You want to stop smoking?……. Just have a heart attack!
Graphic images are now being printed on cigarette boxes. But it’s something less than what the Government can do. The Gomen can give a period of 15 years or so notice now and just ban smoking and its manufacture etc. Source: Google
This was the heading of an article I read in Readers Digest years and years ago. It was a true life story of a smoker who had suffered a heart attack. From what I can still remember about the article, he wrote about the physical effects of the nicotine being washed off from his cells whilst he was in the CCU. He then talked about his physiological battle against the dreaded addiction.
Yes, even that many years ago, I was “keen” to stop smoking. Like so many other silly, adolescent and stupid boys, I started smoking because I wanted to feel like an adult. And like all the other stupid and silly starters before me, I had to struggle and fight the violent natural body reactions like coughing and gagging that tried to keep me from smoking.
What can I say? I persevered and it became a habit that has stayed with me for almost 35 years now.
Of course, even then, I knew smoking was not good for me. I remember telling myself that I would not be like those fools who were trapped into smoking 20 – 25 sticks a day. I’ll maintain myself at 3 sticks a day…..what a joke this turned out to be. There were attempts to stop smoking. Each year whilst making goals and resolutions, this would be about the top of the list. I have tried methods such as:
- keeping track of exactly how many sticks and at what time I smoked (I am now not sure why I did this),
- asking myself each time if I really did need that particular smoke,
- repeating affirmations such as that cigarettes spread nothing but poison to me and to all around me,
- stopping cold turkey,
- stopping during the fasting month…. all to no avail.
During a trip to Mauritius, I found a copy of Allan Carr’s book, Easy Way to Stop Smoking and read it from cover to cover. I think this is a definitive text on how to stop smoking. I got a clearer understanding of the devious manner in which the nicotine and the tar works on screwing our body.
Allen Carr’s Easy Way has been credited with weaning a number of celebrities including Sir Richard Branson and Sir Anthony Hopkins, off cigarettes. Still I just kept on smoking and burning the money away.
The family started imposing a rule that I could only smoke outside the house. Even then I did not stop. Not even when my youngest girl started looking at me with what I now think was a look of pity.
All that smoking has come to a stop since the last 9th of May following my heart attack. I thank God that not everything came to a dead stop that fateful night.
Still I see an increasing number of youngsters starting to smoke. If those days it was to appear adult, these days it seems to be the cool thing to do. I feel so sorry for them. I know that these people are going to end up regretting the day they picked up the habit and I know that they’ll find it very tough to quit. Maybe stories like mine might keep someone away from this dangerous habit.
I know that I have not licked this habit yet and if I ever let my guard down, I’ll be back to exactly where I started. Like the AA creed says, I’ll live just one day at a time, smoke free, Insya’Allah.