100 Days of Writing – Day Seventy-Two

In July of this past year, I was able to accomplish a major feat – I quit smoking. It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. In the third week of December, I found myself in a difficult emotional situation and fell off the wagon and have had to start over all again.

I was so very proud of myself over the last half of 2022. I had been smoking for quite a few years and the news of a friend’s lung cancer diagnosis was enough to scare me into taking a more serious approach to quitting. So at 5:05 a.m. on July 18, 2022, I took what I thought was my last puff from a cigarette.

I used nicotine lozenges to get through the most difficult first couple of months. But I was then also able to put those down. A lot of symptoms of respiratory dysfunction had disappeared and as I said, I was very proud of myself. I used an app on my phone to keep track of my progress: 154 days without a cigarette, 3090 cigarettes avoided, and over $896 saved. Quite a feat for someone who had tried to quit multiple times without success.

Then, on December 19th, just over five months since I had quit, I had an emotionally straining event occur in my life and for some reason, I decided I needed to pick up a cigarette and have a smoke. It seemed pretty harmless; I would smoke that one pack I had purchased and then smoke no more. But a full two weeks later, I was still at it and had gotten to the point I was smoking a couple of packs a day. I was right back where I had left off five months earlier,,,,and with a vengeance.

A lot of the physical problems had also made a reappearance: chest discomfort, coughing, and that horrid smell. I also found myself filled with shame that I had picked up the deadly habit again, despite the fact I knew it was doing me great harm. I knew I needed to make a concerted effort again to quit.

I picked up a four-pack of nicotine lozenges that I had success with earlier and last night at 5:32 p.m., I took the last puff off what I hope is my last cigarette in this lifetime. I started the counter over and as of this writing, I have 18 hours and 29 minutes without a cigarette, 15 cigarettes avoided, and $4.47 saved.

I’m not going to discount the five months I had abstained from smoking. They gave me the knowledge that I could indeed quit and find alternate avenues to deal with the emotional stressors in life. And while my emotions are still all over the place, I haven’t found it necessary to light up since last night. So as I let the nicotine stay in my system via the nicotine lozenges, I’m glad to have made it this far.

I know it’s still just going to be just one day at a time. But I also know I’m doing what’s best for me and will keep the faith and trust my journey.

David Lee

Published by David Lee Moser

I am a sixty year old semi-retired elementary science teacher.

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