8Aug2012 By Ralph Munch | Permalink | Report Like0 Support me - Follow my blogs
A few wise words from your friendly neighbourhood Munchman..
I thought I might give a serious update today as I am noticing lots of new brave warriors appearing on here and although I havent posted that much due to work commitments and studio time, it doesnt mean i havent been having a sneaky beak on the old iphone under the desk of doom!
Where do i start?
The munches are a family of 4, 2 grown up munches and 2 mini munches and we live at the bottom of the North Island in beautiful New Zealand!
Mrs Munch and I have both smoked since we were just in double digits as kids and have tried quitting before - obviously not that successfully otherwise I wouldnt be typing this torrid tale.
Smoking is not a low demograph or a high class infliction. It doesnt discern by class, race or wealth. Whatever the chiefs of the tobacco companies say, let me say this... cigarettes are there and are indirectly marketed to kids to get the next generation hooked to keep the profits rolling in.
Whatever you believe about how harmful cigarettes are or arent, one true fact is that the majority of people start smoking before they are adults.
We were the last generation to have an excuse of ignorance - when i was growing up, everyone smoked. my parents, my friends parents, people on the TV, even James Bond and Hannibal Smith! My first job, I smoked at my desk.
I could smoke indoors at home, in pubs, on aeroplanes, at indoor gigs, at the cinema, in amusement arcades and so on. Cigarettes were advertised on the TV as a lifestyle choice and were relatively inexpensive.
Fast forward to the 40 year old me - My father had non invasive bladder cancer and died in hospital aged 66 from a heart attack although his bladder removal op was a success. He was spared the indignity of a colostomy bag but also the joy of seeing his grandchildren grow up even though that was his reason for having the op in the first place.
Mrs Munch's Mum died age 49 from a cancerous tumour in her chest.
Nobody can prove that smoking was attributed to either of these events but they did both smoke.
Mrs Munch's grand parents both died from cancer related illnesses.
My mother died aged 40 from MS related complications. As she was paralysed from the waist down and was bedridden, smoking was one of her few enjoyments in life. I used to light her cigarettes for her and then insert them into her metal ashtray/smoking device for her to puff on through a long tube.
My outlook on life has always been "lifes too short". I guess when you lose a parent at 13 and you're orphaned at age 33, your perspective on life might well alter.
I dont really know what steely resolve Mrs Munch and I found this time but we were both committed to our best shot at quitting. Not for the benefit of others but for ourselves. We were both tired of being slaves and social outcasts.
We found ourselves in an increasing minority of smokers and realised how much smoking affected our decision making. By no means exhaustive but the list included: holidays, party invites, car journeys, house purchases, excursions...
The easy part was deciding to stop and the first few days also. It wasnt long before the wheels fell off though.
Mrs Munch unbeknown to her used smoking as a coping mechanism for some underlying unresolved issues. Without the emotional prop of cigarettes, she crashed pretty badly. I in turn suffered some pretty bad physical symptoms to the point of being exhausted and in total despair.
The trips to the docs and the pharmacy are well documented in my previous blogs so I wont bore you with it all but suffice to say that the last couple of months have been a fierce test of our love and support for each other.
I'm so happy to be writing this with a happy recovering wife sitting opposite me and both of us still smoke free.
I know on the face of it I'm not a great advert for anyone considering stopping smoking but think about it this way: What sort of a drug when removed can cause these things? Because it sure as hell isnt one that makes you look cool, youthful and hip.
Cigarettes if used as intended will slowly ruin your life.
I can't say whether they will take your life as the evidence i've seen is probable rather than factual.
Whether you agree or disagree with that statement, I'm sure we can all agree on one thing - being a slave to an addiction isn't a full life at all anyway.
It'll take your money and your self respect.
It will make you smell and tell lies to others and yourself. It will make you greedily feed it while depriving the ones you love sooo deeply of both your emotional and physical time.
Yes, we truly have been through hell while quitting but all the more reason to never smoke again. I type this as a reminder to myself in the hope that during moments of faltering, my own story will galvanise my strength to continue to say no.
I truly hope this helps you the reader too. Whether you're thinking of quitting, have just started your journey or are well into your long term success and freedom.
With fondest sentiments
Senor R Muncharitto.