Stories & experiences


Flu made me give up

Posted in Staying quit 13 Jan 2019

If I live to be a hundred, I will never forget the vile sickness that consumed me when I smoked my last cigarette.

I was in my garden, doubled over, trying to suck the smoke into my lungs between deep, violent coughs which tore at my chest and expelled huge, filthy phlegm bombs out across the floor.

One small drag, one huge cough…

…Another small drag, another disgusting blob splatting out, feeling as though the very lining of my lungs were being dragged up through my throat and propelled out of my spit-soaked mouth.

I tried again, another drag.

This time, I hurled vomit all over the patio floor, then stumbled backwards, collapsing against the flynet screen, still doubled over, face flush red and eyes watering, gasping for air.

I extinguished that cigarette after three failed, miserable drags, then -and I’m not ashamed to admit this- I cried.

At first, I cried because I was overwhelmed by what an extremely brutal reaction I’d just experienced to something I’d done thousands of times before.

Then I cried for another reason.

I cried because of the absolute, crystal clear certainty of my realisation:

I HAVE TO DO THIS. I want to see my beautiful daughters marry.

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  • PuffNoMore , Southern NSW January 13, 2019 | 21:17
    What happened next. And what Did you decide?
  • Happiness January 14, 2019 | 2:48
    Hi Poppy37. A very touching story and i am sorry you had to go through such a frightening experience. Sometimes, it takes something like that to open our eyes and our hearts to the truth. Sometimes we finally understand our bodies once again warning of impending danger. We finally come to the realization that we will miss out on much more than the cigarette could ever give us.l

    Some still believe they need the cigarette for stress and confidence. It is like a security blanket a child may have clung to, dragging it everywhere. Lost without it. Even a child comes to the realization they don't need it , that it is just a hindrance when on the swing, it gets dirty and people look at you funny. I Remember seeing kids with pacifiers in their mouths at the age of 4 or 5. They do or are forced to give them up, and they do survive the ordeal.

    I am not sure if your story is recent and you are adjusting to life without cigarettes, or you are successfully quit because of the wake up call.

    We can all quit if the desire to quit is stronger than the desire to smoke.
    We can all quit the quit, if the desire to quit is stronger than our desire to quit the smoke. What is it that you desire?
  • Poppy37 January 14, 2019 | 16:54
    Sorry, forgot to say this is my first week of quitting.
  • WendyOhNo January 25, 2019 | 12:31
    Hi Poppy,

    I experienced the same thing in 2000 when I had the flu. I refused to quit smoking. I’m pretty sure the only reason I survived was because I was so young back then. Still, I was coughing up the nastiest mixture of fluid and phlegm with every puff. I must have looked so stupid to everyone around me. I’ve now been quit for 855 days. Just two weeks ago, I found out that I had silent walking pnuemonia. I have SLE Lupus and had been feeling run down but had stuff in my lungs (which I never have anymore). I knew it wasnt just Lupus making me tired. I went to the hospital and the blood tests came back positive for infection. I cannot imagine trying to battle pneumonia now as a smoker. In 2007, I did have pnuemonia and as a smoker, it took much longer to get my oxygen saturation back over 92%. These days, my oxygen is almost always at 99%, but I wouldn’t dare look that gift horse in the mouth by seeing how I would do with a cigarette while being sick.

    Congratulations on your quit. Please do not go back to smoking - its not worth it!
  • Happiness January 29, 2019 | 5:59
    You really can't get below 3 cigarettes a day without having physical cravings, so why not move your quit date up? I do hope you have been working on the mindset and behavioural changes to make the transition smoother. You can do this. Only you know you and can decide best how to proceed. All the best!

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