Well, I'm doing some navel-gazing this evening. First time for that in several years, but here I am. I don't want to digress, but as a lot of you know I'm probably going to.
I'm thinking about the big picture. The big picture being what it means to me to be quit. Quit from an active pursuit of my addiction. I'm 55 years old and I've been quit for five years now. Yeah, it's an old story and most of you know it--I quit on my 50th birthday, which is also my wedding anniversary. That's old news.
What I'm thinking about this evening and what I'm going to try to put into words is how much I wish I had quit when I was 30. Or 40. Or anytime a lot earlier than I finally did. I want to speak somehow to those of you who are still smoking and are in your 20s or 30s or even 40s.
Quitting is hard. It doesn't matter when you do it, for most of us it's just hard. The point is, I wish I had bit the bullet earlier and just done it. It wouldn't have been any harder at 30 than it was at 50. I would just have had a big headstart on my healing.
I know a lot of you are out there lurking. You've got a smoke going right now as you're sitting at the computer desk reading. You're thinking about quitting. You know you should, you're just scared. Well, the bottom line is you are going to quit someday. Either you plan it and do it or you quit when you die, one way or another one of these days you're not going to smoke any more.
I know you think it's easy for me to preach. I'm sitting here at five years plus and I can be all sanctimonious and holier than thou and it's easy for me to tell you what you should do. And you're right. But the thing is, I understand where you're at. I do remember. That gives me the advantage, because you don't know where I'm at. Let me give you a peek into your future if you decide you've had enough.
I don't have to worry about being somewhere "legal" every 30 minutes. I can go to a movie. I can take a long car trip. I can watch a television commercial about quitting smoking without leaving the room. I can look a doctor or insurance agent in the eye and tell him I don't smoke.
I can breathe.
The only thing I can't do is tell you that I quit when I should have. I should have quit when I was 25. Or 30. Or even 40. Now I can't go back. I can only hope I quit in time, but I won't know that for a while, will I? You--you there at 25 or 30, you're the one I'm trying to reach. Think about it from my point of view. I know it's hard to fast-forward to your 50s, but try. You obviously care or you wouldn't be reading on a stop-smoking site.
The great thing about quitting is you can always start back if you don't like it. So just give it a chance. What have you got to lose?
Okay, I'm off my soapbox now and I'm going to go on about my non-smoking life. How about you?
I don't smoke and I don't chew and I don't go with the girls that do. Five years and some.