Stress and stopping smoking

Has anyone ever had to endure the stress of having a loved one that is dealing with an illness? Every illness is different, but the toll it takes on our loved ones seems to stay consistent.  My mother and I have been dealing with the illness of my step-dad who has COPD.   This is an illness that affects the breathing of their lungs and can often make it feel like there are a thousand elephants lying on their chest.  There is also no cure for the illness, other than medicine that helps ease the ability to breath and that’s about it.

The one thing that this disease seems to have in common with the people it affects is that usually it develops from smoking.  When someone decides to start smoking they don’t realize the horrible choice they are making at the time.  Smoking can be very addictive and often people aren’t able to stop once the habit has formed.  I also used to smoke, but found the ability to stop almost four years ago.   However, I know how hard it can be to stop.  Especially considering I enjoyed smoking.  I had to remind myself that I constantly smelled horrible and was causing myself a very painful death down the road.

My step-dad is attempting to slow down his habit, but the damage has been done.  I try to remind him to take breaths slowly and do whatever it takes to keep his hands busy.  This seems to lessen the need to smoke and keeps the mind off stopping the habit.  I sure hope he continues to smoke less and offer hope to others that it is possible to stop.  If you have any stories similar to mine or have some advice to lessen the stress of stopping smoking please leave a comment.

(Photo Credit)

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