I am a smoker.
I won’t be in a weeks time – but today – I am.
I had my first ‘serious’ cigarette somewhere around the age of 12, and we’ve been close companions for most of the last 40+ years.
I’ve had a few times when I have quit, particularly over the last couple of years, but have taken it up again; not particularly because I wanted to – but because My Love is a smoker too – and when My Love smokes, I can’t bare to be near her, because of the smell.
Its not because it makes me yearn for a cigarette – its because it makes me want to vomit.
For a long time I’ve been angry at My Love about the whole ‘smoking business’.
Unlike many others, My Love knows that I have a terminal lung disease.
My Love sees the constant battle that I have with breathing.
Watches as I cough until I almost can’t catch my breath.
Does physio on my back when my coughing isn’t ‘strong enough’ to clear the crap out of my airways; so that i can breathe a little easier.
My Love sees me when I am exhausted, just from getting dressed in the morning.
Sees when I take my puffer before go out the door, so that I can hopefully clear out my lungs enough before I get to work, that I won’t embarrass myself by hacking up endlessly throughout the morning.
My Love sees how quickly I get puffed out, from simple chores like making the bed, or doing the vacuuming, or bringing bags of groceries from the car.
But don’t get me wrong!!
My Love helps me every.single.day – helps to make my life easier, less stressful both physically and mentally, and helps with doing things I either can’t, or get exhausted doing.
But the thing that ‘gets’ me – that I don’t understand no matter how hard I try – is why this fiercely stubborn person – who only a few short years ago lost 30kg after getting annoyed once too often, at being overweight – gives up on quitting smoking before even giving it a red-hot proper go.
My Love researched losing weight, set the scene around the house for the best chance of success, then got super-sensible about food and some gentle movement.
Having got annoyed about being overweight – it was “game on” and there was no question about who was going to be the winner.
That ‘fat’ was goinnn’ downnnnn!!!!
And down it went.
And down it stayed, for quite a few years!
Yep – eventually my Love got a bit complacent, and work took over all of the focus, and the food-awareness slipped – but still all of the weight didn’t return.
Yep – my Love is heavier now than a few years ago – but is certainly still within a healthy range.
(& still super-delicious!!)
So WHY – when my Love knows that this is unmistakably killing me, and that its killing her too – does she continue to do it?
And why – when previously having chosen (not asked, nor forced) to go on a quit-smoking mission, has self-sabotage, deception and ultimately quitting quitting been the order of the day?
I just don’t get it….!!!
I can state without any shadow of a doubt, that there is not.one.thing that I wouldn’t give up in a heartbeat – if it meant that my Loves life or the life of my Children, might have a chance of being prolonged.
There is nothing I wouldn’t give up, if I could help to improve the health of my Spouse or my Children.
N O T H I N G ! ! !
But its me who puts each cigarette in my mouth.
Its me who goes through the ritual of striking the lighter, its me holding the flame to the end of a new cigarette, and its me who draws the smoke down into my lungs.
Cigarettes are killing me – and I am the one holding the smoking gun…
So – a week today – and I’ll be done.
A week today, I will have had my final cigarette the day before.
And a year from today – I will hopefully remember to check back in and tell you how bloody awesome I am, that I’m coming up on a year clean.
I have been journaling (hand-written) for the last week or so, in the lead-up to quitting – its kind of an ‘accountability’ thing to myself – and this was one of the pages that I did. I want work, colleagues, family, friends and every bloody body, to know – that this time round, i HAVE to win, I have to stay clean – I’m not ready to die just yet…