I just quit smoking.
I remember the day I started so clearly, though it was 18 years ago (aaagh!). Kay Turner, the coolest girl at Youth Club was making friends with me, I felt so honored, and when she offered me that first cigarette (Consulate, Menthol - yuk!) - there was no way I was going to turn her down.
So that's my sad reason for starting a life long habit - to look cool. I remember how I must have looked, getting through packets of them when I never really needed to. How I have wished over recent years (especially since my mother died from cancer) that I had never got hooked, like some lucky people. Some people are lucky in a way, they can have a cigarette every now and again - I can't. If I have one, I have a pack. And so it goes on, year after year, feeling smelly & miserable about my repeated failures to stop.
I just quit smoking (it's been at least five minutes now). For the 39th time - and the last time. What makes this one different? Well, I just found myself in the bathroom, in front of a mirror, and decided to watch myself. I have never done this before - I have tried everything - nicotine patches, hypnosis, and will power. Nothing as powerful as watching yourself inhale poison - the way your mouth and face contorts.
I was transfixed - I looked awful (I was prepared to overlook the smell!)
Another powerful thought struck me as I watched: I couldn't really love myself very much if I was doing this to my body - of my own free will!! I thought that was really sad. Maybe even the reason I am 32 and single (hey, you never know, I'm exploring all possibilities!!)
It was right then & there that I decided that this cigarette would be my last one (for the 39th time - and the last!) I decided to share this with you for two reasons:
- Sara (Teen Center Director) has been hassling me for ages to write an article about giving up smoking, and she can be real pushy!!
- I'm counting on your support - hey, I just quit smoking (7 minutes!) in front of thousands of people!!
Once I had the idea about writing this down, I started to rush my cigarette - can you believe it - the last one, the most savored, relished, slowly smoked Marlboro, I rushed it, because I just quit smoking, for the 39th time and the last!