Kicking the Habit

20140423-182457.jpg

“Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.“

― Mark Twain

When I was 14 years old I went to live with my father. He wasn’t home much though and I found myself getting in to all kinds of mischief in his absence.

One day while he was gone me and my best friend at the time, Shelby, went to hang out with some older guys she knew. I don’t really know how old those guys were. They were both smokers and watching them I thought they looked very cool. After hanging out for a little while, joking and making small talk, Shelby started making out with one of the guys. I felt a bit awkward and I think the other guy did too. Next thing I knew though the other guy slipped his arm around my waist and pulled me toward him. His kissed me and I felt his tongue push into my mouth and I gagged. His mouth tasted like an old ashtray. With some effort I was able to choke back the vomit pushing into my throat. I didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of Shelby and her older friends. I made up some excuse to go home and we never saw those guys again.

Kissing that guy was the most disgusting thing I had ever experienced in my life and I vowed to never, ever smoke cigarettes! I didn’t want to smell and taste the way that guy smelled and tasted. I could not understand why anyone would want to smoke if it smelled and tasted like that??

Two years later I was living back with my mom. A lot of my new friends were smoking weed now. We would walking from the bus stop to the school in a group, stopping in areas we felt were safe to stand in a circle and pass a blunt around. One day after smoking another kid hands me a Newport. I tell him I don’t smoke cigarettes abut he promises it will boost my high if I do. After that every time I smoked weed, I smoked a cigarette.

I don’t know when exactly it happened but slowly I started smoking cigarettes even when I wasn’t high. I was buying more and more packs and so were all my friends. We were sharing cigarettes and buying cartons. I moved out and got an apartment with a few friends. We all smoked inside and the whole apartment smelled like an ashtray. The walls we beginning to yellow and there was a layer of cigarette ash every where. It was disgusting.

Jump forward 10 years and I am still smoking. It’s sad really but I admit I am wholly addicted to nicotine. I have improved some of my habits. I don’t smoke in the house or in the car. I really only smoke at work so on weekends and breaks from my job I hardly smoke at all. I don’t smoke a pack a day either, which I do think is good compared to my friends.

“Smoking kills. If you’re killed, you’ve lost a very important part of your life.”

― Brooke Shields

I do think that it has been long enough though and I’m starting to worry about long term health problems. I’ve always known of the risks around smoking but I was young and thought things like cancer and COPD would never happen to me, but I just turned 29 and my mindset is changing. I read something the other day that said if you quit by the time you turn 30 you can get back a decade of your life! I know that is just a statistic but maybe one day it could almost like I was never a smoker. I would hate myself if one day I had to leave Chardonnay alone because I died! If she had to lose me because of a stupid choice I made when I was 16 and continued to make everyday after. I’m done.

Sadly this will not be my first time trying to quit. I have failed many times, many, many times, and I have started to think maybe I just can’t do this. I like being a smoker. I like that I have a excuse to leave any situation. I like that I have a instant stress reliever. I like that I have a friend wherever I go, just look for the smokers. I love that cigarettes go so well with my morning coffee and my evening cocktails. It’s not just the nicotine that is hard to give up, it’s all the things I enjoy about being a smoker too.

But this time will be different, I hope. I have a better plan than I did all the times before. I have a date set to quit, May 1st will be my first cigarette free day. I have apps on my phone to track my progress. The longer I go without smoker the less I will want to. I won’t want to break my chain of days without cigarettes. I have my writing to keep me busy. Anytime I have a craving I will just breathe for 10 seconds and start writing, the craving will pass. I am going to buy a bunch of snakes, preferably healthy ones, this weekend. I have a friend who is planning on quitting with me but I am going to do this even if she doesn’t.

I have also changed my mindset too. I know this will be hard. This is really going to suck. I am going to be unhappy and I’m going to be uncomfortable but it will pass. I can do this! Many people have and if they can so can I. The only thing holding me back if fear. No more fear, no more cigarettes.

So wish me luck! And if you have any advice or words of encouragement please share them with me. I will be needing all the help I can get!

Advertisements

Published by

Lisa

Hello! My name is Lisa. I find the human condition fascinating and I often write stuff about that. I blog at zenandpi.com but you can also find me on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, and if you like what I do, consider signing up for my newsletter. Thanks :)

11 thoughts on “Kicking the Habit”

  1. Another reason to quit…
    This may not seem attainable and maybe you and your fiance don’t even want to…
    but, you are going to be married and it certainly isn’t out of the realm of possibility that you two could have a baby. I mean, there are a number of same sex couples who adopt or have surrogates.
    You don’t want to leave that child earlier than is necessary.

    It only takes about two or so weeks for the body to no longer be physically addicted to nicotine. So go on with ya bad self girl and do it! You can do it! You can do it!
    This message brought to you by someone who has never been addicted to nicotine and has no idea how hard it is.But I’m sure you can do it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have talked about children before, she wants carry while I lean more toward adoption. You make a good point and I will add that to my list of reasons to quit. Seems silly I hadn’t considered that before.

      And thank you, thank you, thank you for the words of encouragement!

      Like

  2. I echo everything that A Boy Named Sue has said. While I too have never been addicted to nicotine, many of my friends are and I can relate somewhat to their struggles.
    Just remember that two weeks isn’t anything more than that. Heck, life usually lets you know it’s been two weeks after a month goes by – in other words, it’s gonna fly fast!

    Like

    1. I really hope it does. I’ve always told my non-smoking friends that trying to quit cigarettes is probably one of the hardest things a person can do. The withdrawal is hard! I get to a point where I feel uncomfortable in my own skin and nothing makes it better. But I know that it will pass and if I can just hold on and stay positive and remember why I am doing this I will make it.

      Thank you for stopping by and encouraging me :)

      Like

      1. Not entirely sure if it will help, but a coworker of mine found a “healthy addiction” (her words, not mine) to use a substitute. She actually ate celery any time she found herself needing a hit. Like, a lot of celery. But from what I know, she’s now dropped cigarettes for just under a year. So if it works, run with it.

        Like

  3. While I never smoked, but many people in my family have (and still are)…my dad quit cold turkey, by spending most of the time in his bedroom (while quitting that is) because that was the room he never ever smoked in (and he used to smoke two packs a day)…I guess if you have a place you don’t smoke, that could also work…but the cliche ‘a day at the time’ always applies!
    Thank you for sharing a part of your life, and hope to read more!

    Like

    1. That is a good idea! I normally don’t smoke at all at home, it’s at work that is the problem. As soon as I get there I crave one and all the people I work with go outside all the time to smoke so I’m going to be left alone a lot. One of them is thinking about quitting with me and i really hope she does. Either way like you said “a day at a time”!

      Like

  4. Keep me posted and let me know when you will kick “Smokey” (that’s how I called the Nico-demon) to the curb, I will be here…waiting and will help in any form or way I can…promised! I had help and I will gladly pay it forward

    Like

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s