I hope you had a great New Year’s Eve! I hope it was safe and you didn’t do anything you’ll regret tomorrow. Now that 2012 is gone and a new year is here, what are your plans? Will you be making resolutions? Will you finally get off the couch and start running? Will you start being nicer? Stop drinking? What about all you smokers out there? Will you finally realize that smoking is a nasty habit? Not to mention, it is costly and what is probably the icing on the cake, it’ll eventually kill you. That’s not cool. Who wants to die? I know I don’t. I know I will eventually but I rather not go that way. You don’t have to listen to me. It’s okay if you smoke. I’ve said it before. It’s your choice. I am not going to shun you or look down on you because you smoked. I smoked. I never cared and never listened to people when they pointed out the facts I just listed above. I liked smoking. I enjoyed it. I was aware of the repercussions and the damage I was doing to myself. But that didn’t matter. I liked the relaxing feeling smoking gave me. I enjoyed waking up and going outside, a coffee in one hand and a cigarette in the other. It was a great feeling. No one was going to make me quit. If I was going to quit smoking, it wasn’t going to be because you said I should. I will quit when I want to. When I am ready, I will quit. When you’re ready, you will too. The question you need to ask yourself, are you ready this year?
Last year is when I decided to quit smoking. It was on my bucket list of things to do. I had a pack left and decided that it would be my last. I wasn’t going to keep buying the last pack over and over. I remember it was a Monday when I quit. I was about to enjoy some spaghetti and watch How I Met Your Mother. It was going to be a good night. Going to bed without a smoke before hand was different. It was difficult at first. My normal routine took a slap to the face when I quit. There was no smoking when I walked to the car. There was no smoking while driving. No smoking when I left work. No smoking when I got home. All those normal and planned smoke breaks were gone. I had to find something else to do besides that. I never ate so much candy and gum. Those were my lifesavers. They saved me when I drove. God, I missed smoking that first week.
I was never expecting to actually go through with it. I figured I would make it a few months and then I would find some sort of excuse to pick smoking back up. I tried quitting once. I made it six months and I found a reason to pick it up back. I don’t even know the reason why. I say stress. I blamed work. I had to find something to say when people asked me why I started again. I know it wasn’t me who made the awful decision of starting it up again. I am not like that. It wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t because I had no will power. I wasn’t weak. If anything, I could have told people a stranger held me down and forced me to smoke them all up. Hey! Smoke up, Johnny. That didn’t happen. No one forced me to smoke. It wasn’t work. It wasn’t stress. I just wasn’t ready to quit smoking at that time.
I don’t know I decided 2012 was my year to stop. I must have felt ready to quit. I said in my bucket list I wanted to be healthier. I said I wanted to stop smoking. I mentioned I was going to start running and bike. I got the running down but my bike has a flat tire and after a year, I have yet to fix it. Nice to know that the two thinks I wanted to do, I actually did. I actually started running and I stopped smoking. I said it but I had to stick with it. They say if you can pass three days, the rest of it will be easy. I passed three days and I hit a week of no smoking. It was getting easier but I still had the cravings. I hate to admit it but today, a year later, I still get cravings. I still want a cigarette.
With those cravings and the temptations, I didn’t smoke. Even after 3 weeks of no smoking I didn’t. I made it three months of kicking the habit and still didn’t smoke. I was determined to keep this up. I wasn’t going to smoke and wasn’t going to cheat with a quick puff. If I am going to do this, I can’t smoke here and there because I think and consider that “quitting”. It would be the same if you’re a vegetarian and you eat meat every once in a while because it “won’t mean anything.”
I reached six months of my no smoking resolution and I haven’t smoked. I posted a video on youtube about the first six months of no smoking. You can watch it here. If I made it six months of no smoking and I haven’t caved, I know I can hit nine months of no smoking. You know what happened? I didn’t smoke. I was still smoke free. I kept running and even with a few seconds guesses about smoking, I stayed strong. I didn’t cave and I didn’t let smoking get the best of me. I made this resolution and I am going to stick with it. I still run. I like running. If I go back to smoking, I can kiss running goodbye. I want to quit. I want to be healthier. I want to have that opportunity to tell the doctor “No” when he asks if I smoke. That will be a good feeling. I am half way to being smoke free for a year. I got this. Hell, I hit nine months of no smoking. Three more months and I will get that gold star.
Well…I don’t like bragging but I think I just might. You see..um… today marks a year of no smoking. That’s 12 months of no cigarettes, That’s 365 days since I last smoked. That’s 52 weeks without a puff. Shall I keep going? I hope that this streak continues and I can live a healthy and smoke-free life. I joke with friends saying that when I hit a year of being smoke-free I am going to light up and smoke one to celebrate. I’ll just make a long and drawn out post instead. I am tickled pink that I am still smoke free after a year. I always doubted myself if I could really stop smoking but I did. I did it and I know you can too.
If you are planning on quitting this year and make it your new year’s resolution, I support you fully. It’s a great resolution. You can do it! Try the apple app, Quit Smoking Now with Max Kirsten. Try using the patch or using a prescription medicine Chantix or go cold turkey like I did. Whatever your choice is, stick with it. Don’t find an excuse so you can smoke again. If you really want to quit, quit. I will repeat myself again because I think this is important. Do not quit because a loved one is pressuring you. Don’t quit because your friends say you should. Quit because you want to. Quit when you’re ready. Quit for no one but yourself. If I was going to convince you to stop smoking, I would dangle the photo below in your face. That could change your mind but if it doesn’t then maybe a picture of a rat wearing a Santa hat will.
Good luck if you make quitting your New Year’s Resolution. I support you. Happy New Year and good luck with deciding to be smoke-free and leading a healthier life. Drop me a comment below and let me know if you quit smoking last year or plan on doing it this year.