it's hard to believe i only found this website (the american lung association's "freedom from smoking" program) 15 days ago, my life has changed so much in that short period - the support and encouragement i've gotten from so many of you (i don't want to name names, because i wouldn't want anyone to feel left out) has been like a lifeline that's been thrown to me in one of the darkest and hardest times of my life.
i’m afraid that if i start smoking again, it will simply be impossible for me to ever quit again.
lately, i've been finding comments from a number of people (both from the group i've come to think of as "the regulars" and from new people just starting their walk down this road) about my commitment to remaining smoke-free being an inspiration to them, and, in a way, it feels really good, yet, in another way, i feel like a fraud...
and no, it's not because i've been "cheating"; i've remained smoke-free since the day i told you all i quit (november 19th), and everything i've posted here has been 100% true and from the heart. but some of the comments i've read make it sound (at least to my ear) like i'm some kind of hero, or i'm blessed with some kind of super-human willpower, or even that i have some secret formula that keeps me on the straight and narrow, but nothing could be further from the truth.
the truth is i'm scared to death.
somewhere along the way from 15 days ago to here, i read something, either here, or at whyquit, or at some other site, that either suggested or stated outright that it's possible to reach a point where it becomes physically impossible to quit smoking again. where the demon has been so well-fed, so nurtured, so protected and cared for, for so long, that it finally gets too strong to overcome.
i don't know if this is true, but i remember seeing my father sneaking a cigarette just days after he had half a lung removed due to cancer: he wasn't a stupid man (far from it; he was a brilliant engineer, well-respected nationally and internationally in his field), nor was he a weak man. but he smoked for over 50 years; maybe he had reached that point where it simply wasn't possible for him to quit any more because the demon had gotten too strong.
and as i look back over the last 9 days, i can't even *imagine* anything harder than what i've gone through to quit this time (especially the first few days), and i've been taking wellbutrin (my health plan won't pay for zyban) for over three weeks! if my demon has become so strong that it's been almost impossible for me to quit even with the help of this wonder drug (and i have 2 friends who were both long-time, heavy smokers that both quit without a single urge after only taking this stuff for a week), i'm afraid that if i start smoking again, it will simply be impossible for me to ever quit again.
maybe this is an irrational fear; i don't really know. but it's this fear, rational or not, that's been responsible for my success in staying away from cigarettes for the last 9 days, and nothing else. i'm no hero. i'm no superman. i'm nothing special. there's no nobility in abject terror, but that's my secret formula; i'm terrified.
and that's the truth.
kevin - day 9