Friday, November 6, 2009

My GetQuit Story

I have a story to tell. It is my GetQuit story.

It started when I got married. I was married at an early age and to an older man. He smoked and all of his friends smoked. Since I was the youngest person in the group, I started smoking too, so I would fit in with my husband and all of his friends. It was what you did in my little town, you got married, you drank, you smoked. You were a grown up and that is what the grown-ups did.

My husband and I were married for 30 years before he passed away. We raised 3 children and they all grew up to be smokers. All 3 of them also married smokers. My daughter, like her mom, married an older man. After trying for 13 years they finally had a son. His name is Willard Lee, after both of his grandfathers. We call him Billy. Due to a tramatic head injury my son in law was unable to work, so for financial reasons, the 4 of us moved in together. Sadly Billy's daddy passed away 2 months before Billy's 4th birthday. We told Billy his daddy was in heaven. One day Billy came to me and said "Nana, if you and mama go to heaven too, who will take care of me?" I held on to this little child as tight as I could and promised him that I, and his mama, were going to be here with him for a very, very long time. Even when he was a grown up man, we would be here for him. That seemed to satisfy Billy, but it did more than that for me. It changed my life forever. I looked into those angel eyes and I knew that I would have to do everything within my power to make sure I would be around that long. I knew the first thing that I would have to do is to quit smoking.

So, after 40 years of smoking and nine failed attempts at quitting, I made an appointment with my family doctor. He had been nagging me for 3 years to quit. I told him I was ready and would need some help. He prescribed Chantix, a prescription drug that is suppose to help people quit smoking. So I took it home and put it on my dresser, and promptly forgot about it. I also continued to smoke. Three months later, back at the doctor for diabetic blood work up, and he asked how the quitting was going. I had to tell him I never filled the prescription. He gave me another lecture and another prescription, which I filled on my way home. I put it on my dresser, and promptly forgot about it.

Finally, in late July I said to myself: OK...its now or never. I swore this was not going to be another failed quit attempt, because this time I had made a promise and a committment that I intended to keep. I set my quit date as 08-08-08 just because it sounded cool. I did smoke that first week because I could, but I took the Chantix as directed and signed up for the on-line e-mail support and the 7:00pm phone call. I credit this wonderful support program with helping me quit. I received a phone call every evening at 7:00pm. It became a matter of pride to push the button on the phone that said no, I did not smoke that day. And I did take it one day at a time and I know you won't believe me, but it was easy! I had no nicotine withdrawal symtoms at all and I had the support program. The e-mails came every day, then once a week, then monthly and lasted for a year. They gave me little exercises to do, they informed me of changes taking place as my lungs healed, and they taught me ways to handle situations where I might be tempted to light up. More importantly, they taught me to think of my self as a non-smoker.

Now, one year, 2 months and 28 days later I am still smoke free. I am also honored to have been chosen as a GetQuit Ambassador. I get to travel all over the United States and tell my Quit Story to others who face the challanges and the struggles of quitting. Hopefully, God willing, I can pay it forward. Maybe what I say will give some else the courage to find their own motivation to quit.

So, little sister Tammie, that is why I am thankful for Chantix. It enpowered me to become a non-smoker and to  keep my promise to a little boy with angel eyes.


  1. Hey. Thanks for visiting my blog, for answering my question, and for joining my PIF. I thought nobody would be brave enough, but your entry was a true blessing.

    I like you are an ex-smoker. I smoked for ten years and started while dating my second husband. I quit because I wanted a child and did not want to be pregnant while I smoked. I quit and my marriage ended shortly after that, but then I found new love and almost instantly got my dream baby. I quit cold turkey with the aid of a lot of Snicker's bars, but my mother quit using Chantix. I think it is great that you are getting to tell your story to others. By spreading your story you will get to inspire so many.

    Take care.

  2. Thanks Missd for your truly inspirational story. I'm a non-smoker, but both Mum and Dad smoked heavily and today my Mum has dementia (linked to smoking) and sadly my Dad passed away last year, his lungs in the end were useless, he just coughed and coughed, couldn't swallow, couldn't eat, couldn't breath - so I say to all those smokers.... hear Missd's story, think about your life in years to come, think about your family around you and take charge of your health now and take those first steps to your much healthier future and quit!
    I know that these words coming from a non-smoker may not mean so much as many will say "you don't know what it's like" - I know what it was like to watch my Dad struggle every day to breath and I know what it's like to talk to my Mum who can't remember something she said 5 minutes ago! So thanks Missd! and keep enjoying your smoke free life!