When my brother called to tell me my Mom had a stroke and was being ambulanced from one hospital to another, I called my sister and started driving.  I got about 2 hours down the road when I stopped for gas.  And smokes.  And a lighter.  The lighter purchase was the tell.  You know you’re going to hang on to a habit for a while when you buy a lighter.

I chain smoked the rest of the 5 hour drive to the hospital.  I smoked every couple of hours until she died, and after, and daily once I returned to my life after the celebration of hers.  My daughter hated it.  Nagged the ever lovin foo outta me to give it up.  I tried in October.  Too soon.  I wasn’t ready to let go of this habit, this tribute to my Mom, who was a heavy smoker for decades.  It was a manifestation of my grief and a tribute to her.  I clung to it in October and November and December.  I told the child I would give it up in 2017.  She reminded me frequently in December that 2017 was right around the corner.  I doubted my ability to quit.  I contemplated the hypnotist.  I was almost out of Nicorette.

But I tried.  Cliche of cliches on Sat., Dec. 31 I smoked the last in my pack and I haven’t bought more.  Today is Jan 7.  So I’m 7 days in.  I have been on the treadmill the past 3 evenings. Running covers my end of the day angst, which I would have recently controlled with a smoke, and serves the dual purpose of making me feel my lungs.

Joe Namath has a quote:  You learn you can do your best even when its hard, even when you’re tired and maybe hurting a little bit. It feels good to show some courage.

That’s how I feel about this quit, hell, about most aspects of my life right now. I have been out of Nicorette for a couple of days now.  I’m not going to buy more.  At this many days quit the cravings are, according to the scientists, 3 per day @ no more than 3 minutes each.  I think I got that & truly, I’m not sure it is even happening 3x/day. It’s also a matter of reminding myself I am a non smoker.  There are many ways to deal with my anxiety besides smoking.  Run.  Breathe.  Write about it.  Hell, at this early stage, eat and drink whatever I want.  Just soldier thru the minutes of craving, remembering they are minutes only duration, and the larger goal is worth the few minutes of angst.

My Momma would not want me to remember her, to mourn her, by smoking.  She would not.  I miss her so bad it hurts.  I wish there was something, anything, that would put me closer to her.  But it can’t be cigarettes.  So Ima try to keep quit.