My Now or Never Quit - Jeff's Story

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Jeff is proof that even in the face of extreme stress, one can quit smoking successfully. Thanks for sharing your story, Jeff.

From Jeff:

My one year milestone, finally! I have been thinking about something extremely inspirational to say and as I sit here today I have nothing, so in lieu of trying to write something clever, I thought maybe I should just write a summary of where I have come from since beginning this journey.

In early February of last year I needed to see my doctor about my high blood pressure. While there I mentioned to my doctor that I wanted to quit smoking and set the date of my 50th birthday which was the 26th of February.  

My doctor says to me, "It's about time you decided to finally quit smoking."  

She had been talking to me about it for some time and I kept telling her I wasn't ready.

I left the doctor's office that day with a prescription for Chantix and a set goal of quitting on the 26th of February.  Being the true smoker that I was, I procrastinated on my quit date.  I was taking the Chantix but felt it just wasn't quite time.  

Smokers have the fine ability of procrastination and denial, and me being the good smoker I was, I smoked for an additional 3 days,  telling myself that I really needed this and would still follow through, but just not yet.

On the evening of the 28th, after once again saying I'd do it tomorrow, I panicked and purchased another pack of cigarettes on the way home (just in case of an emergency, you know what I mean).

On the morning of the 29th I got into my truck to go to work and by the time I hit the highway, I was experiencing the emergency that I had prepared myself for ( thank God I bought that pack of smokes). I proceeded to light my first cigarette of the day and thought about the insanity of what I was doing.

 After smoking it for just a bit, maybe one quarter of it, I threw it out the window. 

I felt it was now or never.  

I had done this same thing over and over for years, acupuncture, Chantix, nicotine gum, the whole thing. Nothing worked.  I thought about all the excuses I had made throughout the years to continue to smoke and finally said enough is enough.

I thought if I didn't do it that day I never would and something kept pulling at my collar saying it was time. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired and told myself I am going all in on this quit.

People truly do not understand the hell a smoker goes through on a daily basis or what a huge decision it is once we have made up our mind to quit.  Smoking cessation is an incredible life changing decision and the fear that goes through our minds is an enormous Demon.  

To fight this thing is a feat worthy of bragging about whether it be for a day, a week, a month or a year ... or for the saints who have earned their wings (5 years smoke-free),  over several years.  I salute and congratulate each and every one of you.  To  those of you that have had to start the process once again, never give up, your success is just around the corner.

Right after I quit smoking last year,  I became ill and was admitted to the hospital for some R&R.  It was the most painful thing I had experienced in my life.  I had gotten cellulitis in my lower left leg, part of the problem was poor circulation. I got through it with 24 hour antibiotics (the real good ones) and some help from the people around me.

While in the hospital, a friend stopped up to see me and gave me a 365 day inspirational book (if you don't have one, get one and read it daily).  

I read this thing religiously for the first few weeks upon getting it and then left it on my nightstand unopened for quite a few months as I needed time to continue my battle with nicotine addiction and battle I did.

 I fought at every turn.  I would have a short span where I was on top of this thing only to then fall into a deep hole of self-pity.  I would climb out and start the process all over again, constantly fighting to succeed.

Two months ago I once again picked up this inspirational book and continued reading it.  I did this the day I returned home from being diagnosed with cancer ( Pity party, party of one, I hopped so far into my hole of pity).  

I began my days reading from this book and even have picked up the good book to begin reading it.  This helped me to begin to let go of control over my future and in dong so, I found that my quit program became easier and I was able to come to terms with my cancer.

Recently my inspirational book has been talking about how we have a tendency to try and control our future and by doing so, we fail in today.  The idea is that the future is a secret that only God should know and we overwhelm ourselves by trying to control it.  If we focus on today only, we become much more successful.

Don't try to control your quit.  

Accept it and deal with it on a day-to-day basis.  Until I did this, I fought with my demon and made it harder on myself then it needed to be, I arrived at the same place but took a more arduous route to get here.

People have asked me how I can remain a non-smoker after being diagnosed with cancer, not just cancer, but terminal cancer, as it has metastasized into the bones. I'm not so sure that tug on my collar to quit wasn't by design.  

I now have my smoking battle under control and out of the way so that I can fight the battle for my life. The great thing is that I can breathe freely while doing it.  I was once in need of various inhalers to not only get me started in the morning, but keep me going throughout the day. I can proudly announce that I no longer need them.  Last checked, my oxygen level was at 98 percent.

I love to fish and I have been fishing for this quit for many, many years.  I finally caught it and this catch will not be released!  I intend to mount it on my wall and be very proud of it each and every day of my life.

Find peace with your quit.  

It will be much less difficult early on if you do.  Focus on today and if need be, focus by the hour, but stay true to your quit program. Read as much as possible and post for help as often as needed, someone will respond.

Again I want to thank each and every one of you for allowing me to be a part of your quits and also for playing such a huge role in my quit.  Terry you have a created a wonderful site here and I am thankful I found it. Have a great smoke free day.


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