It began a long time ago and never really stopped. I smoked because I was eighteen and I could. I smoked because my job was stressful. I smoked because my parents smoked. I smoked because my boyfriend did. I could go on and on with the reasons why I started smoking. I just never really understood why I continued smoking into adulthood. Finally after years I quit and I felt great. Of course during stressful times I always thought about my old friend. You know that friend who instantly puts a smile on your face and leaves you feeling comfortable. I was addicted to nicotine and even though I wasn't smoking I still had cravings. Why would I want something that killed people? It made absolutely no sense to me. Eventually during a weak moment I lost and I began smoking again. I would sneak behind the garage and puff away. Hiding any evidence in our fire pit. Our oldest knew and it broke my heart and left me feeling like a failure. I felt ashamed and weak. Eventually I would hear them say "you need to quit smoking mommy". Imagine a child saying smoking but without the S and that is what it sounded like. How could I explain to them that what I was doing was bad for them when I was doing it? How was I setting an example? I felt awful all of the time and had a continuous cough. I hated the smell and was always covering it up with Febreeze, Scented Sanitizer, and Gum. I would stand outside our home when the temperature was twenty degrees to have a cigarette. I never stood in the front of our house. Only in the back. I was a closet smoker. If you visited my home my cigarettes were hidden and you would never know that I was in fact smoking again. I woke up one day and told myself that enough was enough. I just felt gross. I made an appointment with my doctor and confessed to him. I'm sure he knew that I was smoking. He put me on a prescription medicine and we had a plan. I wanted to be held accountable. I needed to be held accountable. So what did I do? I called my best friend and confessed to her that I was smoking. I needed her support and understanding. Next I told our little ones that Mommy was done smoking and I needed hugs from them. I made it a point to make sure that I was going to succeed. It's been almost a year since I quit smoking and today I did five and a half miles on my treadmill. I feel amazing and am proud that I'm taking control of my health. Need some encouragement to quit smoking? Talk to your doctor and check out this Guide to Quitting that's full of resources.
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