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.