I am probably going to get severely lectured for this post, I was not going to write it, but after talking to an old friend about this issue, I became motivated (Thank you Mike Arp for giving me that motivation and for proof reading).. I know I will be lectured in particular by my cousin Crystal and Aunt Tami, but if someone reads this and it motivates them to quit, then I will take the burden of being lectured and judged.
I used to be a smoker.
Not like a “oh hey ive had to much to drink, I need a cigarette,” type of smoker, but a full blown, pack a day, had to have one every time I was driving or stressed type of smoker.
During Nursing school, after one of our deathly stressful exams, you would find me outside smoking my anxiety away.
When I was waitressing, you could find me out back on a smoking break (Seemed to be the only way you could get a break)
Yes I know it was bad for me. Yes I know its gross and unattractive.
I hid it super well, (well for awhile, my dad seems to be all knowing). Or maybe he knew because I came home smelling like a mix between a bar and a two dollar hooker who drowned herself in perfume. Either way, he confronted me about it. But I would become defensive, or lie my way out of it.
Thats what we do when we know we are doing something bad for us. We get defensive, or we lie. Then you have to cover up that lie with another lie. Its quite exhausting.
I had this ritual, where I would smoke in my car and then completely drown myself with perfume and pray for the best. I even went to the extreme of wearing plastic gloves so you couldnt smell it on my fingers (Megan H-thing 2), you know what I am talking about because you used to laugh at me lol).
Funny story, when my supervisior found out I smoked, she laughed and said, “Well, you never smelled like cigarettes, but you always smelled like a bottle of perfume.”
Eventually, spraying perfume, constantly applying hand santizer and lying becameexhausting. So I started looking for ways to quit. Nothing seemed to work, I would end up super irritable and on edge, and give into the craving, then make myself feel better by saying, “whatever, ill quit eventually.”
“Ill quit after nursing school” id say
“Maybe ill quit tomorrow”.. tomorrow never comes for those with that mentality
“If I dont smoke, ill bite my nails, or bite my lip, or chew too much gum and get cavities because I have an oral fixation and cant help it”
“I”ll gain weight if I quit because ill start eating instead of smoking, no thanks”
When someone would lecture me about smoking, or tell me it was unattractive, I would respond jokingly with “Listen, you dont know my life, im under alot of pressure, dont judge me, its a struggle okay.”
It was a struggle, but it wasnt an oral fixation.. and I didnt need to smoke. I wouldnt gain weight if I stopped smoking, I would gain weight by using food to fill the void I had that I tried to fill with smoking.
The day I quit, I quit cold turkey. It was about two weeks after my mom died. I was on the treadmill (practically dying, and wheezing, because my lungs were like WHAT are you doing, we cant handle this running, we are filled with smoke!). Anyways, I was watching the news while I was running and a segment about CVS came on. CVS stated that they are going to completely stop selling cigarretes. Why? Even though they were going to lose 5.6 million dollars, and create lots of unhappy customers, they were stopping because it goes against everything they believe in. They look for ways to promote health, not destroy it, so why would they sell cigarettes.
1 Cor 3:16-17 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.
“Well the bible doesnt specifically say not to smoke, so whatever.“
No, but common sense says that your body is a temple, and common sense says that cigarette smoking destroys your body.
CVS realized they were going against everything they believe in. Oh hey thank you God for that giant push in the right direction. Here I am, a licensed nurse, supposed to educate people on health, and tell them that smoking is bad, and knowing all the negative effects of it.. But I was sneaking off to go smoke.. Hello my name is Megan Phillis, and I am a gianthypocrite lol.. Its kind of like the saying “do as I say, not as I do.” Parents are often guilty of this one..
But I realized I should be leading by example. I cant encourage someone to be healthy if I myself am not being healthy…
Why on earth was I smoking anyways? Cancer runs in my family
I used to joke and say ” Whatever, cancer runs in my family, I am going to get it anyways.”
Why do we have this mentality, of “oh well, its bound it happen.”
Why increase my risk of cancer?
Why increase my risk of cancer?
If you are not spiritual, I respect that, but take this man for example.
His name is Jordan Wood, and his story amazes me everyday.
“Our appointment at the Cleveland Clinic was at 8:30 changed to 7:45, 8:30, 10:30 and last change 1:00. Then finally at 1:30 they called him back. His potassium level is high AGAIN and I thought they might cancel his procedure. At 2:00 Jordan went in for his 4D bronchoscopy and biopsy. I decided to go to the cafeteria to get something to eat and I bumped into DR McCurry, Jordan’s transplant surgeon. I know he has seen too many patients to remember themall. However, Jordan had two double lung transplants within 6 months. He was the first patient at the Cleveland Clinic to do physical therapy while on life support. Staying in ICU for a month he became a memorable patient. Not only that but there was controversy among the transplant team to list Jordan for a second time. They said the odds of finding a match in time and his physical strength to survive a longer harder surgery did not look good.Dr McCurry made several visits to Jordan while in ICU, he pushed Jordan and said you got to make me believe you can do this or I have to take you off the list. Today, I walked over to Dr McCurry and said Hello, Jordan Wood is my son, he said, yes he had 2 double lung transplants, how is he doing? I said he is doing great. I put my hand on his arm and said thank-you. He smiled and said you’re welcome. I praise God, Dr McCurry did not go by what he saw, young man weighing 88lbs, with a trach, ventilator, and heart/lung bypass machine. but what he heard. He heard the cry of a desperate young boy, “Please don’t let me die, don’t give up on me”. I am sure the words Jordan spoke gave him the strength to believe Jordan would live through another transplant. Today is living proof. Jordan is a fighter and I am amazed what he can endure.”
This man went through two double lung transplant surgeries and here I was destroying my lungs.. Here I am taking life for granted thinking “that wont happen to me,” or “whatever, ill get cancer eventually,”Hello stupidity.
We think we are invincible, but are reminded every day how short life on earth is. Why gamble with your life and increase your risk for a deadly disease? Or worse, increasing the risk of harming innocent people with secondhand smoke.
That day I saw the news segment, and thought about all of this, I quit cold turkey. Not everyone has this type of will power, I realize this.. For me, I distracted myself with reading, working out, and praying for strength to quit. I used my irritability as motivation to kill it at the gym. Its what worked for me.. You can quit too, just find what works for you, and start doing it.
When you want guidance and strength to stop doing something. Live in a way that God KNOWS you, become his servant, and he will help you in ways you never thought possible.
If you’re not into religion, at least value your own life and take people like Jordan into consideration.