Sunday, November 11, 2018
Twenty-four years ago tomorrow I was planning on being in a murder mystery play called "Death By Chocolate" put on by a local theater group. I had a cold and a vicious cough, but I wanted to do this badly.
That night it was cold, snowy, and I was determined (hacccckkk hackkkk gasssppppgassspp) to go. Got into town and could not find the building; never having been there I wasn't even sure what it looked like. I felt dreadful.
Turned around, finally, and came home. By 9 that night I was having to stand up and bend over to cough, and I was so sick I didn't even want a cigarette. A new walk-in clinic had just opened up and I told my husband I think we need to get me there. These were the days before emergency room walk ins.
The nurse took one look at me, said, take a deep breath. "urk". "I'll be right back," she said, and came back with three prescriptions and a 'starter kit" for the night. "you have fluid around the lungs. Walking pneumonia, basically. Go home, give up smoking, and you'll be fine."
For three weeks I slept at the kitchen table with a blanket wrapped around me and a pillow on the table, and I considered my options. My biggest fear as a smoker had finally come home. So I quit. Did it in manageable bites. Played games with it. I had smoked for 32 years, so I made my first goal 32 hours. Second goal, 32 days. Next one, 32 weeks. By then I was sailing, and I knew I'd made it.
The key, for me, was not talking about it to anyone. Not even my husband. When you do that, you build up all the juices that go into drinking, or smoking, or whatever you're trying to give up. The brain says, oh, man, let's have just one...He didn't mention it until the next spring, and then he sort of snuck up on it. By then, it was okay.
24 years later, and Im still okay. But every now and then when my guard is down, I get that urge...
Posted by mittens at 5:53 PM