“If you can survive a single day without it, you can survive a lifetime”. It was by then almost five years that I had been a cigarette smoker, it was a heavy burden I carried on my shoulders, and I often wondered, “How did I become addicted?”
In grade 7 I smoked weed to experiment, 8th grade weed and cigarettes, both only when around friends and never really had any cravings whatsoever when alone. My family moved around a lot, so I changed friends a lot as well, and all my new friend(s) every other year were never keen on “experimenting”, so my interest in “chemistry” just kind of faded like that. Well, until one evening at home, I just walked out after supper, went to the shops, bought a cigarette, lit it and took a walk around the neighborhood. It was the most beautiful ever, a quite night, moonlight and streetlights that shone brighter to compliment the symphony playing in my head. That evening’s patterns were sure to be repeated “occasionally”, but the occasions soon became frequent enough to see me a nicotine addict in no time.
Again, “How did I become addicted?” Maybe I was just “experimenting”, again, or trying to impress a girl I liked that only dated bad boys or maybe I just wanted to fit in, but whatever it was, it had made me an addict, and for real this time. The years went by swiftly, but the “habit” remained, unwelcome, almost like an ex-lover’s tattoo on your body. I smoked like a chimney shamefully, ignored the effects on my skin, lungs, erections, eyesight and much more, and only justified; “We all die in the end”. I started keeping friends with no similar interests but the smoke blown out of our mouths, similar girlfriends, and now started having money problems, the shortage of petty cash, small debts, and so strapped for cash that my aunt once said; “One of these days I might have to rob someone just to give you some money because that’s all you ever demand every time you stop by”.
Her words really cut deep, even more so that they were in fact deep. I had by then considered quitting, but she just catalyzed this new prospect. I took a pledge, “I quit”:
Firstly I decided to only smoke two cigarettes a day, one in the morning and the other in the evening, leaving nothing in between. It was extremely difficult, but as days went by I found myself having more time to do more human(e) activities without taking smoking breaks every 30 minutes. Petty cash returned, and I now started enjoying more fruits (apples specifically), and now had more time for people who added value in my life. I fell in love with myself again, and friends and family enjoyed my company more now that it didn’t come with a five bucks taxation form, cigarettes added tax. I now desperately wanted to keep this new me, so I had to cut the remaining two. I thought I’d only smoke in the evenings but as I tried to the next day, the taste of cigarette in my mouth made me almost throw up.
Needless to say I quit completely after that, I counted the days, the cravings strengthened, head spun, eyes swollen, and mouth drooled, heavily. Around the 6th day I decided to introduce naps as my hopelessness intensified, whenever I craved, I just took a nap. On the 11th day I realized: “I’ve once lived without cigarettes, and I can do it again”.
It is now five years since I quit.