This morning, on our way out of the local Kroger (that’s a grocery store here in the south by the way) after replenishing eggs and such, I saw an older man who had a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, presumably because he was heading for the door after check-out and couldn’t wait for that nicotine hit during his first steps out of the air conditioning. And I just felt sad for him. I felt sorry that he was stuck in this addiction cycle.
I had just seen him and his wife, (I guess she was his wife – they were shopping together) and I saw them stop and chat with another lady. It was all very neighborly and friendly. I had reflected at that moment how southernly sweet that interaction was – the lady who was alone said to the couple after exchanging names that it was “a pleasure to know you”. Nice. We can use some more nice-ness these days.
Then, that cigarette was hanging out of his mouth AND he was coughing. That smokers cough, the sound of a cough you know he wouldn’t have if he wasn’t a smoker for so many years. I too, understand this love of cigarettes as I used to be a smoker. It always sounds strange to say that, to admit it. I never fancied myself a smoker but truly, I was. I remember coughing and still lighting up anyway, I remember being worried that I didn’t have enough smokes to make it through the weekend, or the night if we were up at our Mountain House and me and my best buddy and I (a friend from across the street that I have known for 25 years now – let’s call him Aiden) would likely be puffing away. There is a strange panic that takes over you when you are addicted and it both is mental and physical – you have no control over it, or so you think!
My thoughts for this man when seeing him were that of empathy for a situation seemingly out of his control. I bet he thought, what’s the point? I am old and stuck in my ways; but it is NEVER too late to make changes in your life, no matter how old or youthful you are.
I quit smoking about 6 years ago. I honestly have forgotten the exact year I quit, because I am so done with it that I know in my heart I will never do it again. I managed to quit while my bestie, Aiden did not. I remember going to his house and sitting on the porch and feeling a majorly uncomfortable feeling – I almost felt squirmy from lack of cigarettes! However, I powered through and continued NOT to smoke. I woke up the day after New Year’s Day one year and said, I think I am going to be done with this smoking thing. I had tried to quit so many times, my Dad had always said to me, “Practice Quitting” eventually it will take!
And after quitting about 30 different times, I knew there was something more in that moment about quitting. I WANTED to! I really, really, really, really wanted to not smoke anymore. It was a love hate relationship, full-on love hate! I loved that feeling of the first puff, I loved holding it in my hand, I don’t know – it reminded me of an old movie or something… cigarettes always looked sexy somehow to me. Well they used to. Now they just look smelly.
But this need I had to quit was almost a yearning – I wanted to NOT think about these aspects of smoking: buying, keeping, having enough, smelling, coughing, phlegm in my throat, isolation, denigration, shame, and on and on. I wanted to wake up and feel good in the morning! Cigarettes were not helping me do that. So, I managed to put all the things I wanted in the forefront and I put that cigarette out.
Aiden had been smoking on his own, with a friend or two over a shared cocktail, but I was done. For years, this kept going. And he kept saying to me that he didn’t think I was coming back to the “smoking table”. And I wasn’t. I was happy to be done! The pain of quitting was very, very real! But the benefits were better and more fulfilling than continuing being a smoker… Then something amazing happened with my bestie across the road.
About a year ago Aiden’s Sister-in-Law suggested a book called Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking. She also shared the great love of “Smokie Treats” (see how we made those awful things into something cute and fun with that name??? Ah, the things we do to make ourselves feel better about something we do that we know we shouldn’t…). His sister-in-law has kids, so she had even more incentive to quit than he did! And the book worked for her, so why wouldn’t Aiden give it a shot???
To be honest here, I have not read this book. I have only heard about it from Aiden, so we are taking his word for it here. He is trustworthy, I promise!!!!! I have trusted him for 25 years now and I am not about to stop. And you can trust in this book, because you see, Aiden never really wanted to give up smoking! His husband constantly talked about how much he hated him smoking, but the power of that Smokie Treat is quite alluring and spellbinding, and it kept its hold for MANY years on me and Aiden and the guy in the grocery store and so many, many more people!
The GOOD NEWS here is HE QUIT!!! A guy who really didn’t want to was able to do so with the help from this book. Funnily, when he told me about it and what the book emphasizes and how it guides you down the path to quitting – the message is that you are not Quitting! You are gaining! I agree!!!!! Whole-heartedly!
You get to not smell anymore, you get to not hurt your fiends and family with your damaging smoke that affects you and your loved ones. You get to feel better! You think you are leaving something behind, something you love, but it is the opposite! You win when you choose to not be chained to a devil that will eventually do irreparable damage to you.
So, for that man I saw, my heart went out to him knowing that he too, doesn’t have to be stuck with this terrible addiction. Our minds can be more powerful than the tobacco company that designed a product to keep us coming back for more.
It’s all about perspective. If you or someone you know struggles with trying to leave smoking behind, maybe this book is for you? It certainly can’t hurt to try… you can find it on Amazon, where you can find just about everything. ???? Click here to purchase now!