I quit smoking cigarettes 4 months ago.
I didn’t think I really wanted to quit smoking. The boyfriend quit before me, so I would smoke as many cigarettes as I could on the way home from work and I remember thinking — I’ll never be able to quit. He’s crazy. I don’t even want to quit.
I did want to, though. I didn’t know I wanted to until I really stopped smoking cigarettes but I did want to quit. I didn’t want to smell bad anymore and I didn’t want my throat to hurt in the morning and I didn’t want to have to clear my throat 85,000 times a day. I didn’t want to spend all our money on cigarettes and I didn’t want my nephews to see my smoking and I didn’t want my breath to taste like garbage. I didn’t want my perfume to be all for nothing and I didn’t want the inside of my car to smell like an ashtray and I didn’t want cigarette butts everywhere.
I’d like to say: I don’t think you really know how bad smoking cigarettes it is until you aren’t doing it anymore. I don’t mean health wise. I know how bad it was for my health — but I was addicted to smoking and when you’re addicted to something then it seems like the health risks of it kind of… slip out your mind. People constantly lecture you about how bad smoking is and it just bounces right off you and you think – that won’t happen to me.
I smoked for 10 years. I started smoking in high school, and I don’t know why because my friends didn’t really smoke and I didn’t feel like it made me cooler. I just… started smoking and then I was the smoker in the group. A friend of mine had to buy my cigarettes because when I started smoking I wasn’t even old enough to buy them for myself. I would hide outside and smoke at home or smoke in my car. (See? Not cool at all.)
I made lots of plans to quit smoking over the years and never actually quit because, newsflash, I liked smoking. It’s relaxing. It’s familiar. It gives you something to do when you drive and when you’re on the phone and when you’re bored. It’s great when you’re out drinking. It’s great by the pool.
Those are the things I thought I’d miss once I stopped smoking. I don’t.
A coworker asked me for a lighter at work this past week and I got such a surge of pride when I told him I didn’t have one. Sorry, I don’t smoke.
Most things you shouldn’t quit. I wasn’t raised to be a quitter. But you should quit smoking and you should try to quit even if you think you don’t want to. Because, chances are, you want to quit for reasons you haven’t even thought of yet. You’ll be glad you did.
(To read about how I quit, check out this post.)