Monday, March 26, 2012

I Am A Smoker

I am a smoker. I have been a smoker for over 16 years now. During the course of those 16 years I have had the will power and strength to give them up several times; unfortunately never permanently. The longest period I have been without smoking is about six months since February of 1996. That is, at least for me, a long time to be smoking. That almost accumulates to nearly half my life.

One thing you should know about smoking and me is that I hate it. Bizarre eh? So at this moment you should be asking: Well why haven't you quit then? To be honest, I'm not one hundred percent certain of that. Despite my earlier statement of feeling towards smoking, I still feel as though I am not ready or prepared to quit smoking; this will sound absolutely absurd I am sure but I am not ready to quit smoking yet.

What is it about smoking that keeps me doing it? That is a question I have asked myself repeatedly for over a decade; a decade; holy cow, that is a long time to be polluting ones lungs with smoke, tar and carcinogenics. I don't like the taste; I don't like the smell; I am disgusted by the financial cost; I am appalled at the health costs and risks; yet any moment from right now I will get up from my little computer desk, put on my shoes and walk out the door for a cigarette; most likely with a coffee purchased from Tim Horton's (more senseless spending).

I have managed to go through the recovery process of addiction and come back from the very depths of Hell itself. I floated aimlessly around a dark and infinite abyss of sadness and loneliness wishing for death at every corner as a result of my addiction to crack and alcohol. Somehow, with the help of my family and friends, I managed to climb my way back out of that despair and rise up on my own two feet once more; ruler of reason over my addiction but yet when it has come to smoking not even the strongest and most effective of networks has been able to see me through this.

I do not consider myself a weak individual. I have encountered and battled many struggles in the brief amount of time I have been blessed with existence in this wonderful life. I have stood tall against emotionally crippling situations; I have faced head on the consequences of my actions; I have faced physical dangers that could have and should well have ended my life; I have overcome some of the greatest psychological battles one can face; I have stood in the face of adversity and come out standing on the other side. I have been scarred; I have been bruised; I have been bloodied; but I have survived and I have succeeded. Except with this.

I know that it is but a matter of time before the smoking of cigarettes becomes just another thing I used to do. Someday I will talk about my triumph of overcoming one of the most dangerous and addictive drugs solicited: cigarettes (yes I know that isn't the drug; and yes I know Nicotine is the most common enemy of the anti-tobacco lobbyist however it is more the thousands of other chemicals and the bleaching process that frighten me than a Nicotine addiction; I can triumph over addiction). Someday I will have the right words to explain the hold that cigarettes have had on me. They are not like any other addiction I have ever dealt with (and those addictions were not always narcotics or drugs) and every tool I have used to fight and find success elsewhere seems as though useless and futile when combating the addiction of smoking cigarettes.

I do have a great inward desire to quit smoking...soon, but not yet. There must be something to which I am still holding onto that will not permit me to take that final step of quitting. Like I said, I hate smoking: the smell, the taste, the cost, the health effects and everything else that comes with smoking; but I am working on it. So when you see me walking down the street, coffee in one hand, cigarette hanging out of my lip or in my other hand, try not to be too harsh with your judgements. As a smoker I know how much you, as a non-smoker, are disgusted by my habit. After all, I despise smoking for the very same reasons.

Will I wake up tomorrow a non-smoker? Doubtful. Do I have hope that someday soon, as my inner strength and courage develops, as my self esteem and self respect grow, as I become more confident and aware of myself, that I will quit smoking? Absolutely and without doubt. So to all of you smokers out there who are suffering, just remember that your day will come when you are ready and when it does you will triumph over the addiction of smoking; so will I.