I was standing in line yesterday at a local market. All I wanted was some cheese and a 6 pack of beer. In the back, like at every market or store, were the packs of cigarettes of all kinds.
Now as you recall I smoked for many many years and quit. That was the second greatest victory in my life. I say second because its a harder challenge to maintain that goal. I’ve tried before in the past and failed. Sometimes I bought it without even thinking about it because it was always so natural for me. It was almost automatic.
“Yeah just the gum and… A pack of Marlboro Reds please. Thanks”
Then I walk out. Even after I told myself that I was quitting it was just like clockwork. While I had one in my hand I even regretted the decision to purchase them but I would tell myself that “oh there’s 20 of them in a pack and I don’t want to waste money”.
The thing is that even buying them is a waste. Its literally burning money right in your face. I’ve tried to quit for someone before and that never works.
In the past when a girl I was dating said “I hate it when you smoke” I always tried to quit for them. The reason why it never worked is cause when I got mad or upset with them I didn’t care much about that person at that point. I just went out and got my pack of “stress relievers” and started to light up.
I’ve done it all too. Chewing tobacco, dip, pipe tobacco. You name it (thanks Marine Corps). I would be a liar if I said I don’t miss it for a second. Every day is a challenge for someone like me and here’s why.
Back in college my old Intro to Law Enforcement professor put it this way. In the middle of a lecture he mentioned that he was once a smoker back in the day. He quit 15 years ago but always said that “I believe that once you’re a smoker, you’re always a smoker” I never knew what he meant by that.
It wasn’t until when I actually quit a few months ago is when I realized what he really meant.
So now we’re back in line at the market. Cheese and beer in hand (I don’t grocery shop very well). The closer I got the more tense the situation felt. I started to feel all sweaty and antsy. My eyes were locked on my old favorite pack. I’m almost sure my eye started to twitch like I was ready to rob the joint.
That’s when I started to talk to myself in my head. “Just one pack. She wont even know. It wont kill me, right?”
Right when I got up to the cash register I placed my things on the counter. As the cashier was about to ask if that was all I quickly cut him off and told him “that’s all I need for now, thanks”.
When I walked out of the store it was a great relief and a even bigger victory than initially quitting. I felt like walking on water.
Now I know I said that you shouldn’t quit for people, but they should influence you. My lady is allergic to cigarette smoke and just doesn’t like it in general. Now that motivates me to stay clean from that but it doesn’t make it the deciding factor. I knew that I always had a choice and still can do it, just not around her.
But every day I like to challenge myself and feel victorious in any situation. I feel so much better and more alive when I wake up. My chest doesn’t feel like a weight was on it all morning, I don’t wheeze anymore after a run, and it saves me a ton of money.
Literally anytime I think about going out and buying a pack of smokes I put 6 dollars in my savings. Now that doesn’t seem like a lot but over the months it has added up. I realized how much money I lost in the past years and it honestly stressed me out (oh the irony).
But if you have a bad nasty habit like that I do encourage you to quit. No matter how hard it is, it’s not impossible. Every day that passes by your will to resist becomes stronger and stronger. You’ll be so much happier. No more mood swings. And finally people will be proud of you regardless of how little of an accomplishment it will feel to you.
And if money is a motivating factor just remember this…
I saved more money quitting than I did on my car insurance.