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I woke up, my mouth full of imaginary cotton. I couldn't see yet, my eyes were rejecting the sunlight pouring through the window beside the bed. With my eyes squinted shut, I reached for my smokes.
I felt the alarm clock, knocking it off in my important quest for a nicotine injection. A warm can of coke was next. I worried for a moment that it might stain the carpet, then remembered I hadn't put away my dirty clothes the night before. No problem then, I ignored it. I managed to open my right eye a slit, desperate now for a cigarette.
Where were they? I shot up in bed. My ashtray was conspicuously absent as well. Had my dog stolen them again? She had done it before, but usually she left ashes scattered on the floor. Nope, just clothes covered with sticky Coke.
My husband lay sleeping like a baby beside me, unaware of the desperate circumstance I was facing alone.
"ARE YOU AWAKE?" I shouted in his ear.
"Wha…what…What?" His eyes shot open, refusing to focus. Sitting up, he shook his head, wild curls sticking straight up. Eventually his eyes landed on me, the puzzled expression they held made me want to laugh. I would have, if the situation weren't so dire.
"Have you seen my cigarettes?" I have never been a morning person and this problem was compounded by the missing items.
"What!?! Your cigarettes? We quit two days ago, remember?" He looked at me as if I were totally bonkers and rolled over, pulling the sheet over his shoulder.
NO! The word ripped through my brain, threatening to tear from my mouth. It couldn't be true! Why would my beloved husband lie about something so impor…I buried my face in my yellow-tinged hands, abruptly remembering. The last two mornings had been the same. I would wake up with the terrible truth hidden, only to have it broadside me.
With the price of cigarettes skyrocketing and public tolerance at an all time low, we had decided to quit smoking. Both my husband and I knew we were strong enough to quit cold turkey, so we did. Only now, I was ready to climb the walls.
We eventually got up to get ready for work. Carefully, we avoided conversation. We had learned over the past couple of days that the only way to avoid fighting, with the absence of nicotine, was to ignore each another. With a peck on each other's cheeks we took off in opposite directions.
The only thing on my mind was making it to the smoke shop. I couldn't make it another minute, much less the rest of my life like this.

Anyone who has tried to quit smoking most likely has a similar story to tell. My husband and I have wanted to kill each other many times over the last year. Still, quitting together was the best thing we could have done. I couldn't disappoint him, but even more important, I couldn't let him win! We were more than each other's support, we also supplied buffers for those loved ones around us who were affected by our foul withdrawal moods.
My children were tremendously helpful. Jordan, my seven year old, never missed an opportunity to tell me how wonderful I smelled. He also quit the horrible, dry cough that had plagued him for as long as I could remember. Jared, my ten year old, was more pointed in his remarks.
"I am so glad you quit smoking, mom. Everything doesn't stink now!" I must have heard variations of this a thousand times over the first eight months.
My advice to anyone who wants (needs) to quit smoking is, make SURE neither you nor your husband are in a position to leave easily. If divorce had been a possibility between my husband and me, we would no longer be together. We would be divorced before the nicotine was completely out of our systems. Luckily, we had just bought a house we both loved. Neither of us were about to move out, so we had to get along!
Always keep a picture of any loved ones who hate your smoking. On that trip to the smoke shop I mentioned earlier, the only thing that saved me was my seven year old's picture taped to the bottom of the rearview mirror. I had only to look at it and the memory of his coughing, caused by cigarette smoke, made me shudder with guilt. That, my husband, suckers and lots of nicotine gum are the reason I am smoke free today.
If you can make it through the first year without killing your spouse, you have a chance. So quit now, get fat and make everyone happy!