Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cigarettes

Good morning my friends! It's been a while but I have determined myself to get back to writing and while I have said this before, recent events in my life have left my but little choice but to "shit of get off the pot" as I have heard it put. Those recent events I spoke of forced changes in my life that significantly impacted my emotional and mental well being. As a result I have had to re-evaluate many of my future goals and plans and realized that I had ceased any efforts towards achieving them; my life existed in limbo and I suffered for it.

One of those goals I spoke of is to quit smoking. A little background on me as a smoker would help I suppose. I started smoking about the same time I started drinking: February of 1996. How do I remember that? I remember a lot of things for some reason; some things I'd rather not and others I would never want to do without. Regardless, I've been smoking for over 16 years now and let me tell you, I can tell that it has been that long.

In the last decade and a half since I took up smoking, I have tried to quit several times. I have gone a few hours to a few days to over a month without smoking but for some reason I keep coming back to those terrible cancer sticks. I've tried the patch; I've tried the gum; I've tried cold turkey; I've tried just about everything one can try and still find myself a smoker. Most recently, in February, I managed to wake up one morning and just stop smoking. That last a whopping 30 days and then one day I picked up a cigarette and I was once again a smoker.

I have given up a good number of highly addictive substances, most notably crack-cocaine and alcohol. It has been nearly a decade of being clean and I am quite proud of myself for having overcome such over-whelming obstacles and odds. I have climbed, rung by bloody rung, from the abyss and back into the light and yet cigarettes, they still hold authority over my will. It baffles me that I am strong enough for such struggles yet I am so powerless when it comes to the cigarettes.

I can feel the damage in my body. I can feel the bronchi in my lungs rattle every morning when I wake up and take a deep breath. I can feel the burning in my lungs when I run further than 15-20 feet or longer than 30 seconds or so. I can feel the light-headed and dizzy feeling that comes from shortness of breath. I struggle to catch my breath just breathing sometimes. I can clearly see the discoloration in my phlegm; it looks like ash some days, other days like diluted blood.

It's scary to be a smoker but oddly not scary enough to quit. I don't want to die of cancer. From what I've seen and what I've read it is extremely painful on every level: mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. I am a strong individual but I do not want to test the limits of my determination and strength. I scorn myself daily for my disgusting and deadly habit but it does no good; or maybe it is readying me and I just don't know it. Either way, I wake up every morning wanting to quit and every night I go to bed telling myself that tomorrow is the day; tomorrow I can do this and then I can't. But I am not defeated.

On my last attempt I used social media to help me quit and I garnered quite a large amount of support; much of which I still have encouraging me to try again but it is difficult to do on social media even though it helped me find more success at quitting than I ever have. It's harder because there are more people to disappoint and while I do not depend on others for my happiness and self-worth per se, it is tough to have so much support and encouragement to simply end up back where I started. I feel guilty for making them believe I could do it when I couldn't. But I know they care and that it doesn't matter; I know I am loved and that those same people will be there when I'm ready to try again.

And I will try again....and again.....and again....until I accomplish my goal. I want to quit smoking and I will; it is simply a matter of time. Thanks for reading, thanks for caring and thanks for sharing. Love each other and keep smiling!