Cashing in My Points

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cigarettes cover pic

If you have read my “about me” page you know that one reason I am doing this is to hold myself accountable for certain things. Mainly, my health. I will get into all the specifics at a later date. Not to throw my own pity party, but because I know I am not the only person in the world suffering. Maybe I can help someone, maybe someone can help me.

Today’s Health Nut topic is about something EVERYONE needs to stay away from. No matter what your ailments, or if you have none, if you continue this- you will have ailments and plenty of them. Yep, I’m going to knock my State’s #1 (legal) cash crop. Tobacco!

Still, after all these years of tobacco reform, after countless families have sold the farm and gone to factory work. Still, after people, like my uncle switched from tobacco to soybeans, had to sell land and cattle to do it. Still, after seeing beautiful fields of the yellow/ gold money replaced with large houses on one acre lots. Still, after all of the campaigns, advertising, MONEY….. tobacco is still Kentucky’s number one legal cash crop. Do you cite things in a blog? Not sure. Anyway that comes from Kentucky Farm Bureau’s 2013 commodities brochure reporting for 2012. The largest tobacco producing states in the country are North Carolina and Kentucky. Each doing their fair share to produce 71% of the tobacco in the country.

Now of course marijuana has long been thought to be the number one cash crop in Kentucky. One source for that is norml.org, which by the way is not a blog and cites no sources (Hello?). Take that for what you want. I’m not suggesting Kentucky is the Humboldt County of the East, well… yes I am. It probably is. You can hide a heck of a lot up in them there hills.

Moving on. This is about me and tobacco. Smoking has been my dirty little secret for some time now. If it wasn’t a secret to you, then I didn’t care if you knew. I have mastered hiding it from certain people. Worked right beside people for years and they never knew. I never smoked in the house so my clothes, home, and children never smelled like it. I didn’t smoke around the kids really, although they knew. And they hated it! Of course they did. They love their mommy. They don’t want anything to happen to her! How could I ignore those pleas to stop? It is damaging my children, my family, my bank account, my looks, and absolutely it is damaging my health. So why not stop? Why can’t I just do it?

Truth be told. I effing love smoking! Smoking is like a friend. Like a BFF! It is always there for me and it has never let me down. There’s my BFF that wears the other half of this necklace: (Look closely)

20140909_161217

and then there is my Marlboro Man. Full flavor menthols to be exact.

Marlboro Man

It gave me excuses. Made me feel badass (at first). I think this is what I thought I looked like:

bad ass smoking

Pretty sure this is what I currently look like:

coconut smoker

It is something that keeps my obsessive/ compulsive personality at ease. Something to obsess over! Yay! Something to do. A gratification. A treat I could give myself. I earned that cigarette. I didn’t want to stop! It gave me routine. Wake up? I need my coffee and a cigarette. I need a break. Step outside for a cigarette. I ran/ worked out hard- ah, a cigarette would be so awesome. Having a drink? Well, have a cigarette too. Can’t sleep? Go have a cigarette. Bored? Go smoke.

How and when was I ever going to stop? I have tried many, many times before. Most of the time I was just blowing sunshine up the ass of whoever was nagging me to quit. I didn’t mean it. I said I would quit and then immediately start on a plan to make sure that person never saw me smoke again. That’s not quitting at all! Then I would announce to everyone that I’m quitting. I’ve done that so many times, I don’t even get a reaction from them anymore. I have a close friend I grew up with that helped spearhead a smoking cessation program in the commonwealth of Kentucky. She gave me the program for free!!! All I had to do was push play on this DVD. She told me repeatedly, “You don’t even have to quit smoking yet. In fact, they don’t want you to. Just push play!” This program is now one of the most successful smoking cessation programs in the nation and I wouldn’t even push play! WHY!?!?!

A few years ago I was diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease. In my 30’s, my vertebrae are actually crumbling one on top of the other. Now you know smoking causes many ailments, problems, diseases and so forth. Cancer, emphysema, COPD… the list goes on and on to even the simplest of things like gray hair and wrinkles. Did you know it also promotes degeneration of the spine? Yep! It didn’t cause my disease, but it didn’t help it at all! Also nicotine in any form, including smoking cessation aides, actually causes pain. Specifically for me, lower back pain. And I am still lighting up! STILL!

I did really well stopping after spinal fusion surgery. Mainly, because I couldn’t move. As I have gotten further away from the surgery, I am doing worse. Smoking more and more. The surgeons have also told me I am not healing like I should. I cannot sit without excruciating pain for longer than an hour, if that. Yet still, I light up! 

marlboro gilr

Now I have reached the point where not only do I have to quit, I want to quit! I am actually excited about it! I don’t know how to describe the feeling, but I just know that now is the time. I can do it and just stopping this one thing may be the key to a lot of my problems. I want to feel healthy again. I want to be me again. Most importantly, I want to be there for my husband and my children. I don’t want to become just a memory far too early.

I am aware this post is not as amusing as others have been and will be. This is just something I need to get off of my chest. For accountability. From this day forward I will make every effort, everyday, to do something to improve my health. Today, September the 9th, 2014 I am officially a nonsmoker. I am going to use Commit Lozenges to help me with withdraws and I am going to create new habits, new rewards. Maybe I will become a tea snob, hopefully I will become recommitted and obsessive about getting back in shape. Think I will take up filing my nails while at stop lights instead of lighting up. I can’t wait to keep everyone posted on how this journey will go! Today, I am cashing in my Marlboro Points for good!

Love,

Nonsmoking Coco

P.S. WTF!!!!! I just got off the treadmill. It was ridiculous and pathetic and I can’t have cigarette! Damn it! I won’t do it though! I won’t! This is going to be really hard.

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