As The Corvallis Clinic prepares to go tobacco-free on May 31, I’d like to share a letter from a person who struggled with quitting smoking, but succeeded, and has been free of tobacco for eight years. She wrote this letter to her cigarettes:
Dear Salem 100 (my lifelong affair) and American Spirit (my 20 one night stands):
It is time to finally say our last farewell. You have been my constant companion to the point of being my prison. Every morning, every meal, with TV, phone conversations and last thing at night. You have intruded in every aspect of my life, robbing me of joy. I have been so addicted to you. I’ve alienated family and friends just so I could have my rendezvous with you. Now, I’m taking back my life and leaving you behind. As I walk away, I thank God that I finally had the courage. No more hacking up fur balls, finally breathing clean air. No more pollution in my car, my home, my clothes, even my hair. I’ll never have to apologize over burn holes in everything. Too bad I didn’t rid myself of you before the wrinkles, the cough, the destruction you’ve wreaked. Never again will I race to the Party Store to suck away on another one of you. In only a few short weeks I’ll be back to my old (young) self again, enjoying exercise, having white teeth, no more coughing; life can be fun for me again. My lungs will heal and I’ll have 200 extra minutes every day to pursue all the activities I put aside while you were in my life. You will never creep back in! Goodbye, good riddance. Don’t come near me or my children ever. Oh, and if anyone ever tries to introduce us, be assured, I’ll walk away. You are my past. I choose life without you. P.S. You owe me $61,000.
The person who wrote this is very dear to me. She is my mother. After watching her struggle for many years to quit, she was finally able to succeed using behavioral approaches and hypnosis. I know many people can relate to this control that tobacco exerts. When you’re ready to quit, know that you are not alone.
I welcome stories about your experiences trying to quit tobacco.