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.