Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Cigarettes and Arleen - A Failed Romance

A failed romance. That's exactly what it is, and I am left here trying to
put the pieces of my shattered life back together. At first, it seemed like
a good thing and nothing more than harmless fun being together, and it
seemed wherever I was we'd run into each other and before you knew it, we
just never went anywhere without each other. After a while it seemed
natural to do everything together, and soon we couldn't get enough of one
another. Everyone soon got used to us, and for years and years we were
comfortable almost everywhere we went. Of course, my folks never approved
of my new companion, and I had hoped they would eventually accept it, but
they never really did. My Dad would try to get me off to the side and tell
me nothing good would come of this relationship, and of course I wouldn't
listen. My Mama always said, "You should drop it like a bad habit." but I
didn't have to listen cause I was almost grown and Mama was always so

So we just kept on keeping company, and after a while, no one interfered
and we grew even closer. After 45 years, we were so close we never stayed
out of each other's sight for more than a half hour or so, and it was
amazing that we always had time for each other, no matter what was going on.
The two or three times I was sick with a bad cold and we had to be apart for
a day or two was just the hardest separation, and it also made me want to
hurry up and feel better so we could catch up on the time we missed
together. When we did get together, I remember him being nasty to me, but
I forgave him, and after a day or so it was just like old times.

Lots of folks said he was no good, maybe even could be treacherous, but I
could only go by my own experience and my experience was that I hadn't been
harmed one bit. So I just refused to see any danger because I was happy
with my companion of many years and no harm had come to me yet. What a
shock when my long time companion became the dirty low-down, scum-sucking
snake-in-the-grass and turned on me. Yep, even though I was loyal,
faithful, and true, he just jumped up and bit me on the butt and hurt me
when I wasn't looking. You know you just can't trust those good looking,
tall Virginia Slim types. Over the years I used to be attracted to different
types. Met one in 'Newport' I liked much better than the one in 'Salem' and
both of these I thought were sweeter than a 'Camel's big brown eyes. Then
there was my tall, dark, and 'More' handsome phase. I thought it was a
'Lucky Strike' when I finally settled on Slim.

What was lucky is that I found out in time to put a stop to the destruction.
Well, I'll show him what's what. I am doing just fine without him. Oh, he
might have left a mess or two for me to deal with, but I got a brand new
broom, and I'm opening the doors and sweeping all traces of him right out of
the house. It's been a little over six months now, and I'm getting over the
worst and moving toward better health. I've made new friends, and when I
feel like I might want to forgive him and take him back because I'm lonesome
or bored, they just pick me right up and remind me he's one of the reasons I
got this way, and then I do remember, and again I try to make a good choice
to love myself and choose health.

I wrote this because quitting is like parting with a real entity. It isn't
something that just stops being there in memory and for me, an addict to
smoking, it doesn't scream "DANGER" like it should. I work at reminding
myself that it made me sick, if not totally then to a large degree as it is
toxic. I work at trying to associate smoking with negatives, because
addiction means trying to find ways to integrate it back into my life.
Today, and even this moment, I want to I decided to write a
story instead...I see it like a lost love even though it was harmful and I
deal with the wreckage, I find I sometimes miss it...but I gave myself my
word that I would not smoke and would substitute the desire by communicating that I am weakening and need help...I find it strange that after six months this is the strongest craving I have experienced yet to want to smoke..There is nothing in particular upsetting me or to blame it on....I just want to smoke. I must be nuts...but I'm not going to smoke, no matter what, if I have to sit here all night typing until it goes away.

A Failed Romance....Part Two.

I wrote the above 6 months into my battle with smoking and can't believe how much time and thought I devoted to wanting to smoke...but such is the insanity of addiction. Please celebrate with me, because tonight at 12:01 a.m. March 9, 2005, I WILL BE SMOKE FREE FOR TWO YEARS!!!! I am so proud that I kept my word and with lots of support from everyone on this site I was encouraged and inspired to reach this goal after smoking for 45 years. To everyone who shared their war stories on smoking, I THANK YOU. To all who put up with my many smoking posts, complete with moaning and groaning about having to quit (which is evidenced by my even thinking of it in terms of a romance!!...sigh) I THANK YOU, and to those of you just starting your battle conquering addiction to 'Sickarettes,' let me assure you that it can
be done, and once you've made the decision to do the best thing for your health you can count on everyone to support you through it.
Arleen Scott
from Calif.

Arleen is a great lady, a talented writer, and a long time member of COPD Support, Inc. She was an inspiration and an enthusiastic cheerleader during my own journey toward being smoke free.
Thank you, Arleen.