Will the Cycle Be Broken

…be unbroken…

Oh how I pray it will be broken!

To understand my meaning, you need to know a little about me. Who I am, where I am, why I am here.

I’m a 50-something grandmother who finally found a way to overcome this addiction a year and 8 weeks ago.

Growing up, it wasn’t a question of if you would start smoking, but when. The same was true for my mom. I have a picture of her when she was maybe 15 or 16 eating an apple and smoking a sickarette.

She smoked when she was pregnant with me. So when I took my first puff of a sickarette, even though it didn’t taste good and I had to make my body accept the smoke into my lungs…it felt like home.

It had been part of my experience before I ever had a choice in what kinds of things I wanted to experience. My mom smoked around us kids all the time we were growing up, as did our dad and step dad and just about every “cool” person in our world.

Woman SittingMom died when I was 10-ish. She’d been in the hospital for 3 and a half years, and weighed in at about 82 lbs when the cancer finally ended her suffering and claimed her life…

I grew up in foster homes a very confused and emotionally devastated person. Eventually I had kids of my own, and like my mother I smoked while I was pregnant and I smoked around my kids.

Like her, I also became a single mom and, like her, I allowed people to smoke around my kids as a matter of course.

Today I’m in Texas. I’m here because my middle daughter has given birth to my 4th grandbaby. She’s a beautiful and, thankfully, healthy little girl – and she’ll probably smoke when she grows up. My daughter, like her mother, and her mother before her, smoked while she was pregnant.

I prayed so hard when we found out that she was pregnant that our daughter would emulate her big sister. At least my eldest found a way to quit while pregnant, even though she started smoking again after the baby was finished breast feeding. And she doesn’t allow anybody to smoke in the house or car, or in the presence of her children.

She keeps trying to quit… at least she knows it’s important to keep trying. But my middle daughter isn’t there yet. And I don’t know what to do to help her.

I showed both my middle and my youngest daughters the Barb Tarbox video – yes, it’s made a difference. The youngest, who is still single and not yet a mom, is quitting. She’s beginning Week 2 and is using the patch to give her the extra strength to ride out the craves. She’s doing well and I’m proud that she made this decision.

We had a lot of destructive cycles to end, a lot of “life lessons” to learn. I believe I’ve helped the girls learn enough to end the cycle of domestic abuse once and for all.

My mom got beat up a lot by her husbands. There’s no sense in that, and there isn’t a woman in the world who has to put up with that. I think the girls have learned that – their behavior says they have.

So how do I help them beat this addiction, and quit passing it along to the future generations in our family?


2 thoughts on “Will the Cycle Be Broken

  1. robbster

    Welcome to the blog GareK, and what a potent first post. Our audience will be blessed with your presence.
    Thank you, thank you!!!

    So how do I help them beat this addiction, and quit passing it along to the future generations in our family?
    Our Brains have been rewired so it is a combination of behavior modification and re-education. Generational smoking skews DNA. Though it has been passed down = *in our genes* each of us has the ability to not light the next cigarette…
    I have heard from many that Chantix really helps those who find it next to impossible to quit smoking, actually do quit smoking 🙂

  2. Sarah and Steve

    What a beautiful post, Garek! You have had a very difficult life and you have overcome so much. In answer to your question, all that comes to mind is having an open and positive attitude at all times. You cannot convince someone to quit, they have to get there for themselves. I have just made it a point to tell people I care about that still smoke, that quitting is only as hard as they make it. And the freedom that you will experience is so worth it! I couldn’t imagine ever smoking again, and I try to express this to my still smoking friends without making them feel judged at all. Thanks again for the wonderful post, can’t wait to read the next one.

    Sarah and Steve


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