I Quit Smoking To Save My Son’s Life
By Ashley Posted December 28, 2012
I was that girl you know, who’s adventurous enough to kiss another girl on a dare, it was no surprises when I took up smoking at the age of 16. With Pink Floyd always filling the background, my usual gang of friends would laze around smoking pack after pack of cigarette. While the others moved on to drugs, I stayed put with cigarettes somehow.
After 31 years of being an avid smoker, smoking had become second nature to me. I never cared who I smoke in front of, where I smoke, or what others thought of me or my habit. Honestly I never gave much thought to quitting either; I wanted to live my life the way I wanted no matter how short it was. My son too picked up the habit faster than I did, and at 15 Daniel was close to smoking 7 to 8 sticks a day.
I caught him smoking in the backyard, not that he made any efforts to be discreet. It was American Spirit, my favored brand, I knew he had stolen it off me. On confrontation, he just said ‘practice what you preach’ and walked away. I knew that was the cue Fate was giving me to stop but I didn't, I was an addict and maybe even a weakling. I didn't stop, instead I turned a blind eye to my son’s habit- Huge Mistake.
Daniel soon moved on to drugs. He mainly stayed away from home; there was a time when he didn't come home for a month straight. The times where he would be at home, he’d stay locked in his room and would only come down to eat. Eat he did, a lot. It was then I figured out he was on drugs and my doubt was confirmed when his friend called me at 4 in the morning to rush to the hospital. Daniel had overdosed.
The sight of my son foaming at the mouth, convulsing with barely any strength in his body, stunned me. ‘I am a horrible mother’ my mind kept on repeating over and over, and I was a horrible mother. I let this happen to my son, I didn't protect my baby when he needed me the most.
I knew what he meant by practice what you preach, that night for the first time in my life. I prayed. I prayed to all that is Holy for my son’s life, I just wanted my Daniel back, I just wanted another chance at life if not for myself, for my family at least.
The doctors revived Daniel and he had to stay in there for a week. After which, we put him in rehab and meanwhile I decided to quit smoking. Initially, I decided to completely let go but the extent to which my body had been dependent on nicotine, it wasn't easy for me. So, I switched on to e-cigarette, it was so much easier as it felt like I was actually ‘Smoking’.
I wouldn't say it was easy to quit or switch over, but every time I felt the urge to go back to my old habits, I remembered Daniel’s face foaming at the mouth, convulsing. I might have been a bad mother, but it’s about time I rectify that.