This is part of a series of letters from QuitNet members who shared their experience with quitting smoking using QuitNet, and offered their encouragement for others to do the same. If you'd like to share your experience, or motivate a loved one or smoker who wants to quit, please submit your story to email@example.com.
Quitting smoking is the smartest decision I ever made for myself. Smoking was the worst thing I ever did for myself. And I did it for about 35 years, give or take 4 or 5 years when I would quit for a few months, or a year or two when I was pregnant with you. I depended on cigarettes to get me through the good times and the bad. They were always with me.
I remember when we lived in Minnesota and you were 9 or 10 years old. We were driving down the road and you just started crying. You wanted me to quit because you were afraid I would die. Oh it just broke my heart.
So of course I quit. For about two weeks. My excuse was that it was just too hard. How ridiculous.cI am so sorry that I put you through that. That is just an example of what you had to deal with along with other family members who smoked through illness after illness.
You know how much I love you, right? It is really impossible for you to know just how much I love you but you will understand when you have children. Cigarette addiction is a strong, nasty thing. Look what I did to you and your Dad. The longer you smoke the harder it is to quit.
You are so strong and healthy – the picture of health. Please take control of the addiction and kick it to the curb. Imagine doing what I did to your son or daughter. Remember what that felt like. Don’t do it.
You are strong enough and you are so worth the effort.
In June of 2014, Dad said to me: "Make up my mind and get it done. Do it for Sam."
Best thing I ever did. It’s a freedom that is as sweet as anything I’ve known.
Do it Sam. I know you can. You know it too.
I love you the most infinity,