I Really NEED to Quit Smoking
Cigarettes have me in the clutches of death, and I really need to quit smoking. No matter how many times I have tried to quit, I always end up going back to them. I have a relationship with cigarettes that is quite deceitful. I love them and hate them all at the same time. I hate what they are slowly doing to my health but I can’t seem to care enough to stop for good.
Each time I quit smoking, I use some type of aid like a vape or the patch. I’ve also tried nicotine gum in the past, but nothing satisfies me as much as the real deal. I love the burn I get in my throat. I love to see the smoke and feel the cigarette between my fingers. I love to press on it as I inhale with my lips. It’s not just the nicotine I crave, it’s the entire process.
Something I despise about smoking is the smell. I go through the ritual of washing my hands, dousing myself with essential oils, and either sucking on mints or brushing my teeth, for what seems like an endless number of times each day. I do not want to smell like a cigarette or reap the ramifications of the health hazards of smoking cigarettes. I don’t know how to want the benefits of quitting more than the desire to smoke itself.
Sometimes as I go out to have a cigarette and tell my children that I love them, I think that if I loved them then I would quit smoking, and my guilt and shame play havoc on my mind. I also know that my smoking is a very bad example for my kids. All I can do while I continue to smoke is to warn them how addicting smoking is, and beg them to please never start. It makes me feel weak as a parent, and yet I still continue to smoke.
Growing up, I never thought I would ever touch a cigarette. It was one of the many things I vowed to never do. One day though, as I was walking home from school, two girls approached me with a knife and said they would stab me if I didn’t smoke a cigarette. They said that I had probably never done a bad thing in my life, and called me a “goodie-goodie.” And so just like that, I smoked my first cigarette. I didn’t need to continue smoking though.
I loved the feeling inhaling cigarette smoke gave me. I also loved the taste, and so the very next day I brought money to school and asked one of the girls if they would buy me a pack of cigarettes with it. Looking back, I don’t know why I trusted her to not just keep my money for herself, but she somehow accomplished getting me my cigarettes. We were both only thirteen years old at the time, so I don’t know how she went about getting them.
Smoking at such a young age was difficult for various reasons. Trying to hide it from my parents’ wasn’t easy, and didn’t last for long. The other hard part was having to beg strangers outside of stores to buy them for me. I got them other ways as well, like friends taking them from their parents’, or from scrounging cigarette butts from public ashtrays- yuck!
I never knew if someone would purchase cigarettes for me or if they would just keep the money for themselves. Even though I was a very shy person, my desire to smoke was stronger than my shyness when I felt I had to approach a stranger. Some people I asked ended up lecturing or yelling at me, while some just looked at me in disgust as they refused. I was very happy, years later, to finally have the freedom to purchase my own cigarettes.
Jumping through the years and realizing how much time has gone by since I started smoking sometimes seems unreal. I have never accurately calculated the years I have smoked altogether. The longest I ever quit smoking was for six years. I didn’t want to smoke when I was pregnant with either of my kids and didn’t start smoking again until my son was six years old. During a family tragedy, I made the awful decision to deal with it partly by smoking. I wish I would have dealt with it differently but I can’t go back in time.
All I have is right here and right now. I know I need to quit smoking but don’t know how to do it in a way that will stick. Another factor is that my husband smokes. Each time I have tried to quit along with him, he has fallen back into the habit and it’s just a matter of time before I start smoking again too. We need to both quit and stick with it.
The things I look forward to about quitting smoking, beside the health benefits, are being able to smell good long after my shower without having to do my ritual of trying to get rid of the evidence of the cigarettes nasty odor. I also look forward to not having to worry about cigarettes staining my teeth (although I drink a ton of coffee so that doesn’t help either!). Also, a big bonus of quitting will be to not spend another dime on my bad habit.
If I can accomplish this I will feel like a better parent, as well as more of a free person. As it is, I am a slave to my addiction to cigarettes. As I sit here and write about wanting to quit, another part of my brain is coaxing me to please light up another one. One thing I know for sure is that I can’t do this without God’s help, and so I pray for Him to help me quit for good. I also pray that I will be spared from the damages that smoking can cause. I try to block out the reality of the destruction that cigarettes can do to my body on a daily basis.
I hope to quit soon, maybe even tomorrow… but to be honest, though, I am going to go and smoke right now.