Five years ago today I quit smoking.
Five years ago today, I put an end to a 28-year habit. (And if you're trying to do the math, that puts me at roughly 12 when I first puffed away. I know. Crazy.)
Five years ago today I curled up into a little ball and sobbed like I'd just lost my best friend in the whole wide world.
Five years ago today I relied solely on will power and white knuckles.
Five years ago today I said, "I'm done."
I know there are people out there struggling with this addiction. I also know that until you are ready to quit, people going on and on about kicking this bad ass monkey off their backs falls on deaf and disinterested ears.
I just know that I had a deep and intimate relationship with something that was very, very bad for me. I loved it with a depth and intensity that addicts are all too familiar with. Then, I finally faced the truth: try and live a healthier life or end up dying an ugly death from a smoking-related illness.
I also know when I was finally free from the pull of nicotine, that I began to live differently in every possible way. My life no longer revolved around planning the next smoke break. I can't tell you how liberating that was, and continues to be.
I didn't know if I was going to stay quit. But as the days turned into months, and the months into years, I started to breathe a little easier (figuratively and literally), and it seemed like this non-smoking life was a keeper.
There are days when I focus on this accomplishment alone, this five years of being quit, and I feel like I could do just about anything.
Today is one of those days.
David, take it away…