I'm A Quitter
by Mitchell Williams
I have smoked for 25 yrs and after many short lived attempts to quit and one 3 yr stint where I was smoke free. My excuse for picking up the habit again was the start of the War on terrorism. I was a crewmember onboard the ship that fired the first missiles in retaliation to the World Trade Center catastrophe. After many years of lip service, I decided that enough was enough. I developed this well calculated plan to rid myself of the habit at once. I had just started a new job after a 24 yr Naval career and one of my treasured outlets was my frequent visit to the smoke deck to burn a couple and partake in some sea stories pertaining to iron men and wooden ships. This routine had become my surrogate since my weaning from the Navy. Well after a visit form my grandkids, it became apparent that my stamina was waning and I hardly keep up with them at the ripe old age of 42. I also wanted to be around to share my experiences of wars fought and foreign lands seen on journeys across the oceans and seas. I made a decision at that moment that I would break the habit for good. I set a date and upon seeing my doctor, informed her of my decision. She was elated to hear the news and being that I am a type 2 diabetic, embraced my decision and provided me with a prescription for a stop smoking aid which included a support network to help me achieve my goal. As time neared for D-Day of the execution of my plan, I became apprehensive but I stayed the course. I decided against the stop smoking aid as a replacement for the nicotine I was getting from cigarettes. The first day came and I think I chewed 10 packs of gum out of sheer panic. After that day, I substituted my cravings for nicotine with vegetables and mints. It has been 10 months since I last had a cigarette and 8 months since I had a craving. I do not wish to force my beliefs on anyone, but my support system has been a combination of prayer, meditation, and the new outlook on being around to enjoy my family and my grandkids. I know that I have a long haul ahead of me and I feel someday the cravings may return, but if so, I am confident that I will be able to resist the urge. I am a better person and in exceptional health since quitting. I am hopeful that this will inspire someone else to at least consider quitting. The benefits are priceless.