Yesterday I realized that I let a noteworthy date slip by completely unnoticed: I quit my 3-pack a day smoking habit on October 31, 2000! I think the reason the 10-year anniversary of my quit date passed by unnoticed is because I don’t think about cigarettes anymore. I remember when I quit some people said that I’d never really get over the cravings 100%. I was told that while the cravings would become far more manageable, there would always be that desire. What an absolute load of crap! I wish I’d known then what I know now, because the thought of the cravings never going away made quitting much harder on me. The fact is not only did my cravings go away, I’m actually repulsed by cigarettes.
I don’t know how anyone can continue to smoke these days. The health hazards are well documented and the expense of smoking has become outrageous! I just did a quick search and found a “discount” site selling 6 cartons of Marlboro for “only” $303. Wow. Six cartons would have lasted me about 3 weeks back when I was smoking 3 packs a day. Even a pack a day habit at those prices is around $150 per month. And you’ll probably get to die an early, painful death for your money!
Quitting sucks. No two ways about it. I quit cold turkey with no patches or gum. I just decided that I was going to stop, and no matter how I felt and no matter what happened, I was simply never going to put another cigarette in my mouth. I came close to caving in several times. Once after a particularly bad day I even drove to the store to buy a pack. I sat in the parking lot for a while, thinking about how far I’d come (I think I was about 3 weeks in at that point). I eventually drove home empty-handed. Man, not giving in was so hard. I remember that moment like it was yesterday. I feel the choice I made in that parking lot may have saved my life. If I’d caved in I don’t know if I would have been able to try again.
If you still smoke, then take today’s blog as a personal challenge from me to you. Do what you need to do to quit, and then send me an email in a month and let me know you’re making it happen. You can do it.
Registration for the January 2011 “100 Challenge” is now underway! Your Official Challenge post must be made by 9:00 AM (EDT) on January 1, 2011 if you plan to participate – NO EXCEPTIONS! To participate, you must be a member of the forum. If you are not a member, simply create a free account. It can take up to 24 hours for your account to be activated, so don’t wait until the last minute to register! For all the details, official rules and sample entry data, just head over to the January 2011 “100 Challenge” thread on the forum. If you are ready to work hard and want to challenge yourself in a fun and competitive environment, then please take part!