Today marks a special anniversary for me.
Two weeks ago I woke up and decided to stop smoking. Yes, I just quit. Just like that.
I used to smoke cigarettes!! EGADS! She said it!
I didn’t want any of you to know that I smoked because I’m quite embarrassed about the whole disgusting habit. Only a very few of you knew that I did, only because I had met you. I tried really hard my whole life to hide my hand in photos. The fact is, I smoked for 19 years.
But, not 20! That why I stopped before my 32nd Birthday.
I picked up my first cigarette when I was 12. It was cool to smoke and I was in this gang, so you know… [rolls eyes and gags]
I started smoking on a more permanent basis, more than one a day, when I was 14. That was hard to do, but it got easier as more and more of my peers picked up the habit too. Soon we were sneaking out of gym class to hide in the grassy fields and smoke. Soon we were gathering at this guy’s place just to have a place to smoke. I gave myself a time line, though. I’d only smoke until after Graduation.
Since then I have tried to stop several times, but not that many, really. I liked smoking. I liked sneaking away to be by myself. I liked having the time to myself. I liked finding that one other person at the party who smokes too. I liked being the one with the cigarettes for those who didn’t really smoke. I liked it.
Parts of it anyways. And if you’ve never been a “smoker” you will think that what I just said made no sense and sounded a lot like Gggeaaaafftt Jooohggggeeeerr Bbbbblllahhh Meeee Paaaaaw.
I did quit successfully about 4 years ago from Zyban. Gosh it worked like a charm. But I moved in with a roommate about 6 months into my nonsmoking life. He smoked and that was the end of me. I last 5 days smelling his cigarettes throughout the house. i wasn’t even fully unpacked when I talked him into giving me just a drag. Then we shared a full cigarette the next day and when he turned away to do something, I stole one from his pack. The next day I took two more from his pack and shared one with him as well. He felt guilty when I bought a pack the next day, but was happy to smoke freely once again. So, I threw 6 months away in a matter of days and I’ve really been smoking ever since.
There were days in the last few years where I tried, but 3 days seems to be the milestone that I had difficulty reaching. Even a week was tough at times. But what makes things different this time? Well, all the times I “quit” in the last four years, I had quit for him, and him and him but never for me.
What I didn’t like about it was that I was a smoker. I didn’t like the incessant daily worry about getting the next pack. I didn’t like asking people to stop off here so I could run into the store. I didn’t like the way Teege looked away when he saw me standing on the porch. I didn’t like the health complications, I didn’t like the bronchial pneumonia that I had seem to contract years ago and have it return every winter.
So this time I quit for me. I smoked my last cigarette, then made sure I had my back up sleeve of Nicorette Gums with me. Thankfully I only smoked 4 or 5 cigarettes on a daily basis at that point, so the craving really weren’t that bad. It’s all a matter of dismissing the thought of having one out of your head. And I just quit. No help, no patches, no gums, no Zyban. I told myself that if I could just make it to Grey’s Anatomy that Thursday, I’d be alright and over the three day hump. Then I thought Friday morning is the true test. And I made it. I made it all weekend and then I got the flu, which turned out to be the best thing for me.
So, if there’s been anything good come out of this… I quit smoking and I had the guts to tell you all about it. More honesty.
Now I’m gonna try to get the room to stop spinning.