Why am I doing this?

Hello all

It's me again, with a shout for some advice and clarity.

I'm on day 50, very pleased with myself, managed to kick the habit with gum and willpower. I can see the obvious changes, like I can run further, I smell better, my teeth are whiter. I am just getting around to think that even my insides must be starting to repair themselves slighty.

Now heres the issue, I've just found out that a guy I used to know not a friend or anything, just a bloke I used to play football with has died, similiar age to me (42). Now I know this guy has never smoked in his life and I'm beginning to think why am I doing this and whats the point in packing in.

I used to think that I'm doing this for me, my wife and kids, I want to spend more time with them, however since I heard this news, I just think if your numbers up it's up, this guy has no more time for his wife and kids.

I think I must be on a bit of a downer and hearing that news has took me lower and I'm now thinking as the title says Why am I doing this? What is the point!!!


9 Replies

  • Hi Shaun

    That's horrible, so sorry about your news.

    But you know in your heart of hearts that sometimes sh!t just happens. Your giving up smoking will, if all else is equal prolong your life and prevent some potentially awful longer term problems. We can all quote friends or family who have smoked for years and are fine (I have a 94 yr old Aunt, who is as fit as a flea and gave up smoking at the age of 85, because it was 'good for her health'!), and equally we all know people who unfairly died younger than they should have and never smoked.

    This is a horrible blow, but don't let it ruin 50 days of a healthier life style. You have done so very very well so far.

    I do understand that it'd be easier to go back to smoking than carry on fighting (wouldn't it for all of us!). But each day that goes past you are healing and I am sure you are finding easier than the first few days.

    What's the point? For your wife and family! Simples!:D

  • Hi Shaun,

    That's awful news, and very upsetting. I can see how it would shake you. BUT...

    1) Think of a mathematical graph, showing, let's say, average plant growth across six months, if you feed them with a certain chemical. Now, there will be plants that shoot up to a foot tall in a week, and some that never grow, but overall the graph will show a steady curve and you can still say at the end of it 'these results show that X will happen to plants if you feed them this chemical. The few plants that don't follow the pattern do not alter the facts.

    Same goes for humans, and what is more likely to happen to them if they smoke. Some people will smoke like chimneys and survive, some will have healthy lifestyles and die young, but the fact remains that smoking significantly reduces your life expectancy.

    2) A little bit of this is your inner junkie, seizing on this awful event to persuade you it's not worth it, just go back to smoking, life's a lottery.

    It isn't. Life is precious. Yes, something awful might happen to you that causes you to die young anyway, but does that give you the right to deliberately risk it happening?

    You have come SO FAR and done SO WELL. Don't let this destroy your quit.

    Thinking of you,


  • I'm sorry about your football teammate and how this has made you re-consider your quit.

    I've said this before and I'll say it again - We could all get run over by a bus tomorrow but at least when we cross the street we look both ways! Smoking is like crawling along the street blindfolded - if you do that then you are significantly increasing your chances of getting hit by a bus!

    Don't you want to do whatever you can to avoid having to explain to your family that you're dying because of something YOU DID TO YOURSELF? I know that's the last thing I would want. If my death has to come early like your football teammate then I'd rather it wasn't by my own hand.

    Also, don't forget that it's not just about time but quality of life. Without having cigs contantly on your mind/in your hand I'm sure you'll enjoy your time with your wife and family so much more than if you were worrying about your next fix.

    Hope the replies on here have helped... I've been exactly where you were and I found it very difficult to 'rationalise' my quit when I thought about stuff like that. But then I just reminded myself that any person with common sense would look both ways before crossing the road... I'd like to consider myself one of those!

  • Don't you want to do whatever you can to avoid having to explain to your family that you're dying because of something YOU DID TO YOURSELF? I know that's the last thing I would want.

    Hi Shaun,

    I have felt very much the same as you inside my head this week but the quote above is why I will not give in.

    This week I know a 24 year old dad to 2 kids (3yr old/ 4mth old) who died from cancer, never smoked or drank. They told him 3 weeks ago there was no more they could do. So so sad for all involved and despite not knowing him well it hit me quite hard.

    A couple of weeks ago my ex landlady was diagnosed with lung cancer and they have said they can't do anything. She is a mother to 4 and grandmother to 6 with another due later in the year. Her daughter is devasted that her mum might not be around to see her baby. She is a heavy smoker.

    Then last night my son came down to announce that one of his friends has written to ask "Can everyone please be nice to me for a few days, Mums cancer treatment isn't working and she is going to die maybe in a few months or a year." Reading that from an 11 year old near enough ripped my heart right out. She is not a smoker

    This morning I bumped into my mums ex (from about 8 years ago) at the school. They were only together about a year and he always coughed like mad. I saw him about a year ago and he told me to give up smoking as I didn't want to end up like him. Anyway I saw him today dropping his granddaughter off at school and he can barely breath, he has oxygen when at home. I looked at him and actually pitied him, he has known the damage he has been doing yet still carried on. His granddaughter worships the ground he walks on and he has caused himself to suffer.

    Sorry I have waffled on a bit but we all come across things which make us question our decision.

    We may not be able to change our destiny but I sure as hell want to know I have done my best to change things for the better and increase the chance of me being their for my children/ grandchildren. (((Hugs)))

  • Hi Shaun,

    That's shocking news and I can see why it would make you feel that way but just ask yourself this - if you knew that regardless of how you lived your life you would die on xx/xx/xxxx date and it was years in the future, wouldn't you still want to quit so that you could enjoy your family and your health and your football instead of facing a future in an armchair with an oxygen mask? I know I would. I know a lady who is 65 years old and who quit when she was 40; she goes swimming every morning and to the gym, and she and her husband go on fabulous holidays and are keen walkers... you get the picture. I compare her to my mum (who will be 65 on Sunday) who has chronic COPD, can only walk about 50 steps without getting out of breath and having to stop, and who is STILL puffing away. It breaks my heart to hear her coughing. I don't want to put my kids through that and I bet you don't either.

    Don't give up before the miracle happens - there will come a day when we don't even think about fags and just thank God for our health!

    Diane x

    Quit date 31/01/2011

  • Hey Shaun,

    So sorry about your news and sorry if i'm repeating other posts but it is all about stats. Completely understand where you're coming from and why you feel like you do so i will just say 2 things, 1 fact, 1 feeling...

    Fact - the guy who died was hugely unlucky (sorry, i dont mean to trivialize it), but stats do show that chances of dying are wildly increased by smoking

    Feeling - think how you might feel if you did give up your quit, in which you have done so well - 50 DAYS - and then (god forbid) got a smoking related illness - you would be so p1ssed at yourself - to put it mildly (!) - you wouldnt have the sense of achievement that you currently have (even if that is not feeling strong at the mo - think of passed days when you have been proud).

    Hope you manage to get through this - you're feeling how you are now because of what just happened, and the fact that it JUST happened, but keep up with your quit, you may feel differently in a few days. Good luck:)

  • ... if you knew that regardless of how you lived your life you would die on xx/xx/xxxx date and it was years in the future...

    ...would you smoke?

    If we answer 'yes' then we might have stopped buying them and lighting them but we haven't given them up at all.

    Because we all did that weird thing where we associated smoking with good times we did the maths all wrong and decided that therefore we couldn't have a good time if we weren't smoking.

    Knowing the circumstances of our own demise (Arthur Dent) means we could do loads of risky things safe in the knowledge that they wouldn't kill us but why smoking?

    I can understand returning to a pleasurable indulgence knowing my time was up as there's a net gain. Returning to smoking is on par with returning to stabbing oneself repeatedly in the thigh with a small filleting knife. It's nice when it stops but why start just to have the joy of stopping?

    Sure, life's a bitch and it deals us an awful hand from time to time but it doesn't increase the value of smoking.

    I think most of us have happy smoking memories but at the time it was just a fag we smoked while we were out and about. It's the memory that makes it special, the fag usually got in the way.

    We can usually instantly forget about how much we enjoyed smoking by simply starting again. Not the best solution. :(

  • Yes Shaun, that news is tragic but his family will know he has not died because it was self inflicted. I have two brothers who have died because of drink and that was self inflicted and that makes me angry. My oldest brother Victor was the cartoonist who drew Dennis the Menace, the Three Bears, the Mctickles, Mickey the monkey and other comic strips for the Beano. My younger brother Terry was very clever and was a self made millionair he lost all his money through drink. Victor lost his emediate family his wife and sons as they left him because of his drinking. They like me and my family felt cheated when he died. Both would have had great lives and would have still been alive today.

    My wife once told me she would never be able to forgive me if I died because of smoking. It was my choice to stop smoking I did not stop because of that.

    What I'm trying to say is think how your family would feel if you were to blame for your own death. What you are doing stopping smoking is a wonderful gift to not only yourself but to your entire family.

    My sister died last year due to a long illness and I think that was due to the fact she smoked all her life.

    Well done on you quit so far.


  • Hello all

    A big thank you goes out from me to all who has responded to my thread, with help, advice and guidance.

    I was quite moved by some of your repsonses and they have all helped me through, my little moment of doubt, weakness, craving, inner junkie (call it what you will)

    Thanks again to you all and I am still smokefree :)

    Shaun x

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