today is my last day of smoking.
i have been a smoker for 16 years now, and the bottom line is if i don't quit, i will die. well, i will die anyway, but i will certainly die decades sooner if i don't quit smoking. this addiction is not pretty, in the slightest way, and i am going to have to give up this ugliness if i want to keep on living. the most frightening part of this is... shhh... i like
the ugliness. i'm sure it sounds pretty unbelievable to the pretty non-smokers out there, but smoking has ingrained itself very deeply into my identity. i have had a cigerette in my hand since i was 13 years old, and before that i pretty much don't remember. do you know what it's like to give up something you've been literally holding on to so tightly with your measly little hands FOR 16 YEARS?!? you may actually know, in which case you are to contact me immediately with help. because i will need help. i know this because i've done this before. i've quit three times in 16 years- once for two years (ages 15-17), once for a few months (age 22), and last time, for a whopping month (age 26). i can tell you right now that smoking is barely a physical addiction for me. i go 8 hours- easy- without smoking. the psychological addiction, however, is a whole different beast. i do not know how to get in the car without a cigerette, i do not know how to finish a meal without a cigerette, i do not know how to go through a day without a cigerette. i am not kidding here- i do not know how to do it
. i also do not know who i am when i am not a smoker, and i know from the last time that i quit, that i have a lot of identity issues wrapped up in this smoking thing. i identify as a bad-girl- a drinking, smoking, sleeping-around type of girl. one who you wouldn't want your son to go out with. but the fact is, i'm not really a drinker, i'm not a drug-user of any sort, i'm not sleeping with anyone but my husband, and my last little pillar of bad-girlness, the cigerettes, are now going to be gone. how can i be a bad girl anymore? i live in suburbia, for the love of god. i'm a teacher. i'm married. i cook a lot. i make the bed every day. nothing about my life even whispers "bad", let alone screams it out, the way i think it does.
i'm going to end this post here. ironically, or not, my mom just called with news that my step-dad has bladder cancer, and this all seems both poignant and self-indulgent.