SVHC: December 12 marked 6 months since Dustin became smoke free. During this same time period, Doug continued to pick up trash on his bike route and talk to people along the way. He also ran for the Cortland County Legislature and was elected.
We thought it might be a great time to catch up with the pair and see what's going on.
DUSTIN: Woooooohooooooo!! So thankful I have gone 6 months smoke free! The first month was the hardest struggle for me, but that seems expected as everyone told me it would be. As time goes by, the cravings leave. Days go by without even a thought of smoking. Food tastes better, breathing is definitely getting better and better, my vehicles smell better, and I have less stress since I don't have to make sure I always have cigarettes. I don't really see the cash I'm saving, but know I am not spending money on them anymore.
Tobacco is considered a drug, and drug addiction is a real powerful disease. I could easily go back to smoking right now, and sometimes still think about it. The difference is now I know I can quit, and don't want to ruin the time I have put in. I don't need or want a cigarette today, and continue to keep that same thought process. I know how to get through the day, and start each day with the same mentality. I still remember my last slip up in Month 1. It took me 2-3 days to recover from a few drags. My chest was tight, and breathing was heavy. I remind myself of that every time I get some stinkin thinkin going on.
Many people have been approaching me and asking for advice on how to quit. For me, I had to publicly announce to ALL my friends and family that I was ready to quit. I still had to do this myself, but I had someone asking me daily about how my journey was going. I also have to continue being honest with myself. People make mistakes, and I am no different. When I slip, I tell on myself. I do have an "ego" and always give 110%, so by being honest with myself and telling on myself, these factors help me stay on the right path. If I can do it, anyone can.
DOUG:Rosie and I were out and about. We walked north on Hamlin Street to West Main and took a right heading east. I had a homemade thank you card in my pocket. I taped it to the door at number 37. It simply thanked the person there for signing my nominating petition back in June. This was the first step on the path to being a Legislator. I had to deliver a note to a different signer each morning. I made up this rule, so I would not have to think about it and decide over and over again to do this. There were over sixty signatures, so it took a while.
As I approached the hospital, I saw a guy on the sidewalk - just off Hospital property - puffing away. I started to pass him, but I could
not just walk by. I have these little rules for myself. “Hey, how you doin’?” I said. He gives me a surprised look. I think he is used to being ignored.“I have to tell you about my tongue.” He listens intently.“No way! They patched your tongue with a piece of your arm? It’s amazing what they can do these days.” I finished my story and came to the moment of truth.“So, have you figured out how you’re going to quit those cigarettes?”He gives me an embarrassed smile. He knows he should stop. Bill says, “I gotta run.” I said first you gotta pose for the selfie.