Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Smoking Devil Just Got Flicked Off

I just finished working on a very disturbing case.  So disturbing in fact that it has affected my sleep and haunted my dreams.  I can't divulge that information.  It's just my job; and sometimes it is very depressing work.  I am a legal transcriptionist.  I just type it as I hear it.  I try to close my emotions to what I am hearing, but it's a part of my job that I have not quite learned to conquer.

When I am stressed out to the point of needing an immediate distraction, I have not yet really learned how to deal with that, either.  A few years ago, I had a simple solution;

I'd smoke.

I don't smoke anymore.  I haven't truly smoked in three years.  I slipped a few times.  When I came down with a wicked case of bacterial pneumonia a few years ago, I knew I'd never smoke ever again.  And I haven't.

I think for most ex-smokers, we come to a point in our lives where we can honestly say we'll never smoke again, and mean it.  That was my rock-bottom.  I felt so sick.  Not being able to breathe is a big wake-up call.  Not even seeing my own father dying of lung cancer made me stop.  That's how horrible the addiction to Nicotine is;  I had stopped for two years prior to his illness,  Then when I moved in with him, leaving my family back in Maryland after myself, and having had major abdominal surgery myself just weeks prior to that, what did I do?  How did I cope?

I smoked.

I felt so ashamed.  My father lay dying in the house and my coping mechanism was go to outside, hide like a kid, and sneak a smoke.  That is the power of Nicotine.  It is a wicked, evil thing, and the addiction to it is compared to the addiction to heroin. 

I don't smoke anymore.  I will never smoke again.  I can proudly and honestly say that with the knowledge that I can trust my own self.  I have beat the addiction.

That is not to say I still don't crave.  Not often, but I do.  And when I do, it hits me like a slap in the face.

I just go slapped.

I got through my transcription, stood up, and a craving the size of Texas hit me.  Why?  Where did it come from!? Could it be I need to quell my anxiety that badly?  Right now?  Yes.  But how?  I don't drink, ether.   I'm not having a panic attack, but normally by now, I'd be halfway through my second cigarette, and my stress level would be easing (as well as my pulse and oxygen level thanks to all of those carcinogens and the Nicotine).

The craving hit me hard.  It stopped me in my tracks.  I even told my son about it.  I had to reassure him that I would not smoke (I don't think they are quite as assured that I will fall off of the wagon as I am... who could blame them?).

How to describe it?   I can't!  The only thing I can think of is the sharpness of that needed first drag.  Smokers, you hear me, right?  It fills you with a calmness... I can't explain it.  And then the craving is gone.  It's like Nicotine is tapping me on the shoulder -- like the devil does -- maybe it's the devil smoking?  I beat him down!

Whenever I smell cigarette smoke now, It makes my stomach turn. I can't stand it.  I ask myself how I could have ever done that to my body.  How could I do that in front of my children?  I never smoked inside.

One: I hated the smell, even when I was a smoker.

Two:  My kids were (and still are) asthmatics.

Three:  My kids HATE cigarettes.

The other day I saw a woman driving a van with four kids inside it and she was just puffing away.  It angered me so much.  It truly is child abuse.

For Real!
I can't believe I did that to my body for over thirty years.  I used to say if smoking wasn't bad for me, I'd keep smoking.  I can now honestly say that is no longer true.  I wish I could go back to that 14-year-old girl who just wanted to fit in and look cool and scream at her;  Don't Do It!  Alas.  I have resigned myself to the fact that I will most likley die of lung cancer.  I have accepted that.  For now, though, I'm pretty damn proud of myself.  I always had that little demon  in my head... that voice... my voice telling me that when I stopped smoking, it was just to fool everyone into thinking I had done it, only so I could closet-smoke in a few months.  What a great feeling it is to finally be able to honestly tell people that I do not smoke and nor will I ever again.

It really is a matter of life and breath.  I know the smoking devil will still occasionally tap me on the shoulder and tease me.  It's a great feeling to flick his arse off.  Do I seriously need something when I get stressed?  Chocolate, you say? 

Until next time,

Innnn through the nose.  Ouuuuut through the mouth.


1 comment:

  1. Well done! I (selfishly) would like my bestie to be around! We have too much fun & too much trouble to get into ;o)


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