October 21st, 2021
This is my first post in months and I have to get refamiliar with this website and it’s tools so bare with me as this post may not look as nice as others with images and links. Just wanted to write and share.
2 more months and the year will be over, how did it go by so fast?! But then again that always seems to happen, how I wished I could make the hands of time go a little slower. 2021 has been a rollercoaster of a ride with the low points sometimes feeling like they outweighed the good but at least I hope to finish the year off on the right foot. I’m finally able to say I’m happy and in a real good place which is wonderful to say considering I started the new year in the hospital.
A lot has happened, after being hospitalized (I self admitted myself to the hospital in early January), I officially left teaching in March, started a new familiar job right after, my abuelito got real sick for 3 months and passed away, I dealt with months long depression, and a lot of this I’ve handled without therapy. I kid with my loved ones that it was my longest serious relationship, but I miss my therapist as I saw her off and on for over 7 years. She doesn’t take my current insurance and I’ve been on a waitlist for months where I’m currently seeing someone for my medication.
I have attended a number of virtual NAMI support meetings which I have enjoyed and found so beneficial but it’s been awhile. I often go to bed early or am exhausted from my day and think I’ve managed okay on my own that I’ve skip the meetings even though it’s on my calendar. I’m set on attending one tonight as I have a lot to share.
Anyway I’m getting sidetracked, the title of this post is “I need to stop…” and I say this in regards to my smoking. It’s such a bad habit I wished I had never picked up. If I could go back and face that 20 year old naive gal I would grab that cigarette out of her mouth and flush it down the toilet. I would then lecture her friends for introducing her to it and for smoking themselves. I was studying abroad in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico in early 2000 for over 3 months. I said I would stop smoking once I came back home but that didn’t happen. I remember my sisters and best friend at the time picking me up at the airport and afterwards going for some tacos on 26th street. Back then we could smoke indoors and I didn’t even leave the table before I lit my cigarette. In some ways it came hand in hand while drinking, which is what we were doing while in Merida. And we went out a lot.
I crave a cigarette after eating but most when I’m drinking. It’s early morning and I just went out to my balcony to have one. I have 1 last one that I will have tomorrow evening after dinner and drinks with a friend. On Saturday I will start try using the nicotine patch again and try to find something to replace the smoking with.
My abuelitos and 1 of my abuelitas smoked for many years. I remember having talks with them while we each smoked a cigarette. My grandfather just passed recently and one of the reasons was throat cancer, they found a tumor in his throat. He could hardly speak for years, he had a hoarse voice and in the end the doctors made an incision in his neck to help him breath. He couldn’t talk, eat, or even drink anything in the end. That should all make me want to quit. I thought it would but it didn’t. I tried to stopped and kept saying this is the last pack but I was just lying to myself.
Getting cancer and seeing my grandfather suffer and die hasn’t stopped me but the reason I want to quit now is because of Covid. Although I’m fully vaccinated I know as a smoker Covid would still hit me pretty hard if it doesn’t kill me first. I’m not afraid of dying but I don’t want to die from something so stupid that I could have easily prevented. I’ve been smoking off and on for 21 years. I have gone months even years at times without smoking. This last time I started up again when I went back to teaching and it was my way of coping with the stress and anxiety of work. Then Covid hit and I was working from home for months not seeing friends, family, and just home all the time. I started using my deck which is on the 2nd floor very often, sitting out to enjoy the weather, get fresh air, enjoy the warmth of the sun, have a cup of coffee, watch a sunrise/sunset, and have a cigarette whenever I wanted to, sometimes in between my classes because it was so easy to do.
I have been able to stop for long periods in the past so this is doable. I just started trying with the nicotine patch recently for the 1st time. I have been able to just stop cold turkey in the past a number of times but since that doesn’t seem to be working this time I have to try other methods. May try a combination of the nicotine patch and the gum see if that works. I don’t want to think of how many cigarettes I have had in my lifetime. The benefits of stopping outweigh any reason for continuing.
I will stop, for myself and my health more than anything else. I’m currently on a weight loss journey that has been slow but successful, have lost almost 20 pounds but if I continue smoking what’s the point?! I would like to stop so that I can qualify for life insurance as a nonsmoker and get back to running somewhat again. Recently I’ve been able to stop for about 2 weeks at most. It’s weird and doesn’t make sense but I dealt with more of a sore throat for quitting than I ever did for smoking which I read can happen. I’m the kind of gal that loves to set goals for herself so I’m gonna make this 1 of my top goals so that I can start the new year as a nonsmoker. Both of my grandfathers lived to their early 90s. When I don’t feel depressed or anxious I think I want to live a good happy fulfilling long life like them surrounded by my big family and loved ones.