I feel compelled to spill the beans.

I had no intentions of writing a blog post today. But in the past hour or so I started having this really strong urge to do this. I know that there are no accidents, and so I believe that what I am about to highlight will touch someone in some way.

Sometime today, a youngster read an article I had written about refined sugar and nonchalantly said that, he must have his sugar because it is addicting. While this blog is not about refined sugar, I have to ask:  Is there anything that is addicting that is good for you? My thoughts are that even if it is something good initially, too much of a good thing can be bad. And too far east is west.  Ponder on that and give me your thoughts. “Bad for Your Health” habits can be Broken.

But this got me to thinking that if it were not for my dear mother and children, I may have still been a smoker. Probably not; I think I may have slapped myself upside the head by now, if my mother didn’t do it, after she became over frustrated with me “pretending to be a smoker and looking as ugly as ever smoking.” I can hear her like it was yesterday.

So in honor of “Mother’s Day” I want to tell you about my nicotine addiction. I was seventeen and in the final year of high school, when I went on a picnic with classmates and followed others to smoking. From that day on, I was a smoker. At first, only at parties and picnics, and when I was in the company of smokers. Then to sneaking at home, and onto being a full- fledged smoker. I was addicted to the point of I would refuse to eat if I did not have cigarettes. I would go ballistic when I went to my mother’s house and she and my sister conspired to seek out and hide my cigarettes.

Bad Momma!!!

When I was pregnant the first time, I knew I had to take a break, and it was relatively easy. As a matter of fact, I never touched the poison again until my son was seven months old and stopped nursing.

My second pregnancy, I again stopped smoking, but this time, the urges were greater. I bought cigarettes and had them waiting when I returned from the hospital.  I smoked while nursing, and as often as I wanted to.  So when I discovered that my baby was asthmatic about one year into his life, I knew what had caused it. He and I suffered through that episode for many years until he grew out of it. Even though I never discussed it with anyone, I knew what was the cause.

Wise Children!!!

I have no idea where this wisdom came from, but from a very early age my kids started nagging me, begging me, to stop smoking. They were afraid it was going to kill me all that good stuff. At one time I stopped, and immediately started to gain weight, so my smart- aleck self, decided that the fat was just as deadly as the tar and the nicotine, so I may as well smoke.  Excuses, excuses. They are the fastest things to find and cost nothing more than a weak mind.  If you want to stop smoking, this product can help curb your cravings, and prevent weight gain.

I stopped and started about three times until the final time. I know what addiction is. I know what it is like to battle those demons, in case anyone thought that I always knew what is good for me. No I am just a person who decided to make better choices.

My final attempt, and success, to quit smoking was a made- up mind. I had gone to college in the USA. Two things made up my mind for me. Actually, three. Firstly, it started to get cold around December. (Hey, when you are from the tropics, anything less than 70degrees is cold.) There was a rule that no smoking is allowed in any buildings. So I found myself standing outside doors to get in a smoke between classes. I got to know all the smokers on the campus, because we congregated on the outside of doors. I still remember Marsha from Student Services. There was no enjoyment or calming in having a cigarette while shivering from the cold. It defeated the purpose. I guess I hated the cold more than I liked smoking.

Second reason; the mentholated cigarettes I smoked cost way more there than they did in Barbados. Back then, I still had the tendency to convert all prices to Barbados money, and I asked myself if I was crazy to pay so much for cigarettes.

And thirdly, I was feeling a bit guilty for going away to school and leaving my babies with my mother. And so I thought that if I stopped smoking it would make them all happy.

So by the time I returned to school after Christmas break, I had made up my mind. I set a date. End of the month it was all over. And every day I counted down to my quitting. I conditioned my mind, so that by the time the end of the January came, so did my smoking addiction. In a couple of weeks, I couldn’t stand the scent of smoke. I smoked for twenty one years. I haven’t  smoked for 18. It takes a trigger for me to even remember that I was once hopelessly addicted to the act of smoking. Living proof that Bad Habits can be Broken.

In honor of “Mother’s day”  let me say “Thank you Mother, Thank you boys.”

And to anyone who has an addiction, or a compulsion, or a dangerous habit, do take it seriously. Whether it is nicotine, refined sugar, refined carbs, chemical sweeteners, fried foods, salt, what- ever you think you can’t live without. Think about it down the road, and the damage that it is doing constantly and continuously.

It is not easy to overcome, but it is very possible. I will follow up tomorrow with a post on the dangers of smoking and what it does to your body and the immediate environment. (Second- hand and third- hand smoke)

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Filed under: BAD HEALTH HABITSHealth Builders

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