I began smoking in my early twenties. I had dabbled a LITTLE bit with it in my late teens, but not much, but I bought my first real pack for myself in college as a matter of fact. That's a fairly late start for smoking, so I've heard.
Last year, in November, I made the decision to quit. The decision was based on a few factors. First, my health as I age is becoming more and more of a concern. Second, the expense was really getting to be something to be reckoned with. And third, my older son Carter said something that really made me realize what a horrible example I was setting for my kids.
I didn't really smoke around them, always went outside, and maybe once or twice Carter had seen me do it in a park or something and paid it no mind. Bennett was still too young to even notice at all. But one day Carter came outside while I was smoking. I tried to hide it, but could not, and he kept asking me what I was doing.
'Smoking a cigarette', I said finally.
Still doing whatever it was he was doing with a ball, and not breaking stride, he said 'When I get bigger, I'm gonna smoke a cigarette like YOU'.
So I went the route my mother had gone a year or so prior and used her, a lifetime smoker who has been smoke-free for two years now, as my primary source of inspiration. I met with my doctor and was prescribed Chantix to help me quit. As much as I bitch about drugs and how they aren't working for my son with his Epilepsy/Infantile Spasms, I can't really bitch about Chantix. It was a miracle drug. It didn't take every aspect away of wanting to smoke, but it helped in ways that the gum or the patch or anything else never, EVER did.
As I approach my six month mark of being smoke-free, I started to notice something awhile back. SMOKERS STINK. I walk through a store, Post Office, even a sidewalk, and I walk by someone who is a smoker, I instantly know it. And I don't mean the smell of a burning, lit cigarette. I'm talking a stale, shitty, used ashtray-type smell that follows them wherever they go like that filth-cloud followed that dirty kid on the old Peanuts cartoon strip.
So here, now, is my formal apology. To anyone whose car I smoked in, to anyone whose house I smoked in, to anyone I lit up in front of in a tight, confined space, to anyone I inconvenienced by having to stop what I was doing and go find a place to smoke, to anyone I exposed to my lingering stench, to anyone who had to kiss me on the lips with my cigarette-stench mouth, to ANYONE that had to be affected by my stupid, irresponsible habit...I am sorry.
Ahh...feel so much better now.
Actually I REALLY do, at least when it comes to not smoking. Everything else is pretty much crap right now, but I'm super proud of that. :)