avatar-icon
    Buddy said:
    28 September 2014

    Happy Birthday Clarence the cat, Love your blog, Congrats on the 4 years smokefree :)

  • avatar-icon
    M-dog said:
    28 September 2014

    Happy birthday and congrats Clarence.



    You have been one of my inspirations in here, so thank you - you have helped.

  • avatar-icon
    PokuruGirl said:
    28 September 2014

    Happy 70th birthday C the C!! One of favourite bloggers and someone I've admired greatly ever since I took my first baby steps to smoke freedom. You're celebrational, inspirational and motivational (sing it to the Muppet theme song). Hope you're having a lovely day surrounded by family and friends, good food and love.

  • avatar-icon
    Thunderbirds are go said:
    28 September 2014

    WHOOP WHOOP Happy Birthday Clarence the cat. 70 years is certainly something to celebrate and WOW, that 1488 days smokefree is outstanding!

  • avatar-icon
    aimee7 said:
    28 September 2014

    What a wonderful truly inspiring post. Happy happy birthday. This is the type of blog that keeps me going. Fantastic :)))

  • avatar-icon
    FeFe said:
    28 September 2014

    Amazing, thank you for sharing your story. My 3rd attempt and I felt stink coming back on again, I thought people would laugh at me. But quit line is amazing like you.

  • avatar-icon
    Arria said:
    28 September 2014

    Happy Birthday and what a great achievement ! Three score and ten and smoke free. I hope you were / are surrounded with your loving family today. You are an inspiration to all. :)

  • avatar-icon
    thin-barbie said:
    28 September 2014

    How beautiful Clarence I hope u have some great grands I'd love great grands too! Happy 4th smokefree birthday xoxoxoxoxoxo

  • avatar-icon
    glen said:
    28 September 2014

    well done and happy birthday to you :)xx

  • avatar-icon
    josienz1958 said:
    28 September 2014

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY Clarence the Cat and thanks for your lovely blog - I can relate to much of what you wrote. It is never too late to quit eh? Good for you and I am sure your children are so proud of you.

  • avatar-icon
    nga said:
    28 September 2014

    ♬∴♪★HapPy birthday to you★♪∵♬Clarence the Cat♪♬★ツツ 4 years is wicked. Takecare.

  • avatar-icon
    Bicycle said:
    28 September 2014

    Best post of the day (or week) !! :)

  • avatar-icon
    Kathry said:
    01 October 2014

    Wonderful to hear from you Clarence. Thank you for all the support you give to others and congratulations on your fantastic achievement.

  • avatar-icon
    Captinhook said:
    01 October 2014

    And that is how it's done! Happy birthday! Still such an inspiration for me and the rest of us! Much love to ya! X

  • avatar-icon
    maggie said:
    02 October 2014

    Happy belated birthday Clarence xxxx

  • avatar-icon
    Darja said:
    03 October 2014

    Star!! :-)

  • avatar-icon
    aufgehalten rauchen said:
    05 October 2014

    Glad I saw this well done Clarence, fantastic blog

  • avatar-icon
    Thunderbirds are go said:
    05 October 2014

    Congrats on getting your blog on Quitline's Facebook page :)

  • avatar-icon
    Ady said:
    09 October 2014

    Hi Clarence, How you doing mate, Long time no see,

    Im sorry i missed your 70th birthday, WOW you are doing well.

    Damn it, i also missed your 3th breathday, heres me busy doing my own thing, not even thinking about tobacco, it just doesnt enter my brain anymore thats probly why i forgot your 4th breathday.

    Congratulations Clarence, that is one Fabulous Achievement, a Milestone to be proud of.

    I will call in for coffee when i travel to Auckland again.

    Lots of ppl look up to you for inspiration so keep up the good work Clarence.

    Cheers

  • avatar-icon
    clarence the cat said:
    12 October 2014

    Good to hear from you Ady. I would love you to call in for a coffee sometime. Seems like all is well for you. Take care!!

  • avatar-icon
    tina27 said:
    15 October 2014

    Awwww I am also so sorry I missed your Birthday so heres wishing you a happy belated birthday sending lots of love to you..

    I agree with Ady you really are an Inspiration

    Kia Kaha xoxo

  • avatar-icon
    clarence the cat said:
    17 October 2014

    Thank you Tina27. How are you? I hope life is being kind to you.

  • avatar-icon
    Joybelle said:
    21 October 2014

    Hi there Clarence, sorry I missed your birthday & breathday. I see from all those comments from everyone what a real inspiration you are. I have not been into this web site for a few months, have been very busy which is a good thing. All is well with me I was also 70 this year so we do have a lot to celebrate. I wish you all the best.

    Cheers

  • avatar-icon
    clarence the cat said:
    22 October 2014

    Joybelle it is so good to hear from you. I have often wondered how you were doing.

  • avatar-icon
    cjtwo said:
    04 November 2014

    Congratulations and happy birthday I remember you from way back you have done so well unlike me I broke many times was under another name back then. Its so great to hear that some of my friends back then are still going strong, maybe there is hope for me yet!!! Have a great day

  • avatar-icon
    clarence the cat said:
    06 November 2014

    There's always hope cjtwo. It is good to see you haven't given up the idea of becoming SMOKEFREE. You will succeed believe me.