Monday, August 15, 2005

I quit!

Photo courtesy of MorgueFile

Smoking, that is. I kind of misunderstood the whole quit date thing though and extended it a little. I thought quit date meant it was the last day you smoked but I don't think that is actually the case. And, well, I kind of fudged on that a little anyhow. My plan was that my last cigarette before going to bed on Friday night would be my last cigarette. However, I decided that I wanted to save one to smoke in the morning with my coffee and make that my last cigarette. The cig before bedtime is probably my least favorite of all of them and the one with coffee is probably one of my most favorite times to smoke. So......yesterday morning after that one last cigarette, that has been it. And, let me tell you, it hasn't been as bad as I remember but it hasn't been a party either. I can't sit still for very long and being on the computer right now is driving me nuts because this is one of the times I would smoke mindlessly and dang gone it I want to do it. I found if I read that it helps keep my mind off my desire to smoke. So, I've been a voracious reader this weekend. I finished "One for the Money" by Janet Evanovich this morning and I am a third of the way through her second in the series. Thanks Gigi!

I decided to write about how I started smoking. I didn't get very far. If I can, I'll finish it but who knows with me. I get distracted easily.

I was six or seven. I think. I know we lived in Jerosz's Trailer Park at the time. My brother, Chris, and I fished butts out of the ashtray and lit them on the burner of the stove. It was the first time that I recall trying a cigarette. I don't remember if I liked it. I think it was just a novelty. It was around that time that I first tried coffee too, with lots of milk. I vaguely recall that we attempted to shave our faces once as well. At that age, I guess kids imitate what they see the adults around them doing. Chris and I were close in age. I suppose it was natural that we would try some of this together. Funny, out of my three brothers and me, I think Chris is the only one who didn't grow up and use tobacco products. My oldest brother smoked a pipe for a while, and my younger brother is a cigarette smoker, then there's me.

I guess it wasn't too horrible because a couple of years later I would steal packs of cigarettes from my mom so I could hang out at the baseball diamond and smoke with the older kids of the neighborhood. I was nine or ten at the time. I'm not sure how old the other kids were but in my mind's eye they were much, much older and I was cool because they wanted to hang out with me. It didn't hook me though because once we moved from there it was a couple of years before I smoked again.

In eighth grade, I would steal cigarettes and scotch from my mom so my friend and I could "party" before going to the dance at the high school. I'm not sure my mom ever knew someone was siphoning those things off. If she did, I don't think she suspected me. But, I had gotten smarter by that time. Instead of lifting a whole pack of cigarettes I would take a couple at a time and stock pile them. I did the same thing with the scotch, except I would replace what I took with water. Funny, the smell of scotch makes me nauseous now. Too bad cigarettes didn't have the same affect on me.

I'd like to think that it was peer-pressure that led me to smoke but if I search myself I don't think it was. Sure, when I was smoking with the older kids of the neighborhood it may have been, a little. Mostly, I think it was my latent rebellious nature coming to the surface that motivated me to smoke. I thought I was cool. I remember one time when I was in high school. I'm not sure how old I was, I just know we lived in the cabin in the woods of Pennsylvania. I was home alone and standing in the kitchen. I lit a cigarette. I stood there with my head tilted up like I was the bitch of the block blowing smoke in a stream through puckered lips. I used to try to puff out circles like I saw them do on T.V., but I never could do it intentionally. I wasn't much good at the French inhale either. I think because I had yet learned to actually inhale the smoke. I was sucking it into my mouth and blowing it back out. As I recall, I tilted my head down to draw another puff when my mother appears on the front porch stomping snow from her feet. I choked on the smoke as I smashed the cigarette out in the ashtray. I frantically waved my hands in the air to clear any remnants of smoke. I wasn't worried about the smell. That house reeked of smoke. Not only did both my mom and step-father smoke, but we had two woodstoves that periodically filled the house with smoke. If my mom saw me, she never let on. I'm amazed she didn't though. The house was surrounded by windows.

Even though I had smoked a cigarette all on my own accord at that time, I wasn't hooked yet. It was still only an instrument of the party scene to me. It wasn't until several years later when I was seventeen and learned how to inhale that the addiction began. But, that story will have to wait for another day. I'm smoke-free today. Not nicotine free yet. I'm using the patch, but I'm wondering if it helps all that much.

That's it for now. I'm outta here to see what kind of trouble Stephanie Plum has gotten herself into and to get the word, "cigarette," out of my mind for a while.

There's no link to my AOL entry of this because AOL dropped the entry overnight and my journal there is all F'd up! Luckily, this entry was saved in Bloglines.

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