About 20 years ago I was living with my mom, dad and daughter. My dad had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer, my mom was on her 6th pacemaker. I had been smoking for 30 years and new my health was at stake. I noticed in the newspaper that a 3 week course was being offered at the local hospital sponsored by the American Lung Association and decided to check it out. The class consisted of videos, speakers and various discussions as to what would happen to the body when it no longer had nicotine. The last day of the class we had to give up our cigarettes and lighters. In preparation for that day, I had bought a used bike to help get away when the urge was really strong. I also sucked on cinnamon hearts, jawbreakers, cinnamon sticks, and chewed cinnamon gum until my tongue literally got swollen for all the "spice" I was eating. Cigarette smoke is hot, thus the need for spicy food and candy. I drank a lot of ice water to combat the burning in my mouth. My first 2 weeks were easy but then on the third week, I felt like I was going to die. I hadn't slept much, wasn't dreaming, was super irritable and ate like a pig. Luckily, I lived with my parents or I would have filed for divorce, if I wasn't already divorced. I was miserable but had made up my mind that this too shall pass. It took me years to stop dreaming about having a cigarette and sometimes I would wake up and not be sure if I had smoked. Luckily, I have never had another cigarette, not even a puff. I did tell myself at the time I quit that when I turned 65, which seemed to be light years away, I would smoke again. Well, I turned 65 last week and have not picked up a cigarette and never will. It was too difficult to quit and the damage smoking does isn't worth the pleasure it provides. I will probably have my annual smoking dream tonight since I am writing this story about it, oh well, at least it's only a dream.
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