I can remember a time when I honestly imagined I'd smoke forever. I can remember many, many painful and fruitless attempts at quitting. I can remember when I first quit that I could visualize not smoking TODAY, but when I thought about the future as a non-smoker it became hopeless. But, with supportive family and friends, and sheer will and determination, I am here...five years later, a non-smoker. Change is hard, but positive change is certainly worth the effort.
Yesterday one of my friends announced that she has been smoke free for 24 hours. Knowing that it all starts one day at a time I was so happy for her, but also know that the start is the hardest part so I wanted to offer her some encouragement. One of the things I mentioned was a calculator I used when I quit. It was so inspiring and motivating to see the numbers go up and up. It made me proud of the accomplishments I was making because they were spelled out in a concrete way. The calculator that I used was an app on myspace way back when myspace was cool, but I found a website that had the same premise. I figured while I was on the site why not run my numbers. I must say I was pleasantly surprised myself at how time has gone by and how far I've come without really realizing it.
According to the calculations I have been free of cigarettes for 1838 days. I have not smoked 27,572 cigarettes since then, and have saved a total of $2,067.93.
The amount saved is pretty low really. That is because the last couple years of my addiction I smoked truly terrible, bargain basement, roll your own smokes. They were really, really, really cheap....and really, really gross. If I had been buying full priced smokes ($5/pack) the amount saved jumps to $6,893.12. Either way that was a lot of money to pay someone in order to slowly kill myself, no matter how much I thought I enjoyed it.
27, 572 cigarettes...that is a lot.....and I wasn't even a pack-a-day smoker. It is rather horrifying to try to imagine that many cigarettes....let alone CONSUMING that many. Plus, think of all the trash waste.
Matt quit when I quit, but it wasn't nearly as challenging for him. He was always much more of a social smoker which was all well and good until I entered the picture and thus his social smoking increased dramatically. I cannot begin to express how valuable it was that he quit with me. It helped me quit. It improved his heath. It saved us even more money. Win, win, win.
I can't really remember the last time I wanted a cigarette now. Wait, maybe I can... I'll have to think....hmmmmm....outside of a Yonder Mountain String Band concert maybe two years ago maybe. (I honestly can't remember the last time I craved McDonald's though!) I love my life as a non-smoker. It really opened up a whole new world for me. A world where everything smells and tastes better, where I discovered running, cycling, hiking, and where perhaps most importantly to me, a world where I am more in control of me. It is a very good thing. For me it just goes to show that you never know what you are capable of until you try and that little in life is really impossible if you want it badly enough.