Life happens: My momma did raise a quitter
Quitters get a bad reputation in American society. But I've always been a bit of a rebel. When I was younger, I totally cut off that tag from my mattress even though it explicitly states you shouldn't cut it off under penalty of law (Haha).
And so it is with great relish that I can announce that my momma did, in fact, raise a quitter.
After years of failed attempts, I have officially been smoke-free for two weeks. Yes, I haven't had a cigarette in 14 days. Needless to say, I'm extremely proud of myself. I mean, that's 336 hours without lighting up.
That's 20,160 minutes without that sweet, sweet smell of cigarette smoke surrounding me. That's more than 1 million agonizingly slow seconds that tick by so loud you can feel it in your very blood.
Ah! I can't take it anymore; someone give me a cigarette before I burn this place down.
This is where I stuff my face with an entire 1-pound bag of M&Ms.
OK, much better. Sorry about that. As I was saying, this is quite the accomplishment for me. I've been a smoker since I was a teenager, which I blame on coming of age in the 90s, a decade where the only thing for young people to do was sit in a bowling alley and chain smoke while looking like what hopefully passed for jaded.
Although, sometimes we did switch it up and chain smoke at the mall while looking like what hopefully passed for disgusted at the mindless consumerism surrounding us.
But that was only on special occasions.
After college, smoking had become more than just a thing I did. It had become a regular part of my personality. And as I began my writing career, it became an integral part of my creative process. There's nothing quite like typing away like a mad woman as a cigarette dangles out of your mouth, the smoke slowly coiling up, making you feel a connection to the writers of yore who also wrote with a cigarette dangling out of their mouth.
Suddenly, you feel like Hemingway and glamorous and important but then you quit smoking and have to write without a cigarette and now every word sounds stupid, and when you get writer's block ... you just want to burn this place down if you don't get a cigarette right now!
This is where I gobble down an entire family-sized bag of Flamin' Hot Cheetos - bag and all.
OK. Where was I? Ah, yes. How incredibly wonderful smoking is ... I mean, how bad and horrible it is.
Because now that I'm in my 30s, it's more than past time I quit. If you add up the health risks, the ridiculous cost and the fact that thanks to one too many anti-smoking campaigns, smokers are now a step below pedophiles on the social scale, it all equals out to not being worth it to smoke anymore.
OK, OK, you caught me. It's just the cost. I couldn't care less about the other stuff. I'd gladly look 70 when I'm 40 and smoke in a dumpster because everywhere else is banned from smokers if a pack of cigarettes still costs two bucks.
But they don't. They don't cost even close to that anymore. Stupid anti-smoking zealots lobbying Congress to continually raise taxes on those sweet, sweet boxes of death that taste like rainbows and unicorns and are the only friends you can depend on ... and for the love of Joe Camel will someone get me a cigarette before I set fire to the next person who walks by me!
This is where I inhale an entire large sausage pizza and a gallon of ice cream.
Oopsie. Went off the rails again. Sorry.
But in all seriousness, I am glad that I have finally quit. It's my first step to a healthier, longer life. And from what I've heard from other ex-smokers, it only gets easier with time.
So, who knows? Maybe in a month or so I can finally leave my house again and interact with society without punching elderly women in the face (again, I'm so, so sorry about that, Agnes). Maybe I can live a normal life that isn't centered around being a slave to a substance that ultimately only decreases my quality of life.
Here's to hoping.
(Opens fresh bag of Doritos).
Aprill Brandon is a columnist for the Advocate. Her column runs every two weeks in the Your Life section. Comment on this story at VictoriaAdvocate.com.