Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Twelve Days of Smoking

On the first day of smoking my true love gave to me... mild COPD...


Ok, maybe not, but you gotta admit that it's not good for you. Hell, it might be one of THE worst things for you ever. I have 12 days left in which to smoke, before I hopefully quit for good. This might not go well, as the only time in the past I was able to quit was when I was 22 years old and had bronchitis so bad it bordered on pneumonia. Problem is... I'm not ready to quit yet. I've tried many things, books, gum, the patch, but nothing makes me WANT to quit. I'm sure you've heard smokers refer to cigarettes as their "friends." Well, in some ways it's true.

I had quit for 6 years back then, and each and every day I wanted another cigarette. I told my mother at one point that if I was ever diagnosed with a terminal disease the first thing I would do would be to go out and buy a carton. Once a smoker, always a smoker? Hell yes. I remember going out to bars and sitting beside smokers so I could secondhand off of them like crazy. I'd stand downwind from smokers outside at work. And every once in awhile I would bum a drag off of someone. Just one, which was like the tease of getting a dozen clams instead of oh say, 50.

I started smoking again as a way to self medicate against the increasing symptoms of BiPolar Disorder. I was 28. One would think that at 28 years old a person would be smart enough not to restart a deadly habit. Not so. Things were Very Bad at that time in my life, and I needed the help of an old friend. The first pack almost killed me, but I pushed through it, buying a second pack, and then a third, until I was once again a practicing smoker.

I even smoked while I was pregnant. Yep, I did. I smoked 3-5 cigarettes a day, never in the car, never at work, only at home. You'd think that I'd be able to quit smoking to protect a child growing inside me, wouldn't you? I had always thought so too. But then, I also couldn't give up one cup of coffee each morning either. Oh, and I also ate lunch meat. But these are tales for reasons I should go to mommy hell, and not about the topic at hand. So...

I have to quit. It's no longer about me. I might not have protected her from carbon monoxide in the womb, but it's my duty to make sure she has a mother. Smoking killed my father at the age of 47. I was 11 years old. I'm sure you're wondering how I could have even picked up a cigarette in the first place after experiencing that. I wonder too. 25 years ago this past January he died, and my life was never as it should have been.

Reasons to quit:


So, I bought a carton yesterday, and will probably when this one runs out as well. I plan to enjoy each and every cigarette until the 29th. Smoking mindfully if you will. I'll treasure each nicotine receptor in my head opening up to let that lovely chemical in, and I'll relish the filling of my lungs with smoke. I'll make sure each smoke is a ritual, the snap of the lighter, the inhale, the tapping of the ash. And then on the 29th I'll say goodbye to a friend who has helped me for years, even though it was a backstabbing sonofabitch. And hopefully I can say goodbye for good.


Michele said...

I sure hope you can stick it out Julie!!! I never smoked (my eating disorder doesn't allow room for other addictions) but I was a friend's support when she quit, and I remember how hard it was for her. Like you, she did not want to quit. She was diagnosed with emphazema(sp?) and told that if she quit, it could make the difference in length and quality of life by a decade or two.
Let me know if I can help. seriously. I'll give you my cell if you want it. It wouldn't hurt for you to have a couple people lined up as "talk-me-out-of-it" folks. That was my main job with my friend.

Anonymous said...

You wanna buddy? (But this means you have to answer your phone when I call...)

I just bought my third "last carton". I need to quit.

I NEED to quit.

Don't wanna
but NEED to.


Safeena said...

Other reasons to quit:

The pleasure of really tasting foo.d

Smelling good i.e., not like an old ashtray.

The money you can spend elsewhere.

Not having your brain owned by the tobacco industry. OWNED. You will be a free woman again.

Nina said...

Honey, if I could give you my non-addictive constitution, I would in a second. It sucks that you have to go through this. I'll be there om the 29th and every day to keep you company.

Jennifer said...

yeah, I'll be a quit buddy too if you need me. I could use the support myself...LMAO.

We need to start a calling circle of quitters. ;)