Near the end of November, my husband and I were out for dinner one night when we got the one of the worst phone calls we could possibly get. My husbands very BEST friend (brother is more like it) and my children’s Godfather had been in an accident and was in the hospital. Naturally we packed up and drove to see him. We had no idea what we were about to walk into when we got to the hospital. When we arrived, we were informed that he was not going to make it. The shock…. I can’t even explain in words how I was feeling when I heard this horrible news. My heart instantly felt like it was ripped out of my chest. My mind was all over the place; how could this be true? My poor husband, he must be so crushed. My kids, one will grow up heart broken as her best friend just died, and the other, he will have no actual memory of him. His poor family, parents, siblings. Everyone. We have all lost this amazing man.
Oh how badly, out of habit, I wanted to have a cigarette. That’s not true, I wanted a whole pack. I wanted to smoke, and yell, and escape all of it. But I couldn’t. If I had a cigarette, I would be letting almost 9 months (at the time) of hard work go. I would be disappointing everyone I know, I would be letting myself down, and my friend would have kicked my butt if he would have ever heard that I started smoking again. Every time I have been to a point of having a cigarette, I think of all the times him and I talked about quitting, about how he would be so mad if he knew I smoked, because of ANYTHING to do with him.
Over the next few weeks after his passing, we would deal with a lot. For me, my husband and my children are number one. Watching my husband go though this pain, a pain I hope to never know, was torture. I had the horrible task of telling my daughter, her favourite uncle (who played Barbies, did hair, and painted nails with her) had died. That he would never take her to the movies, or go bowling with her again. I had to watch my daughters eyes, as her little heart broke. That was another time that I really wanted to smoke a whole pack of cigarettes.
Two and a half short weeks, while we were still dealing with the death, my grandmother was admitted to the hospital. She was diagnosed with Lymphoma earlier in the year, but was not doing very well now. I would spend the next three and a half weeks visiting her in the hospital, trying to keep myself distracted from the pain I had already been feeling. Christmas came and went, tried our best to celebrate for our children, but nothing was the same. Grieving the loss of our dear friend, and missing him showing up at our house to celebrate our own Christmas together. Spending my nights after my children were in bed, at my grandmothers side in the hospital. The day that she passed, was the day after her birthday. She had told us prior to moving to the Palliative care, that she was happy with her life (kids, grandkids, great-grandkids) and that she did not want to do chemo any longer. She was at peace with things, and I was grateful to have had a chance to say goodbye, and that I loved her. This was yet, another day, where habit told me to go sit outside of the hospital, have a tea and smoke my time away. These moments, where so badly all I wanted to do was smoke, I had to overcome so much. It was hard, none of it was easy, but I did it.
So, why did I decide to write this blog about my story? For a couple reasons to be honest. The first being, this is one way for me to help myself dealing with my grief. More importantly, I want everyone to know that no matter what you are faced with, it IS possible. It is possible to quit smoking, and stay smoke free going through the hardest times in your life. It is possible to stay smoke-free when you feel like doing nothing but having one, two, or a pack. You do not need to give in to that old habit, you can fight through it. Think of all of the reasons why you quit in the first place; they are all still valid. For me, I had the reasons that I mentioned above, but also, I am still breastfeeding. Not only am I still nursing my son, but I have an almost 5 year old who is looking up to me, looking to me for guidance. I needed to show her, that I did not need to have that cigarette to help me deal with the things going on in my life.
Please, everyone, understand when I say, if I can do this. And by “this” I mean, take care of my family, my household, maintain going to school, all of my normal tasks, write this blog, experience the worst parts of life, AND stay smoke free… ANYONE can do it!