Today I am celebrating 2 years of not smoking!
That’s 730 days,
or 14,600 cigarettes.
I have saved approximately $6,000,
and 1,217 hours.
I have gained probably 20 pounds…maybe 30…
but I haven’t looked at a scale in 2 years.
The nicotine-free curves are small consequence.
20 minutes after quitting, my heart rate dropped to a normal level.
12 hours after quitting, the carbon monoxide level in my blood dropped to normal.
2 weeks to 3 months after quitting, my risk of having a heart attack began to drop and my lung function began to improve.
1 to 9 months after quitting, my coughing and shortness of breath decreased.
As of this time last year, my added risk of coronary heart disease was half that of a smoker’s. And, I am close to having my risk of stroke and cancer reduced—but that takes 3-12 more years of recovery.
I breathe easier.
I don’t cough as much,
or stop mid-sentence to clear my throat,
or stop mid-sentence to light up,
or race out in the middle of a blizzard to buy cigarettes.
I don’t dream about them,
think about them,
or wish for them…ever.
(And I won’t touch them again…until I’m 80 years old, watching the sun set with a dear old friend, drinking whiskey on our porch in the West Texas desert.)
Until then, I remain healthy and eternally grateful to everyone who encouraged, supported, consoled, atta-girled, rooted, and made this effort all the easier.
I love every one of you for it!
• • •
Postscript re 80: It was common, when I would attempt to quit, to have an emergency stash somewhere. A partial, stale pack in a glove compartment or drawer. The “just in case” smoke. It also served as a counterpoint to the agony of “never again.” There was no “never again,” because if there ever was an emergency, I’d get to smoke that “just in case” one. Well, THAT never worked. I’d devour that stale cigarettes as soon as the willpower ran dry and be up the road at the store buying the “just one more pack” to proliferate the habit.
NOW, if things get really bad and I need a smoke—which I never do but “just in case”—I know I get to have at least one more…when I’m 80.
Call it what you will, I call it 730 days and counting!
• • •
Quitting smoking statistics from the American Lung Association.
If you still smoke, please read this book now: The Easy Way to Stop Smoking, Allen Carr.