Happy Endings – Clearing out the Smoke

I’m a few days late with this “daily post” idea but I wanted to put this out there. It is important and was life changing for me. Since this is a great time for new year resolutions, I thought this could serve as inspiration to someone. My happy ending was when I attempted to quit smoking cigarettes again and did it for the last time.

I started smoking cigarettes years ago when I was 12. I wasn’t a regular smoker at that age but did it with friends. We would steal cigarettes from my friends’ parents and their friends. My first brands I tasted was Camel non filtered and Benson and Hedges. Once I got a little older and in high school, I started getting my own packs. I was a Marlboro Red and for awhile a Newport man…or I guess child.

When I was about 20, I decided that smoking was no longer providing a positive effect on my life. Positive being something I made up in my mind that I told myself. I started to rely on it morning, noon, and night. This I noticed was an issue. Actually, the biggest tipping point was when a pack of cigarettes was closing in and going over $2 a pack. Once my Marlboros got costly, I switched to the WaWa generic brand that was known as Jacks. However, those quickly raised in cost.

I quit cold turkey. Cold turkey rarely works but it was my only option. I had a lot of things in my life that were against me for quitting and had to stop it at its source. I could not allow the minutest loophole to offer me a puff. At the time I was bartending at two bars, waiting at a restaurant, and living with two roommates who chain smoked like a chimney.

I am happy to report that I stuck to my guns and won. I did fall off the wagon three months into my cold turkey run. I was at a party and drinking. This was one of the hardest times to refuse a smoke. I broke down. I bummed a smoke from a friend and could not even get half way through it. The taste and the feeling made me ill. After experiencing this ill effect, I knew that I made the right choice.

For years, including still to this day, I get a craving. Usually it comes at very stressful times in my life. When the craving hits, I think back to that time almost 20 years ago when I had my last smoke and it rejuvenates my strength against the shackle that I once wore on my lips.

Also, think of the money I saved over the years. Just think if I still did my almost pack a day habit at the late 1990’s cost of $2 a pack, I would of dumped over $14000 into the habit. (That is not counting the crazy inflation and tax cigarettes now carry.) If I factor that in, my savings are way over $20,ooo.

If you are trying to quit smoking this year, stay strong. You can do it.

Happy Endings

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