No Smoking

One man's journey through the haze of butting out.

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Name: Dana Lee

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Some Context

Maybe I should give you a bit of background about this whole smoking thing for me.

I never smoked as a teenager, never really got into it. (Thin reefer maryjane was another situation, but I promise, I never inhaled. Anyway.) Nope, never touched tobacco, always thought it was a stupid concept.

Until I turned...39.

Yeah, no kidding. I can hear you now "You dumb f*ck, why did you start then? You were doing so well?!" I was going through a not too great separation (I won't say "nasty separation" that's so cliche, and besides, it wasn't nasty, just the usual animosity.) And for some damn reason I went from bumming smokes at the Friar and Firkin (pub next to Citytv) from friends, to actually buying the damn things. I have journal entries from that period (middle 1990s) that read "Wow, bad night, I'm on my fourth cigarette" which shows you my smoking level - a pack every week or less. But the smokers in the crowd will know that's how it all starts...isn't it?

Well, of course I was hooked. Let's not mince words here, I was addicted to nicotine. And it's been going on ever since. But, interestingly, I've never really smoked more than half a pack a day, even when I was travelling in Europe (which, in 2000, people there were still smoking like fiends, especially the young men and women in the hostels I was staying at.)

Life went on, I quit when I got back to Canada because I was in a relationship with someone who had smoked for many years and had quit. Her great quote when I asked her how she quit: "I ate a lot of popcorn..." and her point was well taken - this ain't easy, I figured.

Well, life continued, and I met this wonderful woman (actually got together with, we knew each other already) in the fall of 2002, who of course became my wife, KK. Now, KK smokes about a pack a day, which was okay by me, because hey, I was a smoker anyway.

But it always bugged me that I was feeling so crappy from smoking. Jeezuz, I gotta quit someday, I thought. I tried in March, for a month, but it fell on its ass within that month. I didn't realise the monster that I was dealing with, I must confess. Shit, this is harder than I thought, I felt. Then I read those books in my first entry in this blog, and that's helped a lot.

So, I'm giving it another go. KK's been great, she's smoking outside these days and I have to be honest, we both agree the house smells a hell of a lot better now.

If you're thinking of quitting - do it. But you have to remain committed and keep clear of the ciggies.

Anyway, that's the thumbnail sketch as to how this thing came about..and how I'm trying - no so deperately, actually - to quit the killer weed.



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