Saturday, April 27, 2013

I'm Back, but I am not smoking........

I decided to come back to write again after a little lapse in thought.  I don't know if you feel this way but sometimes it just don't feel worth it.  Anything.  I feel like hiding in bed with the covers over my head.  But then it becomes difficult for me to breath and I already have too much of that.
The breath of life.  How I used to take it for granted.  At least 20 times a day I would fill my lungs with smoke I inhaled from a fragrant little tube of tobacco.  Aw, how I loved the smell of tobacco. Both in the scent of a freshly opened pack of cigarettes and in the air when the tobacco was burning.  The smell seems to annoy so many people.  I still love it and follow, like a bloodhound with my nose to the ground, to a place where smokers just walked. In my view of heaven there will be endless packs of cigarettes and endless tins of pie and you can take as much as you desire of either without being harmed in any way. 
Smoking was the worst curse and greatest joy of my physical being.  I tell people I was inhaling in the womb as my dad smoked around me from conception. I grew up with smoke filled rooms and overflowing ash trays.  My earliest memories included the sharp acrid scent of burning tobacco.  Dad was a  indiscriminate smoker.  He smoked cigarettes, cigars, and pipes and at times rolled his own cigarettes.   He smoked in bed, in the car, in the toilet, in the woods, in fact smokes were his constant companion.  They became mine as well. 
My Mom had asked me not to smoke until I graduated from High School.  The day I graduated, still in my graduation gown, I made my parents stop on the way home, and I bought my first carton of Marlboros.  Mother was aghast but I had kept my promise.  I remember sitting on a stool in a diner  with my girlfriend beside me; and almost falling off the stool because I was so dizzy with the smoke.  I persevered however and soon could smoke with the best of them.  Quickly I graduated to a pack a day, and from there was no stopping me. 
I smoked for 50 years and I know I would most likely still be smoking were it not for prayers being answered.  I had been trying to stop smoking from the mid 1970s.  I really tried everything.  I went to hypnosis twice.  I had acupuncture and wore a staple in my ear.  Every wild and crazy technique which was promoted, I tried.  I had rubber bands around my wrist and snapped myself each time I wanted a cigarette.  I attended smoke ending sessions and tried gum, patches and even nicotine inhalers.  I got myself from 3 packs a day to one using patches. Patches were actually my technique of choice because of the constant source of nicotine.  I actually did stop smoking for 8 months in 1996/97 but began again when I worked in the telephone center of Amex.  The stress was too much for me and every time my friends went on a smoke break I did too. 
I was finally able to quit in January, 2012 and I know it took Divine intervention.   By this time I had advanced COPD.  Oddly enough my breathing has gotten worse after quitting.  Go figure.
The reason I am sharing all this is because I consider my journey with addiction has helped me to understand and have empathy with others who are addicted.  That mindset, which forces one to continue with self-destructive behavior, despite having intelligence, spouses, friends, laws, doctors, ministers and priests, rehab programs, and all the best information and tools, is a mindset which one can only have sympathy and a certain grudging respect.
There, but for the grace of God, go I.  I have been there and done that.  Why do I say grudging respect.  Because despite all the reasons not to do something, and the consequences one must face, there is something in the human spirit which defies all the odds and discards all the best reasoning and proceeds in spite of one's own self interest. The reason we got kicked out of the Garden of Eden is this. It is my choice.  This is true will power.  I will, no matter what you say or do. I will do this thing which will destroy me.  What we need to get a handle on, is I will not.  I believe for this we need a truth stronger than our own being.  Divine Will, be done, not our own pathetic human will.
Someday, perhaps in my home in the afterlife, I will smoke again, with no consequence or regret,(or not,) we will see what the Heavens have to offer.
P.S.  If you cannot stand run on sentences, do not come here.