Hello, my name is Kalamity and I’m an ex-smoker. It has been 8 months, 18 days and 21 hours since my last cigarette.
Tell ya something, coping with people is much more stressful when you don’t have cigarettes. After a 27 year relationship with ciggies and them being my most reliable friend for more than 2 and a half decades, it’s hard to let them go. Ok, maybe not the most reliable but the longest lasting. We had history. The first time we met, just a couple of streets up from High School when I was 12. All those times we hid in the school bushes together on the other side of the playing field when the teachers came looking for us. The time that bloke from church saw us and told my parents, getting me into trouble. Sneaking out of the meetings at bible camp to go and smoke on the grandstand or in the park. All those long, lonely walks home after a night out cos I’d spent the taxi money. All those long, lonely nights in when the little manchild was in bed and it was just me and ciggies . If I felt lonely, I reached for the fags. Ciggies and me, together.
But I did it. With the help of the Stop Smoking Clinic at work and an e-cigarette bought online, I split us up. And I miss them. I miss the trips outside. The trips were necessary to pacify the nicotine god that needed sustenance and worship every couple of hours but they were also necessary for my sanity. If I got irritated with someone, I escaped them and went for a fag break. If I got stressed with work, I went for a fag break. If I was upset about something… fag break. The breaks were a chance to step away and just breathe, albeit with nicotine-laced oxygen. No more fag breaks for me! Going out and not having asmoke isn’t the same. It doesn’t give the same level of relief. That’s like expecting an alcy to get the same feeling from drinking grape juice that they get from drinking wine. It doesn’t quite cut it. Now I’m a snappy bitch.
A lot of people smoke but don’t really want to. They don’t like the taste, the smell, the lack of oxygen in their lungs, the nicotine stained fingers… but they’re addicted. They try time and time again to give up and they always fail. I wasn’t really one of them because I never ever hated it. I did try quitting a few times when the manchild was little but in the last 1o years or so I never tried to give up. I watched my friends repeatedly attempt it and to me it seemed pointless. Why keep attempting to quit when you know you’re not truly ready to do it? You’ll just make yourself suffer PLUS you’ll feel bad for failing. I LIKED SMOKING! I didn’t care that it was smelly. I didn’t find the smell all that unpleasant anyway and I just found men to date who shared my vice or who didn’t care if I sparked up. I didn’t care that I was addicted. I was happy to have a vice and I was happy that my vice didn’t involve being a druggie or an alcy or a gambler. I didn’t think it made me look cool or sexy. I just enjoyed doing something I knew I shouldn’t.
I didn’t mind when they stopped us smoking upstairs on buses or in public buildings because it was too confined and the smoke got overpowering. I mostly smoked outside anyway. I was a bit miffed when they stopped us smoking in pubs and clubs but only because it meant that you couldn’t have a fag and a drink together. Can’t smoke inside, can’t take the drink outside. Apart from clubs, the only place I smoked inside was at home. And not even there, once I moved into a nice flat. I smoked out on the balcony. As for putting pictures of knackered organs and dead people on the cigarette packets, that just irritated me because I knew they didn’t work.
I miss having something to do with my hands whilst I’m walking… anywhere. If anything, it’s made me walk even less than I did before because what made walking worthwhile was the fact that I could spark up at the same time. Now I won’t get off the bus a stop early because my very first thought is ‘I want a fag’. So I avoid that thought by staying on the bus and not walking places. Maybe eventually I’ll be able to do it without the temptation to buy a packet of fags but until that happens, I’m not risking it.
If I cave it’ll be because something really stressful drives me to it, not just because I miss it. It really ain’t worth the aggro that dad would give me if I started again. And it means I won’t be tempted to push anybody’s kids into the nearest pool when they start nagging at me to give up. I’ll stick to the occasional puff of my pink electronic fag until I don’t need it anymore.
But if I do falter and start puffing again, I guarantee I’ll do it in style.
Kalamity K 🙂