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Health & Fitness / Quitting Smoking

URL:  http://boards.fool.com/20-yearsand-counting-28039971.aspx

Subject:  20 Years...and counting Date:  10/19/2009  7:51 PM
Author:  Kurtv Number:  53840 of 57289

I never knew this board existed. I only found it following Tom G's post from the "Best of" collection.

I feel for those of you struggling to kick the nicotine habit. It's by far the most insidious and adictive substance I have had the misfortune to come in contact with.

I started smoking when I was 15 and within 6 months changed to menthol brands and continued till October 1989, 16 years later. I was a heavy smoker, burning 2-3 packs a days and rarely let one sit in an ashtray.

I quit while my wife was pregnant with our first and only child. I took a week off in mid October to work on a rather long list of items to get our place ready for the new arrival. I remember adding "Quit smoking" to the list almost as a joke even though I had tried several times before to stop. But deep down inside I wanted desperately to stop smoking. I busied myself painting walls, assembling the crib and other furniture, laying carpet and a lot of cleaning. My worst times were when I first woke in the mornings and the next 16 hours of the day.

I can't tell you how many times, without so much as a thought I'd grab for my shirt pocket, like a zombie for my smokes. I remember the near panic when realizing they weren't there. So I'd get out my list and get busy doing something positive. Sometimes I'd pray for strength, but mostly I'd pray for peace and for help to stay calm. I also thought alot about the first 15 years of my life, when I didn't smoke. You see, when it was bad I felt like I was gonna die. But then I'd remember that I'd gone all those years without smoking and knew it wasn't true. It was only the habit, the nicotine talking. Knowing that actually helped.

My wife never completely quit while she was pregnant, though she tried. She still smokes today, outside and in the detached garage. I returned to work with 6 days under my belt to a small shop where I was the boss of 4 other guys, all smokers.

It wasn't easy, but it was worth it. I almost never think of lighting up these days. And I'd never be fool enough to think I could just smoke one. I mean whats the point in that? Best of all is the time I've spent with my son, going places and doing things I never could have afforded if I still smoked.

Peace to all of you who are still struggling,
Kurt
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