My husband put his cigarettes away, one day before his birthday, five years ago. He didn’t say he would quit smoking, instead he informed all of us around him, that he would take ‘An indefinite break.’ Two years after I quit, he finally had enough confidence to try it himself. His quitting process was hard to watch and so different from mine. He willed himself through the first weeks. I often found him sitting outside, face-palm waiting for a craving to go away.
While I walked away from cigarettes with ease, he showed me that not every quitter, is a happy quitter.
He had dramatic mood swings, and I often I got tempted, thought I would buy him a pack myself, just to get the happy man back who I love so much.
It didn’t last. After a few months, it was clear that he would never go back to smoking either. Today I congratulated him and also asked him if he could guess how much money his quitting saved us.
He was off, by a few thousand dollars. IF…the cigarette prices would still be $5 a pack today, he saved us $9,125.
A while back he told a friend of ours about the making of an ex-smoker, and he was brutally honest. “My wife quit out of the blue, and she made it look so easy. For two years I watched her, and listened to her teasing me, and even though my cigarettes were laying around, it didn’t seem to tempt her, so I thought if she can do it, so can I?
I snickered a bit inside. I had known that all along, but it felt good hearing it.
“It was hell for me,” he went on. “I felt lost and all I could think of were cigarettes but it got better after a while.”
Our friend who listened to both of us, still smokes’ to this day. He wants to quit, but he thinks he doesn’t have it in him.
“It’s my way to relax,” he explained to me once again, and I just laughed at him -like I always do. I truly believe if you want something bad enough, you will do it. No matter if its smoking, or overeating, or drinking -even drugs.
A friend of mine is an alcoholic, sober since 9 years, and she has every reason to be proud of herself. I wrote about here once. She drunk heavily after losing a child, even spend time in prison, and who could blame her.
I drunk every night a glass of wine for ten or fifteen years, not sure why. It was a habit, something I did without thinking, and I stopped the day when my husband had bypass surgery, and I never went back to my old habit.
I am very lucky. I am not an addict. I only know the date and year when I quit smoking because this was originally the reason for this blog, and I know the year and day of my last glass of wine, because his open-heart surgery rocked my world. The truth is neither one of the dates hold any meaning to me.
I give quit-smoking advice once a month in the basement of a church, the audience mostly AA-members who now want to give up the last addiction. Many of them are ex-junkies as well, all what is left is now is the nicotine addiction.
When I tell them about my addiction theory, they often nod.
I believe an addict is not made by using, but comes out with quitting. Millions have walked away from drugs, alcohol and nicotine with ease, others face the fight of their lives.
Not every smoker is an addict. Not everybody drinking every day is an alcoholic. You don’t know before you try to give it up!
I am proud of my husband! Very proud!
And now I have to look once again and try to find that money!