I I was born in 1980, a time when you could still smoke in the mall, restaurants, wal-mart – I think by that time people had pretty much laid off smoking in doctor’s offices but everywhere else was pretty fair game. Both my parents smoked. Hell, EVERYBODY smoked. It was fun, cool, smooth-tasting, and got you a SHIT TON of “poon tang”. Everyone always told me not to smoke, but it was really like sitting on the edge of the skating rink while everyone, literally EVERYONE is skating and having fun, dipping over to you every time they pass to say “oh don’t come skating darling, you’d fall and break your ankle for sure.” and then zoom off around the rink another time. So as soon as I hit freshman year and started hanging out with the bad kids in the alley across the street from the school I jumped in the rink and started skating.
It started with a cigarette bummed from a friend, it was dangerous, wrong, above all NOT cool with my mom, and oh so much fun. I wasn’t hooked, I couldn’t see how someone could get hooked. It was just something fun and kinda stupid. It was empowering, it was like saying “sure you can control my life, but I can dirty up my lungs! hahaha!” to anyone of power.
I stole my first pack of cigarettes from my dad’s brand new carton when I was 15. I thought I was being slick, I played a little game with the packs in the carton to make it look like I HADN’T just stolen a pack of cigarettes from my dad but I’m sure he knew, he just didn’t know how to deal with his son coming over to his house and taking a pack of cigarettes from him. Maybe he just thought I’d try it and not like it then throw them away or bring them back. Needless to say he never said anything about it.
So I was a smoker. I would go outside and smoke when my mom and step father weren’t home, lighting the cigarette, taking the smoke into my mouth, blowing it out, making smoke rings, etc etc etc. One day though, I took a drag and tried something different. Something that had just sparked in my head – a memory of my cousin teaching me how to smoke when I was in middle school in the bathroom at the mall. She tried to get me to start smoking but I hadn’t started rebelling yet so I didn’t have any interest. Anyway I got the idea to take the smoke into my mouth – then – really breath it in like she had showed me.
And I did.
It was absolutely wretched. I coughed profusely. I felt like I had just turned green.
I toughed it through tho, I did it again, and again, I got in a whole 4 drags before I put out the cigarette, hid the butt, and went to my bedroom to lay down and watch some cartoons. I thought the little buzz I got from it was pretty cool, and I was so completely proud of myself for breaking out of child smokerhood and into adult smokerhood. After that I had it down. My best friends and I would find someone every weekend to buy us packs of marlboro light 100’s. It was never hard to find someone that’s 18 so our habbits were pretty well set.
Then I got shipped off from my home town of Roswell to Las Cruces. I met up with my friend amber and got her started smoking too. I really feel like shit for it because she was in the school’s anti-smoking group before she met me, then we turned out like bread and butter and by the second half of the first semester she was stealing cigarettes for the both of us from Wal-Mart. That was back when the cigarettes could hang out with the rest of the merchandise in the store and she could just walk by, snag a couple cartons, throw them in her pants and mosey down the hardware aisle the staff never knowing the better.
I lived with my dad so I could smoke in the house, even though he – trying to be the good parent – didn’t condone my smoking but didn’t do anything to stop it either. Then, ever time, he started buying me cigarettes and we were smoking together. After that I was hooked, like for real hooked and there was no turning back. I had to find secret places at school where it was safe to smoke, constantly dodging the lumbering patrol of the mannish assistant principal.
Now I’m 28 years old. I have been smoking for 13 years. I’ve been tired of it for a long time but I’d always make little excuses like “I’ve gotta wait until this happens or that happens because I know I’ll wanna smoke then” or “I can’t deal with the extra stress right now” but guess what – you’re going ot want to smoke ALL the time. You already do. If you think that way you won’t be able to come up with a time you DON’T want to smoke.
I quit cold turkey a couple days ago and it’s insanely difficult but much more effectivve than any stop smoking aides in the long run. Right now it feels like someone has inserted tiny pins with expandable balls on the ends into each of my pores and is pulling at my skin from every angle not so much to be painful but just enough to create an uncomfortable pressure. My head doesn’t hurt but it sure as hell doesn’t feel right either. It’s insanely uncomfortable but I’m dedicated to sticking it out.
I can’t maintain a constant train of thought, I’m having KD Lang style constant cravings. I’m dedicated though, I’m ready to beat this thing after 13 years. OK skeep now.