I quit smoking in September of 2016, after 15 years of being a smoker. My friends and I all started smoking in high school, and of course, we were very cool. At least we thought so!
All four of us remained smokers into adulthood. Even after I moved to NYC and my cigarette costs went up 300% from Florida’s prices, even when I was briefly unemployed, and even though I am smart enough to know how terrible it was.
When my husband and I met in 2010, he was also a smoker. A few years ago, he switched to e-cigarettes and he smells much better now.
But I was still wallowing in smoke.
I liked smoking. Honestly, I sometimes still miss it, or am smoking in a dream. It was the perfect excuse to step away and have a moment to myself at work, at a party, whenever. It was something to do with my always-fidgety hands. It was a habit.
That was the hardest part to break. The habit of having a cigarette after eating a meal, or when I was frustrated or bored while driving, or when I wanted a quiet few minutes because I was at a really good part of my book, and pulling out a book in the middle of conversations with others or at a party was typically frowned upon.
I would joke that I couldn’t stop because “Hey, I’m no quitter!”
The truth is that I liked it. That’s what nonsmokers are so afraid of. You can’t force someone to quit something, it only happens when the person WANTS to change. And I LIKED smoking cigarettes. I liked the way I felt, the way I thought I looked, and I had been doing it since 15, so it felt like part of my identity by the time I hit 30.
So, why did I quit?
Well, I finally felt it was time. I felt ready. I knew my husband and I would want a kid at some point, and neither he nor I would be willing to start trying if I was still smoking.
I wanted to live as long as possible and be with my family.
Most of all, I was able to reconcile in my brain that smoking cigarettes is not who I am. It’s not even part of who I am. It was a crutch I was using to remove myself from situations. I am an adult, if I need to remove myself, I don’t need smoking as an excuse.
So, I quit. And I feel better. Of course, I immediately gained 10 pounds, but that was what started my journey to low carb! Good things happen to good people.