so long, farewell

Day 3 into my life as a non-smoker. They say every day after this is just all in your head.

For some reason today I have begun to mourn the loss of my old self – the smoker.

My first cigarette was a Paul Mall – filterless – at age 8 or 9 maybe? My and my next door neighbor stole it from a friend of my dads and we hid smoked it in a neighbors yard. It was rude. I would not touch another smoke until I was 14. I can’t remember who got me started – I am pretty sure it was my first boyfriend, Mark. He was so cool, such a bad boy. "Marlboro lights in a box please" he would say after filling up with gas in his car. He was older, and never got carded. We used to sit up – watch movies – and smoke. Looking back – I should have put more time into my studies instead of blowing all that smoke.

I joined the military a year after high school – long story – wow I have changed. This was the first time I quit smoking. The only time it was easy. It’s hard to crave something when you are getting your ass kicked and your body and brain re-programmed. I took up the lung cookie again, for the #1 most stupid reason to start smoking: they were so cheap at the Px. Like 6 bucks a carton. So dumb.

The next time I quit was for Tim. He said he wouldn’t marry me if I didn’t quit. So – I went out and got some Wellbutrin – went half crazy out of my mind – and turned into a total psycho girlfriend for a while – but it worked. For 3 years. Then, he broke MY rule. No hard drugs. Deal breaker numero uno. I found out he was doing blow again – we tried to work it out – but – we failed to do so. The day we broke up – I ran right out (in my anger and I’m-gonna-show-you attitude) and bought smokes.

I had dreams last night, all of which I was a chain smoker, which I have never been. It seems like every time I look up at the clock, it is the exact time that I used to take my smoke breaks. There has been one very helpful post that I found last night. I found her by surfing around Antony’s links. She is Martha, Martha and her plea to stop smoking stopped me in my tracks.

I have not ever lost someone, or watched anyone go through what it looks like to be killed by smoking/lung cancer. I hope I never do. And, I hope that by stopping now I can increase my chances of not exiting stage right this way. I can think of a million other ways to go that sound like more fun.

On New Years Day – I watched Good Night, and Good Luck, a great film where EVERYONE smokes. I am reading Blue Like Jazz, a great book, and I am sure that noone else would recall, but even in reading a book – people are smoking. I am blown away by how much I see it now. I wish I would have never started – cause this is just no fun.

But today – I am not smoking. And this, hard as it may seem, is a very good thing. (the constant dialog in my head says…Yes, very good, not bad at all. Smoking is bad, there is nothing cool or sexy about it. It smells, R! You don’t want to be a stinky stinkerson all your life!)

*breathe* *Stretch*  God, thanks for hanging in there with me. Help me to see the me you see, so that I can believe that she really does exist. Yours, always. Amen.


7 thoughts on “so long, farewell

  1. I (Capital-EYE) see the the you that God sees and she does exist, and she’s my one & only, and I thank you from the bottom of our collective 4 lungs and our long, long life together that you are doing this very hard thing. I love you like crazy & you are very, very strong–and you smell good : ) Congrats on day 3 and day 4 and day 1 million–in advance, in case I forget to mention it when we’re 97 and cliff diving …

  2. good for you sweetie! i know just how damned tough it is. i’m pushing almost 3 months smoke free, and it feels great.

  3. Wow Rachel, that is so awesome! Congratulations for making this commitment. I have never been a smoker myself, but my father was, a chain smoker for his whole life and then died of a massive heart attack at age 63 which I know was connected to his smoking. I can’t stand the smell myself, but know I am cheering you on! (and the comment left here by your sweetie brought tears to my eyes, what a fabulous reason to quit!)

  4. You go girl! I’m so proud of you! I lost my grandmother to lung cancer. She smoked all the way through chemo….addictions are so, so, so, so hard. You’re doing a good and wonderful thing.

  5. i never check my technorati to see if anyone is linking to me, but i found you and i will cheer you on, as well…the last four days of my life has been sheer hell, to put it mildly.
    i quit smoking 14 years ago. i smoked to packs a day, marlboro light 100’s. i still love the smell of sulphur from a lit match and a day didn’t go by, until saturday, that i didn’t crave a cigarette. now i swear i have become an “ex-smoker” – the obnoxious kind – and i would not in a million years have thought my craving would vanish after 14 years clean.
    it did. it is all it takes, i swear to you.
    good on you. i am offering my prayers for you today and know you can kick this, just as i did 14 years ago, and just as my mom wishes she had as well.
    peace be with you.

  6. Rachel,
    I quit smoking 16 1/2 years ago and it was a BITCH. (I went on prozac for about a year, LOL!)
    BUT, it was the best thing I have ever done for myself.
    And yes, you will have to mourn the old smoker you. For about a month before quitting, I just kept repeating to myself that “I am a non-smoker”. Not “Ex-Smoker”, NON-smoker. I had to re-envision myself. And while the first couple of weeks were really tough, it worked. (As an aside, Altoids now makes a sugar free mint. I ate boxes and boxes of the regualar ones in the first couple of weeks. It helped keep my mouth busy and got me over the nicotine withdrawal.)
    So, my prayers are with you, girl. You can do this. And you are doing for yourself, this time.

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