Have you gotten to the point where you wonder if it’s all worth it? Where life is just wearing you down and it seems like if one more thing happens you’re just going to go out and buy a pack and to hell with it? Do you feel like you have a lot of reasons to quit, but there’s a lot of reasons to smoke, too?
The night before I quit for the last time, I went outside at a few minutes before midnight and lit my last cigarette. As I smoked it, every time I took a puff, I repeated out loud, “This is the last cigarette I will ever smoke.” In between drags, I reminded myself that smoking was something I would not miss.
Have you ever noticed that you always end up smoking more when you’re drinking? Are you worried that you’ll have to quit drinking when you quit smoking because you won’t be able to stop yourself from reaching for a cigarette whenever you have a few drinks?
This is an issue that many (if not most) smokers go through when they’re about to quit, and there’s good reason for concern: I can’t tell you how many quits I threw away over a few beers, and I know plenty of other smokers who could tell you the same story.
So how do I handle it?
No matter how old you are now, and no matter how long you’ve been smoking, quitting smoking now will give you some immediate benefits. For instance, you’ll have more money to spend on the good things (because you’re not throwing it away on supporting your addiction any more) and more time to do the things you want to do (because you’re not spending half your day smoking or planning how to get away to smoke).
Most importantly, your body starts to heal itself almost immediately after you smoke your last cigarette. I was 45 years old at the time I was diagnosed with emphysema, and I’d been at least a pack-a-day smoker for over 30 years by that point, and I can personally attest to many of the effects described below:
Read on for more details…
A few weeks before Thanksgiving of 1989, I got a call from my Mom – she told me that Dad had been diagnosed with lung cancer, and he was going into the hospital the next day so they could remove half of his right lung. She asked if I was thinking of coming home for Thanksgiving, and of course, I said I was. When I flew home for Thanksgiving, Dad had just gotten back from the hospital, and it was a great relief to see him.