Well I can’t believe I missed it. I was too busy last month with hunting scarecrows, making pumpkin bread out of my crock pot, and visiting pumpkin patches that I never celebrated a huge milestone in my life. When I say huge, I mean it. It is one of the achievements that you look back on and say “WOW! Why did I not do that sooner?” Thats exactly how I feel now.
For nine years I was a smoker. For nine years I let a bad habit rule my life and affect everyone around me. Well I am happy to say that as of October 23, 2013, I am smoke free. I feel incredible and proud of myself to sticking to my guns and beating this thing. I have tried to quit so many times but I failed horribly. Then a little over a year ago at 9:00 AM I took my last puff and threw the butt on the ground and never looked back.
Before you stand up and applaud me(In my mind that is what I think you are doing), I have to admit that this was actually easier than you might think. Although when I quit I did it cold turkey, I just started living my life like I never smoked at all. I do, however, have to admit that the first 12 hours I was ready to strangle someone. I felt like someone who suffers from bi-polar disorder. My mood swings were crazy in those hours and I am still surprised I am not divorced and that I still have a job.
As the first few weeks went by I felt like Burt Bacharach was following me around singing “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” as everything in my life started to get better. I could walk up and down stairs and not feel like I was dying. My food was tasting better. Sex was amazing. I was always warm and smelled fantastic. Now when I smell smoke on someone I feel like I am going to be sick.
Then the most amazing thing happened to me. I became a father and all the sudden things started to make sense to me. I was going to be smoke free for my daughter cause I wanted to be around and not miss anything. She was the main reason why I put down my pack of Marlboro lights and started living. Now I look back and think why did I even start in the first place. During my nine years as a smoker, people would ask my this question and I could never give them an answer. I would always say it was due to stress or I feel in with the wrong crowd. The truth is that I was an idiot. When I say idiot, I mean I was 17.
I found this website and it showed me how the longer your body goes as an ex-smoker the more your body heals itself. Check this out.
After 20 minutes- Your heart rate goes back to normal.
After 12 hours- The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
After 2 weeks- Your coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
After 1 year- Your added risk of coronery heart disease is cut in half that of a smoker’s
After 5 years- Your risk of having a stroke is cut in half that of a smoker’s
After 10 years- Your risk of death by lung cancer is cut in half that of a smoker’s.
I have to say I am proud of myself and can’t belive how easy it was. If you are a smoker, I am not trying to get you to quit. I could care less about your bad habits. I am just sharing my story. Next time I reach a milestone in my life I just hope I remember to celebrate it.