Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I love you, I hate you, I can't quit you, but I must

Cross-posted from DC Metro Moms-

Like everyone else I adamantly proclaim each year that I do not make new year's resolutions. No way. Not me. Never. Even this year as the clock struck twelve I denied making any. Except I lie. I have a secret. I made a resolution. I am a cliche. Call it a pact, if you will, with my spouse. We have decided to quit smoking.

It is one thing to quit smoking because smokers are now deemed social pariahs. Yes, we do know it is quite unhealthy. Deadly I hear. Smoking kills more women than it does men. I know this fact as well. I also know that is incredibly hard to be a runner and smoke. Trust me on that one. For all my gym time and morning jogs I'm sure more than one neighbor has seen me hack up a lung in the bushes on an otherwise pleasant Saturday morning. Smoking is costly too. The amount of money you save when you stop buying even generic cigarettes could take you on a vacation. For some that might be the only incentive they need to quit the sticks.

For me, it is not that easy. I have seen family members die from lung cancer. I have watched them suck oxygen and extract deathbed promises from me to quit smoking. I quit for a year or two, one time it was even four years, only to find myself yearning for that blue haze that only a cigarette can produce. I no longer feel cool when I smoke. I know it only ages me that much faster. It stains my fingers and makes me smell undesirable. The crows feet around my eyes are deeper and my skin does not look as good as it does when I'm not smoking.

When I quit smoking at 26, I thought it was for good. I realized I had been smoking ten years and that seemed far too long. I wasn't a kid anymore I told myself. I must kick this filthy habit. Living in California made quitting a bit easier as well. I think smoking is akin to murdering puppies on the street there. Then I had my daughter and a nasty spell of post-partum depression settled in. What was the first thing I did? I lit up of course. I just went right out there and bought a pack of cigarettes after being clean for four years. They say that women smoke or relapse due to negative emotions and stress. If that isn't post-partum depression in a nutshell I don't know what is. Smoking became my break from motherhood, work and the all encompassing responsibility that parenthood brings on. It was my release yet it shackled me real quick. I would say, "It's just recreational, man. I don't do it all the time." Except, that I did. I smoked more often than I realized and became cranky when I didn't get my regularly timed fix (nap time anyone?!).

I wanted to give it up so many times but it always reeled me back in. I wanted to quit for my health, my future, my child and for vanities sake. I felt like a leper as I smoked on my back deck and the winter winds blew around. I kept my habit a secret from my friends and neighbors which just shows how addicted I really was. Am. Really am. Always will be too. Despite knowing all that I know about how terrible smoking really is, it is more than a habit. It is a toxic love affair that I have a hard time breaking up with. I love you, you filtered little bastards. I do. I love everything about you except that you will kill me. So now I must hate you so I can quit you and be free.

Eight days and counting people. Eight days and counting. Thank the high heavens that it is hard to get to the movies and television is awful right now because the amount of smoking on both of those mediums these days is maddening!

Update- It is now 15 days and counting. I've made it past the two week mark. Though I have to say if someone said, "Hey, it's the city of lights! Light up mon cher!" I would be hard pressed not to grab the first Gauloises I see. I'm a work in progress, what can I say?!


  1. Good for you cause I can't even get through a 24 hour period without those nasty little suckers yet. Cutting back was easy, letting go not so easy.

  2. Good for you! I'm cheering you on from a distance.

  3. I'm proud of you! Keep up the good work it will be worth it for you, H and most of all TD.

  4. Hang in there. You can do it!


Thanks for commenting! It's always good to hear from a reader and not say, a robot.