I've written numerous posts about my struggle to overcome my nicotine addiction. It is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do - putting down those cigarettes.
I began smoking at 15. To impress a boy. Because it was cool. Because I thought I was a bad ass.
One day I just picked up a cigarette. Honestly, it was probably a week before I was addicted. I have an addictive personality. I can't help it...I become easily attached to behaviors and add the dependency-inducing chemicals that Big Tobacco adds to the nicotine in cigarettes and...I just didn't stand a chance.
Fast forward 17 years later. YES. I said 17 years later. I am 33.
In my life, I have smoked longer than I haven't. Isn't that sad?
I am on my...let's say 10th quit attempt. My husband and I quit smoking on February 2nd, 2011. I was able to quit this time through a combination of taking the smoking cessation prescription drug Bupropion and sheer will power. It wasn't too hard this time - that medication was worth every penny of its $256 price tag. Yeah, it's expensive as hell without insurance, but completely worth it. Bupropion works by shifting your focus away from cigarettes - it is actually an anti-depressant, so it helps lift your spirits as well.
As any smoker will tell you, life without cigarettes is fucking depressing. I've been to known to curl up in the fetal position and cry during quit attempts. Like a heroin addict going through detox. It's sickening.
So, it's been a few months. I would love to say that I am doing great, but I'm not. I have done the "I'm going to have one cigarette while I'm drinking" bit. Yeah, yeah, I know...that's dangerous business. The first few times, it was okay - I didn't even think about cigarettes the next day.
But it just so happens that the last three weekends in a row, I've been to some sort of social function and have smoked numerous cigarettes at each one...sometimes more than one function in a weekend, which means smoking two days in a row. It's a slippery slope.
Last weekend was my birthday party, and I smoked almost an entire pack of cigarettes. When I woke up the next morning, my throat was sore and the first thing I thought of when awakening? Cigarettes.
Today, while looking through my desk drawer for a review product I was working on, I found an errant cigarette. I vaguely recalled losing a cigarette while showing some friends an item I had in that drawer during the birthday party - it must have fallen off of my ear (yeah, I still hold cigarettes behind my ear, I'm old school) while I was bent over the desk and I never realized it.
I smoked it. It felt good. Then it felt bad. Really, really bad.
I refuse to fall off the wagon. I refuse to give up, after all of this time - it has been three and a half months - and start smoking again. I may have faltered today. I may have smoked cigarettes while drinking with my friends. But that doesn't mean that I have to give up and smoke all the time like I used to.
I don't want to give up. I want to be a non-smoker. I am starting to like my new life. I like being able to stay inside in the air conditioning while my friends go out for cigarette breaks. I like smelling the shampoo in my hair and not smoke. I like being able to pet my dog without making him stink.
I like that my daughter is proud of me.
I am going to do this. I am going to remain a non-smoker. Just because I slipped once doesn't mean I have to give up, right?
Because I'm not giving up.
This post is my response to this week's Remembe(red) prompt over at The Red Dress Club. We were told to write about whatever came to mind when we saw the above picture.