September 11, 2017. Significant, not just because of the World Trade Center anniversary, but because I stopped at a red light. This stoplight changed my life and started me on this path of improvement.
I had just gotten off of work, when I realized I needed gasoline. So with my windows down and my tunes on, I was off to fill up my tank. I was almost to the gas station when I came to “that” red light. I looked to my left and noticed a lady-driver smoking a cigarette and thought, “wow, she’s really pretty, too bad she smokes”. Here’s the irony, I’ve been a smoker for 25 years. WTF, why didn’t I think the same thing about myself? I’m a pretty person, why was I judging her and not me?
So as crazy as it sounds, that’s what made me decide to quit. I mean really quit, not the same old, I’m gonna quit and smoke when I go out quit. I mean, f-o-r-e-v-e-r quit.
Both my kids, throughout their lives have wanted me to stop smoking, since whatever age they were taught in school about the evils of tobacco. So I excitedly came home, professed my new commitment and let my son throw my cigarettes away. This was major for me, I just bought that pack. Nobody in their right mind throws out a full pack of cigarettes. About 10 minutes later, I may have contemplated digging through the garbage, but I resisted. I also thought, maybe I should get a Rx for Chantix, but I knew I’d be that idiot that jumped off my hometown bridge with Chantix’s suicidal side effects. Sooo, I went cold turkey! I love saying “Cold Turkey”, probably almost as much as I love eating cold turkey deli-meat; another flaw of mine.
I should probably mention; in my mind, I wasn't a hard core smoker. One to three packs a week. Most of those three packs a week, involved smoking the entire pack in a single night while gettin' cray with my crew. Alcohol was a huge part of my life too, more than I care to admit. The reality for me was smoking and drinking was like peanut butter and jelly, they’re just better together. So I quit smoking and drinking at the same time. Yes, I’m an idiot, but I needed to remove my triggers; alcohol, social places with alcohol, work events with alcohol and people I felt comfortable smoking around with alcohol. I separated myself and low and behold, I became a recluse for about three months.
In those three months, I turned to Raspberry Tea as my main source of gratification. I mean ALOT of tea, I became a commercial tea aficionado. I don’t know why, but that shit got me through some hard times. Then one day, someone at work said, “do you know how much sugar is in that?” I almost fell out when I read the nutritional panel and realized I had just traded my nicotine addiction for sugar addiction. And that became significant thing number two! That simple question, sparked another changed my life. It made me start thinking, I need to get off sugar!