Often I'm with a halfway house client and they'll start telling me of health issues.
Blood pressure. Diabetes. Emphysema. Kidney problems or other conditions. And once we wind up the conversation, I always ask the same question. If I know they're a smoker I'll ask them if they still smoke, in light of all their health issues. Or, if I don't know whether they smoke I'll ask. And a surprising number - even in the face of what could be a fatal health issue - admit they still do. It's simply too hard for them to quit.
When I explain to them that quitting might be a good place to start healing themselves they'll agree. But the next time I see them they're still puffing away.
Now don't get me wrong. I'm not some kind of evangelist who has no experience with cigarettes. I smoked for around ten years and quit 31 years ago - July 25, 1984 at 9:00 a.m. And as someone who's kicked heroin many times during my 38 years of using, I must say that cigarettes are much harder to ick than opiates. Plus I watched seven family members slowly suffocate from emphysema. One of them was my mother.
A lot of us don't want to face pain. And I understand - I didn't either. But if you can't do it for yourself, think of those who love you; do it for them.
It is selfish and self-centered for us to not care for ourselves when there are others in our lives who care about us.
Quitting is tough. But with a few weeks I completely forgot about being a smoker.
You can do it.
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