Throughout my twenties I always told myself it’s fine, just quit before you’re 30. I of course knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but that was a bridge I would cross when I got to it. Well, I got to it, and I turned right around and thought now just isn’t the right time.
I have made a couple half-hearted attempts this year and made it two or three days, but once things got stressful, I would start smoking like a chimney with the excuse ‘I’m just not in a good enough place right now to handle this.’ Like everything that is worth it in life, I needed to realize there is never a good time, and prolonging things only makes that never even harder.
It’s a scary thing to quit. Nicotine withdrawal, aside, smoking has been a part of my life for nearly 18 years. I started in my young teens, doing my best to hide it, and became more open and careless about it when I got to college. Whenever I was worried, stressed, sad, or lonely, smoking was there. It was five minutes alone with my best worst friend. Five minutes to unplug and get away from everyone. Five minutes to just…be.
Of course I in no way want to glorify smoking with this post, but I won’t get into all the unhealthy and dangerous side effects, because it’s 2022 and everyone, smokers especially, are keenly aware of the dangers. Instead, I want to use this post to say goodbye to an old friend, a toxic (literally) friend.
I am now six days without a cigarette. I can’t say that I feel amazing, but I do feel better. I know that the headaches and queasiness will fade in time. I think I read somewhere that once you get past the first two weeks, it gets much easier. I’m kind of excited for that. I am doing this completely cold-turkey because that is what’s right for me. I don’t have the attention span to sort through the best quitting aids, or the pro’s and con’s of this-and-that. For me, I work best through brute force when it comes to big changes. To quote a professor I interviewed with years ago for my masters program, I’ve got gumption. Still not entirely sure what that means, but I like it.
Sure, I am excited about the health benefits of quitting, and not going into the office smelling like an ash tray, but what I am most excited about is change. This is the last holdover of what I call my past life, three decades of self-destruction. It is going to be tough but worth it.
I may not have quit before I was 30, but I should know by now that deadlines aren’t always my thing. Years from now I will be able to look back and say I quit when I was 30-ish, and be damn proud of it.
Featured Image: Photo by lilartsy on Unsplash