Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. – Mahatma Gandhi
“The doctors told me to quit for your sake; so I did” – My Dad
I was one year old. Obviously I remember very little of that time so it will be pointless to make random guesses from it. But I have been reminded countless times from older family friends and parents about how cute I was and all that sort of crap. I did all the standard things like attempt to walk and speak random words by imitating my parents, watch cartoons, clap my hands and cough and get sick.
My dad was a regular smoker by then. He had smoked for almost 20 years by the time I turned one (well he started from a young age) and it was the standard one pack a day routine. He smoked inside the house and didn’t really think much of it. He told me (when I was older) he never really thought of quitting and it was all natural of him to smoke. But then I got sick and kept on coughing. Possibly from an unrelated matter, possibly from all the second hand smoke, I don’t know to be honest. But they took me to the family doctor and the doctor did the standard things. So this family doc who has known my dad for a long time and has actually been telling my dad for a long time to quit smokingsaw the entire connection. There was a Peter Styvenson pack in my dad’s front shirt pocket and the doctor knew he had to make the move right now. It is either now, or there will never be another later.
“So your son has been coughing a lot lately I see” said the family doc.
“Yup” replied dad.
“Here are some antibiotics but there is also one thing I need you to do”
“What should I do?”
[Family doc gives long speech about second hand smoking, cancer and the importance of staying healthy]
“Done” said my dad.
So a few days after that my dad went cold turkey and stopped smoking. It is now about 20 years and he has not had a smoke since. Of course now he coughs his lungs out every morning or every time a bit of smoke enters the room (think of it as the miner’s canary) but apart from that he is doing OK. I mean that stuff is serious so there might be a case where something will happen down the track as he has smoked for so long before. But for the time being, we are staying positive and are hoping for the best.
So I (along with my other siblings) was fortunate enough to be brought up in a smoking free home. That should not automatically say we are super healthy as the air pollution is no different and that has been around since forever so we are not completely immune. But it is amazing what one person would do for someone. The willingness to sacrifice something when there is a serious effect to it. We do our assignments a few days before hand because there is a deadline. Oh who cares that we have 3 weeks to do them, the majority of people do it a few days before hand. Cause and effect. Superman became a avid supporter of stem cell research after he became paralyzed. Cause and effect. Prostitutes have sex to make money. Cause and effect again!
I am so coooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool. I come from cool town.
So now my dad talks to me every day about how important it is to never smoke (along with all these other vice’sbut more on those another time) and that it is one of the worst things you can do to yourself and your family blahblahblah.
I suppose I am lucky. Let me explain though… I am piss poor at willpower.Give me half the chance and I will smoke any number of cigs out there. I have been asked countless timesin high school to give it a try. Each time however I said no… Why? Not because I “hated the smell” or “smoking was not cool anymore” or “I do not conform” or any other awesome virtuous act that deserves my respect. Only because my dad told me and showed me his example of why it is bad and what he is willing to do to someone he loves (stop smokingfor my health). So down the track, when I have a bunch of kiddies on my own (omg how cheesy, but look at the blocks of cheese in the blog header), I won’t need to repeat the entire cycle of trying to quit for them. Everyone wins! (Sort of?).
Anyway, to sum up somewhat haphazardly (god my conclusions/endings suck ass) I have no problem with anyone smoking as I believe it is your own choice. It is an addiction and praise should be given to those that want to quit, try to quit, fail but try again to quit. Hence I will just give one tip. If you want to achieve something (finish high school, loose weight, climb a mountain, ride a horse), try and do it for someone else (I wanna thank Jesus, my mom and Tom Sawyer). Things are so much easier that way!
Update (1/May/08): Via this blog post, I managed to find a nifty little counter that reflects how long a person has gone without smoking. I will add a version for my dad here and the date has been set at 12.00 AM, January 1st, 1990 just so it’s at a ‘neutral point’. I rather not reveal the exact date here but this later time is close enough. Quite interesting figures really.
QuitMeter Counter courtesy of www.quitmeter.com.