smoking

Breaking the Habit: Part Two

You can find Breaking the Habit Part One here!

Ah, back to blogging about the butts. I had to write the part two sooner or later, and I’m happy to announce that as of today I am cigarette free. I didn’t quit on my birthday like I had originally wanted, but I was down to one cigarette a day for a few weeks before I finally just threw in the towel. I had run out one day and I was like you know what, Lara? You don’t need that one stupid cigarette anymore.

And just like that, I broke free from the habit that would eventually kill me one day.

Let me tell you, though, it was NOT easy. It’s been hard. Really fucking hard. I honestly have come to the acceptance that I’m just going to be a little bit bitchier for the rest of my life. For every time someone cuts me off on the highway, or anyone at work aggravates me, I don’t have that precious rolled up piece of goodness to get me through that spike in my blood pressure anymore. I have “deep breathing.” Pardon me while I hypothetically throw up all over that phrase because quite frankly, I’d rather smoke a cigarette.

BUT. The list of diseases my family has from smoking is of enormous quantities. So I’d rather be an old bitch than a nice young corpse. It makes life spicier that way anyways.

I’ve only cheated 3 times too! And it’s only when I’m drunk. Anyone who has ever been a smoker can attest that nothing is better than having a cigarette and a drink at the same friggin time. Ugh. It’s amazing.

But you know what? Each time I’ve cheated has never been followed by a relapse.

I won’t go back to it. I CAN’T. I work out six days a week. I do intense cardio and lifting. There is NO way I would be able to accomplish what I have with cigarettes. I can’t believe I got through workouts as a smoker. I used to smoke one right BEFORE a workout. HAHA seriously, Lara? Seriously.

Once the withdrawals go away, it truly is just mind over matter. My entire family smokes. Every single day I am surrounded by cigarette smoke. That’s will power right there. Just like how every day I decide to not eat the cookies on my counter, I also decide not to smoke a cigarette. And the fact that sugar is just as addicting as cigarettes is a WHOLE other post for a different day. And seriously, that WILL be discussed eventually because it’s just as serious as any other addiction in this world.

I can’t lie though. I DO have a crutch. And this “crutch” has been up for serious debate but it’s saved my lungs. What is this magic that I speak of? E-cigarettes. Not just any e-cigarette. A Provape – It’s one of the top ones on the market. NOT cheap but when I do the math between smoking that and cigarettes, my vape is FAR more superior. And I know what you nay sayers have to say:

E Juice is dangeroussss! OH NO PLEASE DON’T SMOKE THAT STUFF LARA!

This isn’t a debate, but I’m just going to leave the vape talk off with the fact that I haven’t seen one piece of research against e-cigarettes. I’m extremely careful with it, I keep children away from it, and I don’t poison my neighbors with it. A few puffs of that a day to keep me sane is extremely better than smoking a pack of cigs a day. I pick and choose my dangers wisely.

Anyways, I’m 4 months strong and so far, not wanting to go back. They say trying to quit after failing to quit is one of the hardest things to do – harder than the original quit. I won’t let myself get to that point. As long as I have my health on my side, I think I’ll be okay. Even if I’m a little bitchy 🙂

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Breaking the Habit Part One

My relationship with cigarettes began when I was 12 years old.

I took a drag of one at age 8, but I don’t count that. I was so young that it probably wasn’t even a drag.

But 12 years old.

I used to baby-sit for this woman who became addicted to morphine after having surgery on something or another. She had 3 children, a set of 6 year old twins and an 8 year old.

And there I was. Cooking. Cleaning. Bathing. Getting them off the bus. Helping with homework.

I was more of a mother to these children than their own. At 12 years old.

I even had to cut one of the twins’ hair off one day because her mother hadn’t bathed her since the last time I was there, and her hair was so knotted the only way to fix it was to cut it off. Poor girls. Poor, poor girls.

But that’s a story for another day.

The mother used to smoke Newport’s and kept them in her bedroom dresser. Sometimes she would be home while I babysat because she was so drugged up, her kids needed someone else there to take care of them.

One day, the oldest found her mother’s cigarettes and cried hysterically. The mother insisted they were not her cigarettes, but mine. The oldest daughter turned to me.

Oh yeah? Prove it.

I remember it clear as day. I was sitting on the edge of the mother’s bed, looking at myself in the mirror that was attached to the closet door directly across the room. I lit up the cigarette and smoked (well, as much as 12 year old knows how to) it. Staring at myself. I honestly thought I was the coolest kid on two feet. I sat there for the rest of the day, puffing on cigarettes in front of the mirror.

And then I was hooked.

The mother would leave me packs. In her drawer. Every day.

One day I was smoking in the bathroom while the mother was home, and I heard the cops bust through the door.

Scared to death, I threw Barbie toothpaste in my mouth and ran out to the police dragging the mother out the door. The husband had apparently filed a restraining order against her.

She fell asleep a few nights before. Smoking a cigarette. Almost burned the house down.

A danger to her family. And an unfaithful one at that. Her husband had caught her cheating on him with his stepfather.

That’s some Springer shit right there.

I’m guessing the restraining order was revenge on the mother. The father died a few years later of a heart attack.

To this day, I still wonder what happened to those little girls. I hope they made it through life okay. They’d be 20 and 22 right now.

But I’ll always remember, that’s where my addiction began.

And I’ve been spending the last 4 months weaning myself off of a pack a day. I’m down to 3.

And for my birthday gift to myself, I’ll be down to zero.

Happy Birthday, Lara! You’re saving your teeth! Your skin! Your lungs! Your life!

But let me tell you, it hasn’t been easy.

That’s why this is only part one.