I Still Have Urges, But I'm Smokefree
The American Lung Association is sharing inspiring stories from individuals who have been able to end their addiction to tobacco and stop smoking through #TheDayIQuit blog series. Quitting smoking isn't easy, but it is possible—and we firmly believe that anyone can quit with the right support. If you, or someone you know, would like to quit smoking, share with them the new, interactive Freedom From Smoking® Plus.
Have your own quit story to share? Leave a comment below and we'll work together to showcase your success and inspire others to start their quit.
I've never really liked smoking. I tried to quit more than a dozen times but I was addicted to the nicotine—so much so that I actually got addicted to nicotine patches. Everything came to an apex for me shortly after my son was born. It was then that I knew I had to stop and I had to stop for good.
I grew up in Texas where the typical uniform for a high school student was cowboy boots, flannel shirts and cans of snuff in the back pocket of our Wrangler jeans. After graduating from high school, I went to school to become a respiratory therapist, and back then everyone smoked. I worked at the county hospital in Dallas/Fort Worth during the early '90s and we would gather in the smoking lounge during breaks. Sometimes the patients would complain about the smell of smoke on all of us. It was at that time that I realized I was truly addicted. It felt like people all around me were dying from smoking-related illnesses, and even with all of that, I couldn't stop smoking.
I tried all types of nicotine replacement therapy, hypnosis, acupuncture, cold turkey—all of it. I still had so many cravings. I went to an American Lung Association Freedom From Smoking® clinic in the mid-1990s and learned behavior modification techniques but went back to smoking until I found the courage to quit in 2007. I still have urges, I still have dreams of wanting a cigarette, but I'm smokefree.
Addiction is annoying! I see people who so desperately want to quit. As a former smoker, I became a Freedom From Smoking Facilitator in 2008 to help others quit. Every time I lead a new clinic, their motivation, their desire to quit smoking and the Freedom From Smoking course help me stay smokefree. Being able to help others end their addiction keeps me on track and is my passion. It may take a few tries—it took me years and years—but quitting is possible. We can do this together.