It was easy for me to qualify my biggest personal achievement in 2014. It was not about my job, it wasn’t even about relationships, and it wast not about money. However, money came in the equation in order for me to be convinced that I need to stop it. Initially, the decision was influenced by body mechanisms such as feeling dizzy, bitter taste in my tongue, numbness in different parts of the body, and itchy eyes from time to time. I decided to put it on hold for a day and decided to buy a stick of cigarette when I need to instead of the usual on pack. And the moment I composed the word “pack” in my mind, I had a Thomas Alva Edison moment.
So, I reviewed my smoking habit and found out that on the average, I consumed one pack and ten sticks in a day. Quantitatively, that is equivalent to P120.00 per day consumption based on the on going rate in “sari-sari” store of my favorite brand PHILIP MORRIS. In a month, that is equivalent to P3,600 on the average. That was a huge amount of money, as I concluded after the reflection. So, i decided to stop smoking.
There are two ways where I could do it; gradual and abrupt. I went for the abrupt method for the following reasons:
1. Doing it gradually is still smoking not cessation. It encouraged me to give for reasons to continue smoking.
2. Nearing fifty years old, gradual cessation will just do more harm than good.
3. I felt that it is a dent on my pride If I could not stopped abruptly.
It has been five months now since I stopped smoking. January 1 is New Year’s Day, and it is my first day of non-smoking Alden going on six months. While for some, five months is no big deal, a lot of things could swing the favor and make return to smoking. Personally, it is a huge achievement and at the latest, I can tolerate drinking with people who are smoking in front of me. In the initial stage of my smoking cessation, there were times that I was quite tempted to smoke again, but the idea of making my head spin once I smoke again after months of stopping prevented me from lighting one stick of cigarette.
While there are people who admired me with my decision to disconnect my dependence with Philip Morris, there were people who were aghast with my decision to do it abruptly. They told me stories of how their friends quickly acquire many illnesses and diseases after they decided to stop smoking immediately not gradually. I say, I would rather embrace the idea that I died due to my smoking cessation activities rather than people telling other people that I died because of smoking.
As for my final words, I would like to say THANK YOU to all my friends whether in my FB list or not, for the words of encouragement. I made it through five months because you helped me through your motivating words. I made it because, you did not make fun of my decision. I made it because you did not make a bet if I can make it this long. On July 28, 2015, it will be my first year of cigarette less days, I look forward to that day, and with your support I know I have good chance of celebrating smoking cessation anniversary.