Be Strong…Quit

Lauren - Harrisonburg, Virginia
Entered on February 27, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: addiction, family
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I sit on my bed and like every little girl dream about the day I will get married. This day should be perfect and right out of a fairytale. My wedding day will be the day I marry my “prince charming” and start the next chapter of my life. I begin to draw a picture of what I hope this perfect day will encompass; beautiful flowers, stunning gowns, the bright sun shinning, and being surrounded by the ones I love. As I think of my friends and family a tear falls onto the crisp white paper. I wipe away the tears and wonder if my dad will still be alive to walk me down the aisle.

I drew that picture when I was ten years old. I am now eighteen and constantly fear that my father will not be around to see his little girl get married. My father, a fifty year old successful business man, supportive husband, and loving father has smoked ever since he was sixteen. As far back as I can remember he has had a cigarette in his hand or a pack of Marlboro lights in his pocket. He promised me that he would quit this nasty habit, but he has yet to fulfill his promise. I have fought with him numerous times asking him to stop and, while he has tried he has never been successful. Every time he lights up I know he is one puff closer to ending his life.

I understand that it is difficult to quit something you are accustomed to and have been doing your entire life, but I believe ending an addiction makes one stronger. The word “quitting” usually has a cynical meaning, but when discussing an addiction “quitting” is positive and strongly encouraged. Ending an addiction is a milestone. It releases one from their “jail cell” and allows them to run free. The jail cell, in this case, is their self. That single habit inhibits them from a plethora of things, which they may not realize until the habit is kicked. Breaking a habit builds character, and gives new-found confidence. This confidence enables a person to create a new, positive lifestyle and live the life they truly wish to have. Accomplishing a task that large has a great impact on the addict’s life, as well as their friends and family. The constant worrying and stressful environment is eliminated. Although breaking a habit is an onerous task and very challenging, a battle occurs within yourself, ultimately making you a stronger person.