From the Bottom of My Heart

thank you

Today I am celebrating 365 days as a non-smoker!

Today, I am also celebrating the folks who made the journey that much easier in the bearing…

First and without question, to Fred, who arrived on Day 1 to hold my hand through Weekend 1, and let me be as foggy and weepy and irritable as I needed to be in those first few days…weeks…months.

To MaryAnne, who arrived on Day 8, my second shift, and cheered me on with her infectious enthusiasm. Her daily doses of “I’m so proud of you” kept me strong.

To my loyal friend, Martha, for just letting me be “as is” each and every one of those days, with no apologies needed.

To those who listened, talked with, walked with, sent emails, whispered words of wisdom, and pretty much just loved me through it all: Bob, Carol, Dale, the folks at K&G, Mary, Pamela, Rhonda, Stef, Steve, Tara.

To DeLinda, who blazed the trail a year before me, then lovingly held my hand from 2,000 miles away as I took my first steps.

To Melissa, whose beautiful metamorphosis continues to serve as amazing inspiration.

(She also recommended the book The Easy Way to Stop Smoking, so additional thanks to her and to author Allen Carr.)

To Doreen, who took on an even bigger challenge with great chutzpah. I am humbled by your tenacity, my friend.

To the the wonderful women in my Sharing Circle who never let me doubt I could do it.

To my naturopath, Dr. Brainerd, for her steady presence in those first weeks; for her compassion, her magic potions, and her calming acupuncture sessions.

To my massage therapist, Dorothy; her kind and healing hands eased me out of my addiction and back to health.

They say laugher is the best medicine, so thanks to David Sedaris, whose book When You Are Engulfed in Flames was my constant companion for the first month; I laughed so hard I nearly peed my pants—but for pages and pages, I easily forgot about the smoking.

To Pat and Betty at CVS who happily offered up daily “atta-girls” instead of packs of cigarettes.

Theirs was the kindness of strangers…but to all of you—my friends, family, loved ones, clients—to everyone who stood witness, I thank you from the bottom of my healing heart and lungs.

9 thoughts on “From the Bottom of My Heart

Add yours

  1. jen, give us the time, date, and where, it sounds like a time for a little party, and i think i know who’s buying, big time congrats

  2. Jen – What a magnificent accomplishment! I am so proud of you! I hope you are immeasurably proud of yourself. Think about the personal strength it took for you to achieve this! You are manifesting at your highest potential! May all your hopes, dreams and desires come true!

  3. You are one of the strongest women I know, not just facing the smoking addiction which is chemically the hardest of all to face along with heroin, crack, and meth–but in the general struggle life turns out to be after all. A hero of the first order, dear friend. And thank you for your sweet offer for next Wednesday’s surgery date–I’ll call if I need cheering, as you do cheer me on immensely, not only professionally, but personally.

  4. Good for you Jen! congratulations!!! it is so freeing not to have to ‘go outside’ in the middle of any social interaction by yourself or join others outside. it is so nice not to scrounge up close to $8 or $9 for a pack at any given time day or night. and lets also celebrate that you don’t have smokers breath and the invisible cloud that follows you when your finished with said cigarette. smoking was only good for the exact moment you were smoking. all other moments (for me) were trying to cover up the fact that i smoked and feeling bad that i smoked. and lets not forget most importantly all the healthy benefits from not smoking!!! you have clean fresh lungs. your oxygen level in your blood is optimum and functuning completely as it should. what a wonderful thing for you!!!!

  5. Hurray!!!! You rock! I hear it gets easier in the second year? Ha! Much love to you and I’m so glad you did this. When we are 85, we can start again!.

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