Dear Me Letter: June 15, 2011

Jun 15, 2011

Dear Me,

Congratulations! It has been 27 years this June that you became a non-smoker. You had to face a lot of “truths” about smoking before you could quit.

Truths about smoking:
It felt good to do it, once upon a time. You thought it made you look chic.
It may have helped cope with stress.
It really didn’t solve any problems and created more.
It made you cough day and night. It made you stink. It made your teeth yellow and gums bleed. It gave you sallow skin and wrinkles. You burned holes in things. It caused the people around you to cough. It made you defiantly break rules and smoke where you know you shouldn’t. It made you skip eating so you could afford smokes. It made you angry when people told you to stop. It made your voice hoarse and you coudn’t sing. You couldn’t climb any stairs. You were short of breath behind the wheel of your car. It made you go out in bad weather to buy some so you wouldn’t run out….
The truth about becoming a non-smoker:
It was hard. There was no NRT or pills to help back then.
You were scared. You tried so many times and “failed”. You learned that “failure” was to not keep trying. You learned more about being a non-smoker with each attempt.
One glorious day in June you quit for one hour, then another hour and then one more until you had 24 hours. One by one until it became easier and easier.
You gained a few pounds that first year, then took it off.
Your teeth stayed got whiter, gums healed and wrinkles softened.
You saved thousands of dollars and buy yourself a reward every year in June.
Your stress decreased as you realized that most of your stress was the addiction.
You learned that there is no “just one puff”. The non-smokers around you could breathe. You can climb stairs, walk for miles, ride a bike.
You learned to be kinder and more understanding to people in the grips of addictions.
You are free. No one made me quit but me.

Love, Me