I never thought I could actually do it. Quiting smoking that is. Granted, I never tried, but it just seemed impossible. Before I started smoking I always hated it. I grew up singing professionally and for me, cigarette smoke was like a death sentence to the career of a professional singer. I was always the anti-smoking person in all groups, staying away from any place that was frequented by smokers.
Being of an artistic nature it was inevitable that my “group” in high school would be somewhat artistic and rebellious. And being the rebel that I was, I started dating a smoker. I actually started smoking as a trick to get my boyfriend to stop. That sounds totally stupid but I was a freshman in high school and I hated his smoking. Taking one of his cigarettes one day, I asked for a light to which he replied a quick "no". After arguing about why it was OK for him to smoke but not me, he finally broke down and said it wasn't OK but that he was going to continue smoking. This really aggravated me so I went and got a light from someone else. Needless to say that started a new "love affair." The boyfriend didn’t last but I had a new best friend.
That first cigarette was such a surprise. I didn't cough and it didn't taste as bad as I thought it would. I remember driving home trying to ash out the window and having no coordination with my left hand and dropping it. The bottom line is I really liked it.
The first few years I smoked maybe 3 or 4 cigarettes a day. I would mostly smoke in the car to and from school. I had to get someone older to buy my cigarettes but that was pretty easy. My smoking picked up once I started working. I would smoke on breaks with older college kids in an attempt to "fit in."
My smoking always interfered with my relationships. My boyfriend at the time hated my smoking, as I had hated it once. We had many arguments about it. I eventually started going out a lot so that I could smoke. My parents found out and I began to get in trouble. All this really just made me smoke more. It was something that was mine, and nobody was going to take it away from me.
After high school I started college at an art school where cigarettes were like currency. Everyone smoked all the time. During this time, my habit started to really take off to about a pack a day. My favorite was in the morning with a cup a coffee. I also really enjoyed breaks from rehearsals or going drinking and smoking. I HAD to have one in the car! My smoking was fine at school but when I went home to visit my parents it was awful. I wanted one all the time but felt bad if I went out to have one. My smoking would drop to about half a pack a day and I would be very aggravated. Whenever I went home I would bring another smoker with me so that I wouldn’t feel so bad.
My smoking stayed the same for many years. Out of school I was pretty broke but always found money for my cigarettes. I was pretty unhealthy. My singing had stopped a long time ago and my fitness level was nonexistent. The only reason why I wasn’t fat was probably because I smoked instead of eating. Coffee and cigarettes where what I lived on. I had a lot of stomach problems and sometimes I would smoke myself sick. I never tried to quit, I never really wanted to quit. I always said I wouldn’t quit until I was getting married so that I could have a far off date in case anyone asked. Then one day I got engaged. I was 24 and had been smoking for 8 years. My fiance really wanted me to quit but I had made the promises to myself. I put if off for a few months and then a few days before Lent I decided to quit for and hopefully for good.
Again, I didn’t think I could do it. I decided to actually quit 2 days before quitting. This was a great move on my part so I didn’t have much time to brood over it. My fiance went with me to Walgreens and I got the nicotine patch, a crap-pile of regular gum, and some tooth picks. I smoked a lot those last 2 days. It was very sad. I felt like I was breaking up with my best friend. What would I do?