Thursday, June 12, 2008

Quitting smoking

As I write I am finishing off what will be my last pack of cigarettes.

First thing in the morning I am going straight to the the pharmacy where a package of Nicotrol Inhaler will be waiting for me. I know it will work because I have used it before, and because I am as thoroughly disgusted with smoking as I ever have been.

I first dabbled in smoking in high school, but it was not until college, when I came across a coupon for a free pack of Camel Lights, that I was hooked. That went on until February 2000, when I got to thinking, I was getting too old to be smoking anymore, and I didn't really like it that much anyway, so I tried the inhaler. It worked, and I was glad.

But last year, over the course of getting divorced and being in less-than-good company, I slipped. I figured, I could just smoke while I partied that one night, and nothing would happen. And rush of pleasurable brain chemicals was brief, but once I remembered the way it felt sneaking a smoke in high school.

I knew I was wrong about being able to just have a few cigarettes when the seven-years-dormant nicotine craving came back with a vengeance the next morning. Before I knew it, I was at the store buying a pack. I was hooked once more, and too distracted to be reminded of what a nasty habit smoking is, what a twisted, dissatisfying waste of money it is, how stupid it is. It was in the back of my mind, sure, but I guess the prominence of other problems in my life at the time let me ignore all that.

But now that my problems are manageable, my eyes are once more wide open to the fact that there ain't anything good about smoking. I don't like the way being a nicotine junkie makes me feel weak, I don't like having to buy cigarettes, I don't like the way they smell, I don't like anything about smoking.

I have considered the possibility that I could meet someone new, and they might like everything about me, but figuratively cross me off their potential friend list just because I smoke. Let there be no misunderstanding: I am quitting for MYSELF, and that is the only reason I need. But if quitting smoking turns out to open up new set of possibilities for me, then so be it!

And of course there are two more very precious reasons to quit...