Sunday, January 23, 2011
Weekend Whine (just say no to nicotine)
If you've never been addicted to something, what you're about to read will most likely not click with you but hopefully if you're a compassionate person, you'll be able to learn about addiction and feel compassion for those who become addicted to whatever it is they're addicted to. I know from my own personal experience that until recently, I was not truly compassionate toward those who are addicted to hard drugs... cocaine, heroin, meth, etc. Certainly my cigarette addiction wasn't nearly as dark or deadly or all-encompassing as those "real" drugs. I hadn't lost my job, home or family because of my Salem Slim 100's, therefore I wasn't even paddling in the same boat as the rest of those losers. What I've learned in the past seven weeks is that the addictive substance matters not, it's the process and control of addiction itself that holds all the cards, and that we are indeed all in the same boat.... we just have different captains.
Before I go any further, I will address those of you who will immediately say, "Well, if you'd never tried that drug in the first place, you wouldn't be facing this addiction." To you I say, (first... NO DUH!) but mostly I recommend that you kneel nightly and thank God that you were either strong enough to resist the temptation or led such a happy life that you never felt the need to find an easy escape for an hour or two. I agree that the most effective prevention of addiction is to never start, just as the most affective prevention of pregnancy is celibacy. It all looks good on paper, doesn't it? It all looks peachy and pleasant in a world where strong minds leave no room from those who are weakened or who've been less blessed. In fact, when my husband reads this, he's going to be the first one to call this post a bunch of BS because he is strong-minded and strong-willed. I keep reminding him that these are not traits that he's worked for or earned, but was however granted from God's mighty hand and he ought to be happy for that instead of judging those of us who haven't been quite as blessed in the department. Over 32 years, I've made a significant dent in his armor, although his biggest brag to this day remains "I just don't let things get to me. I let all that shit roll off my back." I roll my eyes and he knows immediately that it wasn't his back that the shit rolled off of, but God's. Good for him.
If you're still reading this, you're either extremely bored or you just want to find out if I've become a mass-murderer and where I've hidden the bodies. Go get a snack and I'll save your place.... swears. (just check your seat when you get back.)
THE HISTORY OF SMOKING FROM 1974-2011 (by Mags, recovering smoker and blogger who loves to hear herself type)
1974: I was 16 when I tried my first cigarette. Yes, I threw up. (See... this is where all of you smart people are shaking your head and wondering why I'd ever try it again! I'm stubborn and stupid and have no other excuse.)
1975: I was a Junior in high school and was smoking a few cigarettes on the weekends when the girls would go out partying. Remember.... cigarettes were still cool back then.
1976: My senior year. I can say that I was officially addicted at this point. I was hanging out my bedroom window at midnight smoking my last cig for the day. I was also smoking in the shower, thinking that the steam would get rid of the smoke. AND... let's not forget that incense was THE THING at that time and whenever Mom asked if I was smoking in my room, I lied through my Hell-headed teeth and said "No, that's my sandalwood incense becoming one with the smiley face stickers on my ceiling."
1976-1978: My college years. An associate's degree in Dental Hygiene (I KNOW... the IRONY!!) at a college where smoking was still allowed on campus in the cafeteria, gathering rooms, etc....and every bar, restaurant, and mall in town
1978-present: Married at 20. Confirmed daily smoker. And here's where I share my deepest and most shameful secret of all..... I smoked through all three pregnancies. I have no defense (I am a worthless, spineless piece of shit.) (or when I'm feeling more generous I merely call myself a selfish bitch.) Three healthy children later, I'm thankful.... although still ashamed.
Present day: Smokers are shunned lepers. What used to be a social activity has become a nicotine fix. Step outside 30 feet from the door in the freezing cold to get your fix. You want to know why I quit? It might surprise you that it had nothing to do with health reasons or money. It's because I couldn't handle "that" look from someone who walked by me while I was hiding in the shadows of some restaurant patio. I didn't like missing half the party while I was outside getting my nicotine fix. I'm still young enough to change my social behavior and I refuse to miss out on life because I have to remove myself from the party or worry myself sick at the airport or hide behind the bushes anymore because of a nicotine fix. The monkey will be off my back forever. I AM DONE.
I almost published this post without apologizing to my Indiana readers. Since I have quit smoking, you can expect your third grade class next year to not have new text books due to the lack of taxes from my unbought cigarettes. That's cruel, I know..... but I still have a bit of a chip on my shoulder.