To be honest, I don’t even remember the exact date I quit my addiction. I didn’t mark it on the calendar. There was no countdown to days when I would finally toss my addiction to the curb.
There was no build up. Nothing. I just decided one day I was quitting. And I did.
At 56 years old, I had reached a do or die point in my life. Either I was going to kill this addiction or it was going to kill me. One thing I had finally come to terms with was this: I was so fucking done with it.
How it all started
I was 13 years old. It was so easy to get cigarettes back then. It was also easy to scrounge up enough change to buy them. At 47 cents a pack, buying cigarettes was as affordable as buying a bag of chips and a bottle of pop.
My dad smoked and the lady at the store knew my dad well. I would go buy cigarettes for ‘dad’. All the time. I would take money from mom’s purse or the change jar. No one would ever notice 50 cents missing.
I remember the first time I had a cigarette. There were 4 of us down by the creek. We all wanted to smoke. It was cool to smoke. All our older sisters/brothers smoked and they were cool af.
We wanted to be just like them.
We excitedly opened our first own pack, grabbed our first smoke and we all lit up at the same time. After my first big inhale I choked and remembered thinking I was going to die right there and then. I had never felt so sick or dizzy in my life.
I remember thinking two other things:
- this is fucking gross and
- I hope I don’t fall into the creek
I was also terrified. What if mom or dad find out? Dad won’t care, I don’t think. Mom will lose her motherfucking mind. Mom didn’t find out until I was 17 years old and man was she pissed.
43 years as a smoker
I spent the next 43 years of my life killing myself. It was only in the last 12 years that I actually tried to put a stop to it. Quit for 3 months, start up again. Quit for 2 years, start up again. Quit for 3 years, start up again.
I stopped putting any faith into my quits. If I succeeded, yay for me, if I didn’t, good for me for trying.
I have ecigarettes. I use them daily. Yes they have nicotine. Some may say they are worse than cigarettes. I beg to differ. To me, it’s the lesser of the two evils. I don’t stink. My clothes, hair, apartment and things don’t stink.
My teeth aren’t yellowing and my breath doesn’t reek. I can actually breathe easier and if I wanted to run around the block, I could. I won’t, but I could.
I know I have extreme lung damage from smoking for 43 years. I’m not stupid. I’m sure ecigarettes are also causing some sort of damage. Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.
It’s kind of like McDonald’s nuggets. Some say they aren’t made of chicken and they are poison. Idgaf. Shut up. I eat them because I love them. Don’t ruin that for me please.
Same with ecigarettes. I’m sure they are kinda bad. How bad I’m not really sure but I don’t care to find out. For now, they are serving their purpose. To be honest, I hope to one day quit those too. One day.
And let’s be real for a minute here, isn’t everything on the entire planet bad for us anyway?
How long has it been iva?
So let’s get back to this quit. I think it was sometime in March. Maybe the first week? I’m not really sure. I remember I was smoking like a fiend back in Canada when I returned for mom’s funeral. It had to be March when I quit.
I think I may be going on month 2 of my quit? I’ve had two cigarettes in that whole time and lemme tell you, they were both really fucking good. I’m not gonna lie. I enjoyed them.
But two months in and I feel good. I can’t say that I feel like I have total control over this quit and I will never ever buy cigarettes again. Nope. I can’t say that. Ever.
I don’t think I will buy cigarettes again but at any given moment, it could happen. Just.like.that.
But I’m not gonna count the days on this quit because that’s what stresses me out the most. You would think it should make me proud and want to keep going longer and longer.
Ya, it doesn’t do that for me.
I’ve been in this place so many times now I know that time means nothing. 3 months, 8 months, 2 years, 3 years. Time is irrelevant when you’re an addict. I could go 10 years smoke free, have one trigger and become a full blown full time addict again.
Don’t get me wrong, I am very proud of myself for making it this far. Though at one point in the last year one of my thoughts was ‘fuck it, I’ll just be a smoker until I die’.
Addicts think like that. We feel defeated many times. We feel hopeless and frustrated. It’s exhausting and I wish I had never went down to the creek that day with my four best friends.
I wish that day never happened. Mind you, ‘that day’ could have happened at any time in my life. But I’m tired of beating myself up over it. What’s done is done. I’ve made my bed and I will lay in it.
For now, I’ll keep plodding along with this quit.
For now I’m taking this quit one deep breath and one day at a time. I know that it could all end tomorrow. An addict’s struggle doesn’t end until we’re dead.
And I’m hoping not to die with a cigarette in my hand.
Peace and Love ❤
xo iva ox