This was me one day after I graduated high school. A cigarette and smoke being seen only by the elite club of smoker friends. The kids who wanted a better life, more popularity with the mature boys I knew.
My girlfriend had suggested to me that now that we were women, and could make our own decisions, we should take up this dignified habit, to show the world we were top class. There was no one to stop me from lighting up my first cigarette, sitting in my car, with her and our windows down, parked in the bowling alley parking lot, and knowing our parents would never see us here, as this was a place where they never adventured to enter.
I can look back and see us both holding our cancer sticks like pros, twirling it between our fingers, trying to hold the pose of the ladies on the television commercials. We coughed, and our faces probably turned colors between an unripe tomato and an over ripe one.
It didn’t matter if we choked our way through our first one or not, we were women, adults of the world, and able to make choices.
My first time I ever smoked, was the day after graduation from high school. I only had one or two the entire day. Although I was of legal age to smoke, in my mother’s eyes, there was no legal age. When I came home for supper that evening, the first thing my mom did, was dump my purse out on the counter, and out fell the red hard pack of Marlboro cigarettes. She immediately questioned me as to who these belonged to and I instantly told her that they were not mine, that I was holding them for a friend, because her mom would have a fit if she found out her daughter smoked.
Mom didn’t believe me at all, and why should she? The smell of cigarette smoke is rank. It comes out of your mouth as a wispy cloud, and aggressively attaches itself to anything within a few inches. Mom said I smelled like smoke, and once again, I tried fooling her stating I had been with my friend and she had been smoking. Mom says to me in no uncertain terms, smoking will kill you, give it up!
At that time there were no commercials nor media prompting that smoking was habit-forming. Any posters or ads you saw were sophistication, and this is what my mind had fooled me into believing.
Today, all these years later, I still see my mom and me standing in the kitchen, at the table, and her unloading my purse. Every once in a while, I think of mom and wish with all my heart that I would have listened to her. It has been several years since mom has died, and I still carry the guilt of knowing I am doing something she didn’t approve of.
What people don’t realize, is it really is a drug. It is hard to break this terrible habit. I pray about it almost nightly, and I tell myself how bad I stink from its oder, but I still smoke.
I go to sleep each night telling myself, that was my last smoke I was inhaling, and wake up each morning to light up once again. I have different excuses for myself that I use, such as I have to die from something, or I can’t give them up taking care of my brother, or I will quit when they cost a dollar.
My father smoked up until he had his heart attack, and because of the recovery time, and the fear of a too close of death experience, he never went back to smoking when he was released. He exchanged his smoking habit to a habit of chewing gum.
Is this what will happen to me also? Will I have a heart attack to quit? I don’t know, but when I face the down and dirty bare facts, and when I am all alone, I have to admit the truth, and that is, I am not ready to quit. I will have to be forced by some unknown power, that can beat me up and knock the nicotine out of my body.
I want to quit for so many reasons, but I don’t want to quit bad enough, or I would have done it now. I tell myself I would quit faster if there was someone who I had to liable to, but there is no one, and this is one time, that you telling me what about God, will not work, or at least so far it has not. I am strong, but the addiction is stronger, and God is even stronger than the addiction. I don’t know if I will quit on my own, or if God will have to once again show me by hard lessons. Time will tell.
Thanks and credits go to Ermilia for letting me write for her writing exercise.