I quit smoking seven years ago.
Half of Coleman's lifetime ago.
I have come to love this anniversary. (Technically, it's on the 17th. I first blogged about it here, back when I was still very leery to even admit a lifetime of nicotine addiction to the general public.)
I love how the further I move away from a life of smoking, the more absurd the idea of doing it ever again becomes.
I love how after about three years, I stopped giving mean, jealous glances to people at stoplights who were in their cars, flicking their ashes out of their windows.
Why do YOU get to keep smoking, and I don't?
I know there are people out there reading this morning who smoke and some of them have no intention of listening to me lecture about how bad it is for them. There's really nothing worse than an ex anything.
Instead, I can say this: it's one hell of a tough habit to break.
I still remember that day back in 2006, curled up in my bed, sobbing, wondering how in God's name I was going to make it to the end of the day withough caving into the cravings.
Cheesy as this sounds, I did it. One day at a time.
I always used to say I lived my life with no regrets.
That was before I started working with a therapist. So many attitudes have shifted on this idea of regret.
And I regret being a smoker, if only for the life that I may have lost. Years I will never get back, you know?
Yes, I can breathe freely today and for that I'm grateful and proud.
I love the following line. It always reminds me, when considering addictions or things we think we've got licked or figured out, to be humble and respectful:
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
Here's to breathing. And to anyone who has a fight on their hands.