"you're well on your way to lung cancer if you don't quit."
he said that. not to my friend, not to someone i know, no... he said that to ME.
we (the smokers) have heard it all before. "you're going to die from that." "it's bad for you." "you're too pretty to smoke." "cigarettes cause lung cancer." the list continues.
i wonder if the people that have died from lung cancer were warned. did they just not care? did they think it wouldn't happen to them? i know that i have taken my lungs for granted. i am not going to live forever but why would i do something that would make my life shorter? especially when death is my greatest fear which boils down to some other fears like being terrified of the dark. it just seems so stupid. not even ignorant because ignorance is the knowledge we have not attained. i have the knowledge and do it anyway... that's stupidity. and i am not a stupid girl.
so in a way, being sick has enlightened me. or at least it has pushed me on the swing to recovery. after this....
i am done. i will not live in fear because of something i am doing to myself. every time i light up a cigarette i get excited because i know i am almost done. i know it sounds silly to build it up like that but it's better to be excited about quitting i think. it made it easier last time i quit. last time i chose. this time my brain is forcing it. i'm sure the cravings will start. the first two days are the worst. then after that i get hungry and the battle of the bulging ass resumes. but that's why people exercise and the money i spent on a week of cigarettes can now go to something more productive like a gym membership. what a concept.
some back story....
i had walking pneumonia last november when i was training for my management position at Really Big Bookstore. i was miserable. couldn't breathe, couldn't talk, had no energy. after that i had the flu. then pneumonia AND the flu AND a sinus infection. a few months later my appendix peaced out on me. and now i have severe bronchitis/borderline pneumonia again. i've only smoked consistently for about 2 years. two. that's it. but i am slowly killing myself. and that's sad. the doctor said "welcome to TN!" when i told him my allergies were getting worse. he asked me if i had ever had asthma... no, i haven't. then he asked if i smoke. yes, i sure do. like a champ! (says kerry!) that's when he looked me in the eye and told me that i am well on my way to lung cancer if i don't quit. most people don't even get pneumonia once in their lifetime. i have had it three times in one year. ONE year. apparently, that's not good. (kidding)
i've had doctors tell me to quit before of course. my answer is always, well i'm going to quit! and they are happy with that answer and move on. this doctor scared me. he kept pressing the issue. this doctor cared enough about my health to tell me the hard truth. my body has been knocking on my brain all year. "hello! i can't breathe. are you done yet?" now i can honestly say that yes, i am done. i don't like waking up in the morning, taking that first fresh breath of morning air and then having it catch in my throat leading to a coughing fit. feeling like you're choking is scary. and i'm sick of being sick. i've been sick all year and it's my own fault. so i'm done.
thank you dr. h. for scaring the crap out of me. for telling me that the reason i have been so sick is because of my smoking. for telling me that i am going to die choking if i don't stop. with one sentence, he changed my thinking. how is it possible for people i know to smoke all the time and never get sick? i don't know. but for whatever reason i do and i don't want to anymore. i'm scared. enough to quit and do something else to calm down. to be a quitter and stay that way.
i don't want to die choking. i don't want to miss the important things because i was stupid and couldn't put down the damn pink lighter. and i won't.
because damn it, i quit!