Today was a milestone in my life. It marks the one year anniversary since I stopped smoking!
For years family members and friends had encouraged me to break the addiction but after short discussions I would tune them out. I knew I needed to quit but just felt I could not. I had a friend who would ask me quite often if I had thought about setting a date. My response to him was always, "Not yet, are you still praying for me?". Once he replied back, "yes I am praying for you but are you praying for yourself?". Sadly to say the answer had been NO.
From this moment forward I decided to start praying for strength that when the moment was right, I would be able to "kick the habit". After about a year of praying and preparing I decided I would make an appointment with my physician and ask about getting a prescription for Chantix. I thought of every excuse not to make my appointment on that dreaded day but something kept pushing me in a forward direction.
When I mentioned it to the doctor he spent about 30-45 minutes explaining how the medicine worked and what I could do to make the transition easier. He wrote my prescription for 6 months and sent me on my way asking to see me back at the end of the script unless I had side affects.
I had another couple of weeks of preparation and then I started to take 1/2 pill each day for a week. During this time I could smoke all I wanted. On the eighth day I was supposed to wake up and never smoke again??? Sounds crazy! On my seventh day I smoked more in that day than I had in a long time and felt sure I would never be able to stop. My eighth day fell on a Sunday so I woke that morning thinking about nothing else. While on our way to church I thought I will probably make it until we get out of preaching. Then I thought I would probably make it until after lunch, and so the story goes.
On the third week of taking the Chantix, I decided to stop taking the medicine. By this time I knew the Lord had given me strength to make it and He was all I needed. I continued to pray and wondered at what time I would be able to function without the thought of a cigarette consuming my every waking hour. I talked about smoking all the time but never once was I tempted to light up. I had kept an opened pack in my car for several months just in case I hit a moment of weakness which I may not be able to recover. I also had an unopened pack in my home. Thankfully, after about 3 months I ripped those cigs to shreds.
I had for about a year prayed hard for myself. I was a little afraid to stop something that had been such a part of my life for so many years. I felt like I would have misery beyond belief and never stop longing for what I thought I couldn't do without. After all, smoker's always said they never really lose the craving.
For me this was one of the hardest things I could imagine but my Lord was waiting for me to rest in His hands. Through Christ all things are possible. On July 11, 2009, I woke and started my day without smoking and I am proud to say not one time did I consider lighting up or even taking a puff. This is mostly because I felt the Lord heard my sincere plea and He gave me the strength to stop. I was not going to do anything to shift my blessing. :o)