Believe it or not there was a time not that long ago when I used to be cool…
…and dead. Effing. Sexy.
*Yeah, not really. And to this day, I still can’t remember why I took a picture of myself coughing after a bad drag.
But after spending most of the first decade of the 2000s in a perpetual haze of Marlboro Light smoke and what I can only assume was a sophistication without equal, I decided that it was time to let it go. Even though I still really enjoyed it, even though I was positive that any day now I would finally find that girl who noted my obvious resemblance to James Dean when I lit up and fall madly in love with me…
…in the Spring of 2007, being able to breathe normally again and not screwing up my singing voice any further became more important to me than any ashtray breath, lung-hacking coolness. Plus, I didn’t want to sell any of my organs so that I could maintain my two-pack-a-day habit.
*And pause for shocked silence*
Yeah, I may or may not have been a nicotine fiend. A nico-fiend if you will.
So on my 47nd attempt…or possibly my 112th…I can’t remember exactly as my numerous tries at quitting smoking kind of run together…I finally had some success after going through a free Stop Smoking class that my work offers a couple times per year.
Six weeks of group counseling sessions plus your drug of choice to help you quit (I went with Chantix) was followed by a group quit day where we all went outside and had one last cigarette, and wrapped up with another 6 weeks of group counseling wherein we discussed how we were doing. I think only I and one other person managed to not have a single cigarette in the six weeks after the quit date and in the 5 years since that class, I believe I am the only one who remained a non-smoker although I’ve had some bumps in the road along the way.
I actually managed to go about 3 or 4 months before I slipped up and that was with a now-illegal clove cigarette so I didn’t really count it as a “true” slip up. Ahhh…sweet, sweet Justification; you are such a bad friend.
Fast forward about a year from my first post-class mistake and countless clove/cigar/pipe/menthol cigarettes* “slip-ups” later (albeit without ever truly relapsing back into a consistent habit) and I finally figured out that I was just not one who could enjoy tobacco in any form without the very real danger of becoming seriously addicted again.
*I’m pretty sure menthols don’t count as real cigarettes.
I’d been skirting the edge of falling back into that tar pit (did you see what I did there?) and rather than just allowing it to happen; which would have been all too easy, let me tell you, I decided on January 6th, 2009 to cut out tobacco use all together.
Since then, other than the occasional incidental second-hand smoke I might inhale in one of the few bars in Nashville that still allows smoking or when I’m hanging out with friends who smoke; I’m happy to report that this past Friday marked 3 years since I’ve partaken in tobacco in any form. I’ve not had one single cigarette, cigar, clove, pipe, etc since then. I’ve not had so much as one, single drag on any of these because I’m awesome like that.
Next on my list is quitting smorking…