I started smoking at the age of 16, back then it was about trying to live the identity of a grown-up man. It became a part of my daily routine. It became my instant friend whenever I’m idle. At home I have to hide doing it, my father won't allow it, although he was a smoker back then he managed to quit.
The smoking continues after my school life and entered the working life. I got a job offer working abroad. It became a part of my daily life at work, at a social gathering, after meals, trips to Comfort Room, drinking coffee with it is a perfect match. I was not a chain smoker, unlike some people I knew, in my case 1 pack is 1 day and a half. What I found so pleasurable about smoking is during stressful times smoking helps me feel at ease, coffee in the morning with it sets me into a thinking mood, some days it even helps me focus at work helps me came up with solutions, making decisions, it was a bit of help in some ways.
I got married back in 2008 I tried quitting for my wife's wish but I failed her. I felt terrible about that but I just can't help it smoking away from her is the least I can do. The habit that was started by curiosity now became so tough to kick out, I've made several attempts of quitting along the way, but I failed again and again.
I went to my BFF Mr.google from time to time to search for help on how to kick out the habit, some ideas had some success at the very short time but came back as soon as the motivation fades. The attempt of quitting got even harder when I got laid off. It was a challenging time for me and my wife as we've just had our first baby. I was even smoking heavier than I used to.
The thought of quitting was still back on my head but the will to do is weak. Then one day my son got ill he was around six months old that time, he was throwing up, with loss vowel movement, we rushed him to the hospital that morning, I was freaking out it was the first time, the doctor asked us if anyone is smoking at home? there I was guilty as charged.
The doctor said there could be other possible cause to my son's problem, but on that very moment I was feeling very guilty deep I was blaming myself, the idea of quitting the habit is alive again and it was so strong that time, I just knew that I have to do it, it was choosing between my son and smoking.
I've made up my mind to quit smoking I told myself this has to stop. We've spent the whole day in an observation room until we were told that my son is good to go for discharged, I felt so relieved on that moment and they told us the cause was Amoeba and I didn’t get into more details into it, at that moment the word discharged was enough for me.
After that incident I didn't smoke at home I tried controlling the urge, but to be honest, at the office I was smoking again, but that time it was a different smoking experience, inside of me was a feeling of guilt. It continued for a couple of months.
Then on September 15, 2009, at work I got no cigarette in my drawer although I could ask my colleagues for one I decided not to smoke in the office that time and as I got home I didn't smoke as well, it was one of those days where I didn't smoke for 24 hours. I was amazed of what I did so I told myself "why not do it again tomorrow" and so I did it again the next day, then the following day, I challenged myself to a week and I did it and I give it for another week and surprisingly I did it, from 2 weeks I started feeling better so I decided to keep the momentum.
One of the challenging times on my journey to smoke-free was on social gatherings and be surrounded by friends who are smokers. I told them I was quitting they were okay with it, some say good luck with it. I remember one gathering that I was just playing 1 cigarette stick on my fingers but I didn't smoke it. It was quite tempting especially with drinks all over the place. My wife just simply stares at me and I just clearly get the message she has that kind of look where I just knew what she meant.
The other thing that helps me on this journey was the benefits I got when I jog, I used to jog with my old friend back in 2007 he can jog and run better than me while me, on the other hand, has to walk a lot to catch my breath, when I got back to jogging on 2009 I felt the difference that I can jog comfortably, near my apartment was a 3 km jogging lane so after work I do walk and jog, I did this more often until I get to the point where I managed to ran the whole lane and that was the birth of my running journey.
I was amazed of how I able to run the 3 km without stopping, then I shoot for 5 km and got even more excited of it, so it became my new hobby week after week those days were awesome, I always look forward to my next weekend even after working 12 hours at the office as soon as I got home, I wore my sneakers and ran (I didn't know there is a thing called running shoes that time LOL).
From a smoker dude I became a running dude that was the transformation I had, I knew a lot of friends who are still struggling to quit as of this writing and I wish I could help them, I was asked many times of how I did it? my answer is always "everyone has a different reason why one should quit for me it started from the unexpected event with my son, as a father, a husband and a provider for my family I believed I should be around with them as much as I can and knowing you have a better chance of seeing your kids grow up when your smoke-free is an obvious choice to make and of course to grow old together with my wife.
It's agreeable that life is easier when your smoke-free, although some smoker lives longer than nonsmoker it's rare (Blame the Genetics), I still choose to live my life smoke-free, for someone out there who thinks about living a smoke-free life I can say this - find your reasons to quit it should be strong enough because the battle is real you can ask for help with someone close to you to support you on the journey but at the end of the day it's you against yourself. Make up your mind and commit to it.
My family is my reason to live healthier what's yours?
I like to hear your stories as well if you happen to quit smoking share your thought in the comments below.