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Do you smoke?

If you do, today's a great day to quit. It's my three year smoke free anniversary! If I can do it, anyone can so jump on my lucky day and put that shit out! Now breeeeeathe and enjoy the first of many, many deep breaths you can take if you'll only get the monkey off your back.

Kitty was very influential in my quit and pointed me to great support sites, including a bulletin board that has been very helpful. I will repost my three year reflection in the extended entry if you are interested.

How different things look from year to year. That first year was a bear. I didn't think I'd make it and even after I did, my mind still tried to convince me I needed to smoke. I'm sure some of you old timers remember me threatening to start again if the cravings didn't let up by week 4, by week 6, by week 8 and so on. Who could forget me bashing in the front of the dishwasher during one of my fits of rage? All the times I collapsed to the floor in the tears... such drama... seemed like life or death at the time. I can laugh about it now.

Through the second year I fought the occasional cravings. Most of them were brought on by being around other smokers or too much stress. Year two was the year I became addicted to exercise as I tried to shed the pounds year one gifted me with. I was on the BFL program with Dan and some others and I'd do double what we were supposed to do. It felt great to be able to run and do aerobics but part of it was replacing one addiction with another.

Somewhere during the third year, I stopped thinking about cigarettes on a daily basis. Someone asked me how long I'd been quit and I had to think about it. Now that was a milestone to me! I thought I'd go my entire life thinking about smoking but weeks had went by and I'd not given it a seconds thought. I also realized I was pretty happy with who I was. You know, when a cigarette is your constant companion for years and years, it's like a death in the family to throw them out. You have to replace all those smoking moments with something else and reinvent yourself. That gets very scary at times.

Last night we went out to a pheasants forever banquet and smoke rolled out when we opened the door. It was like a slap in the face. EWWWWW!! That smell! After we got home I immediately changed my clothes into something that smelled like the smoke free me. This morning I was gathering laundry and that smoke smell smacked me again. I realized I will never go back. I am finally free and it feels great!

I have always been too busy to post much here but I do try to stop in and keep up. I think now that I am 100% comfortable being smoke free, I will try to take time to give back. I feel confident doing that now that I've been through it. The other side is so beautiful. It's worth the trip through hell. It truly is.