I Was Keeping It a Secret
It was my secret. I didn’t want to tell anyone because I didn’t want to be forced to quit.
I was so short of breath. I could barely walk across my kitchen floor to get a glass of water. It took some very clever techniques to get people to help me. I couldn't do much of anything myself. Exertion, any exertion, surely meant I would become very short of breath.
I was unable to stand long enough to shower. I started to use a stool in the tub so I could sit and shower.
It seemed I was in constant need, and frequently asking of help to do the smallest tasks. Fetching items I needed. I found chairs or held on to walls in order to go from room to room. Going from my car to my desk at work was a total challenge.
I got paid to talk on my feet. Now in order to talk while standing, I needed to lean against a podium. I was fine while sitting. In fact, I could actually talk while sitting. As I rose to exert myself, I became very short of breath.
But, I loved it
Then, I coughed and coughed with every single one that I smoked. I felt like I was drowning in mucus secretions but still, I loved every one of them.
That was the main reason for not giving it up. I truly loved the sensation. I loved how I looked, the way it made me feel. It was the one thing that could soothe my nerves.
I had been smoking since I was 14 or so. It was my constant companion. It was one of the only things that could get me to walk to the store or go back home when I was already halfway to my destination.
I didn't want to quit
When I did try to quit smoking and was becoming successful, I reasoned that I could do it. I just didn’t want to, so I didn’t.
I tried to be as courteous as I could to those forced to smell my cigarettes and suck in the second-hand fumes, but I couldn’t really care what people thought or how they felt. I was addicted.
The day we finally broke ties was the day I was diagnosed with COPD. It was a little late coming but my doctor told me that I would surely go downhill much faster if I continued. I was truly scared.
Today, I am proud
Smoking was one of the hardest things that I have ever had to give up. It is a total mental and physical addiction. Looking back I can see and feel the total grip it had on me and its destructive ways. Yet today I am so proud of not smoking.
You will never know the freedom of living until you can do it without being a slave to cigarettes and a lighter. It is a great feeling knowing that you not only smell good but are doing what you can to live your life to the fullest.
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to COPD?