Resolute: Making a Serious Change

I made my first serious, grown up New Year’s resolution this year. I always thought it was a pointless endeavor to make a promise to myself, mostly because I never felt the need to promise anything truly serious. In any case, I can’t hold myself accountable to myself, because I’m a much too forgiving person. But this year, it felt like I needed to make a serious change.

I’m not drastically changing my lifestyle; my goal isn’t to exercise five times a week, to eat more veggies or to just “be a better person.” But this change will be incredibly hard to accomplish nonetheless. My goal: quit smoking.

I know that sounds melodramatic to non-smokers (and perhaps even to some smokers who have never tried to quit before.) But I don’t think most people would smoke cigarettes if they had the choice to quit, just like that. This habit is ingrained in every part of a person’s life, from eating to driving to waking up. Not having a cigarette as part of your daily routine is like not having a phone, or your keys or anything else that you normally use several times a day.

I have been smoking since I was 17. I’m 21 now. When I started it wasn’t supposed to become an addiction. I suppose that’s never anyone’s goal when they start. Since then, my grandmother has been diagnosed with emphysema as a result of 50 plus years of smoking. Knowing that I am willfully putting myself at a higher risk for such diseases doesn’t sit right with me. I wouldn’t repeatedly do anything else so dangerous of my own volition. I have stopped enjoying smoking, but I can’t kick the habit.

This is where I am: I have purchased an electronic cigarette (which may or may not be a good way to help me quit.) In the two or so weeks since New Year’s, I have cut down my cigarette intake to a few a day and sometimes I go a few days without. But my real goal is to quit smoking cigarettes completely, as well as my e-cigarette. I don’t want to trade one habit for another, even if it’s supposed to be “healthier.”

I can tell you that so far, I am not as patient as I was when I smoked. I get irritated more often and I don’t sleep as well. My appetite is in flux. Sometimes I don’t want food for a day or so and sometimes I want food every few minutes. I am nowhere near my goal, but I know if I hold myself accountable I can get there eventually. I don’t know if anyone reading this cares or can relate, but you are, for all intents and purposes, the person holding me accountable for the promise I have made to myself. I will keep up this weekly blog in an attempt to help myself and, in the process, maybe help someone else.

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