I dumped a loved one last night after 10 years of being together. It isn't the first time I have done it, but I hope it is the last time.
The three prior times I stopped the relationship, I quickly ran back to it after a month or two as soon as I had faced adversity in my life. It was always there for me and if given the opportunity, it always will be there waiting to embrace me with open arms.
Ironically, I will have a harder time with the breakup than it will. It's as if it knows that I will be back.
Not this time, though. I can't go back after hearing these words from my daughter.
"Daddy, I saw on TV today that smoking can kill you. Is that true?"
My heart sank just hearing the way she asked me. Shelby seemed so upset about what was about to come, despite not knowing the answer.
How do I answer that question without upsetting her even more? More importantly, though, how can I live with myself knowing that my habit was causing my daughter to worry about my mortality.
As hard as it was for me, I answered her with the truth.
"Yes baby. Cigarettes can kill you. It doesn't happen over night, but it can cause you to get sick and maybe even die."
"Then you have to stop... please Daddy."
My daughters have asked me to stop smoking before, but never the way Shelby did. It was the first time where I could actually see the pain in her face at the prospects of losing me.
So, last night at 10:15 p.m., I smoked what I hope to be my last cigarette. It has to be my last cigarette.
In my life, I have climbed to the the top of Mt. Whitney (the highest summit in the contiguous United States with an elevation of 14,505 feet), jumped out of an airplane, and ran in and finished two Los Angeles Marathons. However, if I am successful in quitting, I will view it as my greatest personal accomplishment.
That's how hard I know this is going to be. Smoking isn't just something I did, but it became part of who I was. As a casual drinker who has gotten drunk in the past, I can say that I have never miss getting drunk or drinking at all.
Smoking will be missed for me. A non-smoker can't understand, but smoking and I did have a relationship. I turned to it for everything. I truly loved to smoke.
That's why today was as hard as I thought it was going to be for me. All day I had thoughts of smoking and wanting so bad to bum a smoke from a co-worker. It truly was something that I could not get out of my head no matter how hard I tried.
Fortunately, though, Shelby's face and the way she looked when pleading with me to quit also kept popping into my head. It was that thought that kept me from going back to smoking.
At least for today.
I view my blog as a mirror of sorts, the way I that I see myself. While I may have been able to lie or mislead other people, I have never been able to lie to myself when looking at a mirror at the end of a day.
So, I will never lie to my blog about whether or not I have smoked. I hope that this will also help me quit as I will have to face my blog at the end of each day. Wish me luck and feel free to offer up any tips that may have helped you or anyone you know who has successfully quit smoking.
There is nothing better than having friends who prevent you from going back to a bad relationship.
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