Wednesday, April 11, 2007

My mom, my hero

I don't know when I have been so excited about the subject of a post as I am today. I am proud beyond words to announce that my mom has ended her relationship with cigarettes. That's right, she has quit smoking!

Mom has been a smoker longer than she's been an adult. She became hooked back when smoking was an okay habit. Maybe not the best thing to do, but it was thought of like drinking Coke is now. When the facts came out about the damage it does, and cultural attitudes towards the habit changed, it was a wonderful progression, but not for the hundreds of thousands of people already addicted. Now they were doing something they knew was bad for them and that was frowned on by society, but that doesn't make it easy to stop.

Around a month ago, mom heard about and researched a new drug called Chantix. Unlike previous Stop Smoking drugs, Chantix doesn't contain nicotine or antidepressants. Simply put, it stops the process in your body that releases dopamine when nicotine is ingested. It's like eating a cupcake with your taste buds turned off--you know it should taste good, but it just doesn't.

Mom started taking Chantix a mere two and a half weeks ago. I was thrilled when she said she had started. The first week was hard for her, and she thought it wouldn't work. I knew, though, that she just needed to give it time. Sure enough, soon the cravings dwindled and so did the frequency with which she smoked. I reminded her that to end a 30 year addiction that is chemical, physical and mental is not an overnight process, and that she shouldn't push too hard. After two weeks, she was down to less than 10 cigarettes a day (less than half of her normal). Then she decided that it was time to show herself how strong she can be, and she has just stopped. Just stopped! And she refuses to do anything, like eat or take up a hobby or hide her cigarattes--she wants this to be about the presence of will power, and not the absence of opportunity. She said she has hard moments, but they end, and when the next one comes, she knows if she waits it out, it will end like the last one did.

Does everyone else find this as incredible as I do?! To me, this is one of the biggest personal accomplishments that can be achieved. I feel very lucky to have never had a chemical addiction, because I truly do not know if I would have the strength to overcome it. So many people don't! But my mom does. She has decided to end a habit that was integrated into every part of her life and in many ways defined her, because it's going to make her a better person. The respect I have for that determination is huge. I can't stop telling her how proud I am--may sound weird coming from daughter to mother, but I don't care.

Mom, I know you're reading this, and I know you already know it, but let me say it again to you and in front of everyone: I believe you have done something for yourself that few people can. I haven't ever been prouder of you. When Abby and Ethan are teenagers and Matt and I are ready to teach them about making good choices and doing what's hard because it's what's right, we will tell them that they should look to you to learn that anyone can do anything if they are determined enough. I'm so excited for you, and I love you.

I know mom will read the comments too, so if you're reading this and you're happy for her too, please post a comment and let her know how great it is!


Miss Brown said...

Congratulations Holly! That's awesome. I think you have to be one of the strongest people I know!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Nancy (really for Holly),

I also think what you have done is very, very admirable and shows lots of strength. and determination. As you both remember, I'm sure, I also battled the nicotine habit for many years. I finally gave it up completely 2-14-1983 and have never looked back. Way to go, Holly!

Aunt Joyce

Autumn said...

I am so proud too. Nancy has walked us through this with you every step of the way. I am so excited for you and impressed by the willpower you are showing. It's a hard, hard thing to kick and you're doing with flying colors. Keep up the great work. We're all behind you 110%


Anonymous said...

WOW!!!CONGRATULATIONS!!! You are setting such a wonderful example to Abby and Ethan!! And, for yourself!! You can do!! With the support of your friends and family!! That is such a blessing!!Will power over hand to mouth is the hardest addiction to over come!! God Bless You!!

Kori Moore

Anonymous said...

Holly, this is fabulous! I am so happy for you and very impressed with your strength of will power!

Keep it up! :)

Anonymous said...

Way to go. Smoking is awful. I do it and I know it's bad. It's a pretty sickening feeling. With a baby due any minute now (fingers crossed), I know what I must do too. I want to be as successful as your momma with this smoking deal. By the way, Nancy, you have been awfully sentimental on the blogs lately. Ha. Anyway, congrats Nancy's mom.

Anonymous said...

Awesome Holly!! We have followed your progress through Nan and we are all very proud! This is an amazing accomplishment! My mother has smoked her whole life and I would give ANYTHING if she would quit...I mean ANYTHING.
Jami (Nancy's co-worker)

Outnumbered said...

Way to be Holly! That is really awesome. I pray that the cravings go away soon, and that relationship becomes mothing more than a memory!!

-David C.

Lindsey McCall said...

Hey Holly,
Congratulations for stopping smoking. I know that it was tough, but I am very proud of you.