Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Self-Portrait Challenge - May 16, 2006

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I am a smoker. I have been since my freshman year of college, when I was envious of all the smokers that would hang out on the front stoop of our dorm, smoking their Camels, laughing, talking, and making fun of all the preppy people. My second semester, a girl down the hall and I switched roommates. My new roommate was one of those oh-so-interesting Front Stoop Smokers. And that was just the little push I needed to finally "cross over to the darkside."

So I've been smoking for 14 years now (minus the 18 months when I was pregnant with Grace and Hannah, when I quit cold turkey and started up again within 2 days of arriving home from the hospital after their births). That's a long time and a hell of a lot of cigarettes.

I think here is where I'm supposed to apologize to others for exposing them to my poisonous second-hand smoke. And where I'm supposed to apologize to myself and my family, for partaking in something that could very well kill me, leaving me dead, and deserting those that count on me in their lives. And where I'm supposed to say that I really wish I could quit, but that the addiction is just too hard to kick, and that I don't have the strength or willpower to do it.

But I won't do any of those things. Because the truth is that I like smoking. I like "escaping" from whatever's going on inside my house (arguing children, a loud TV, a pain in the ass husband... whatever) and walking outside on my back porch, where I can sit in the calm and quiet and just stare out into the field behind our house while I inhale that sweet, sweet nicotene. And I like the feeling of calm that comes over me when I take that first drag of a freshly lit cigarette.

I've met many cool people because I'm a smoker. See, smokers have a sort of "bond". When we're all standing around outside of whatever non-smoking establishment or home we're at, it's hard not to strike up a conversation. So you talk. You talk to all of the other people out there who are slowly killing themselves with this sweet addiction. I've met a ton of men, women, and couples because I'm a smoker -- most of them really nice people. I've had conversations with people I never would've spoken to if we didn't share our vice. And I'm happy about that because I love meeting new people.

If I wasn't a smoker, I don't know if I would've made it through the first 4 months of both of my kids' lives, when they had GERD (more commonly known as reflux) and filled my home with horrible ear-piercing screams from sun up until sun down. Being able to walk outside and light up my Marlboro Light was enough to give me a quick break, put myself back into the right state of mind, and head back inside to deal with my screaming babies.

So see, although I know that logically smoking isn't a good thing, and I know I should really quit, I don't want to. I like smoking. And I make no apologies for that.


ashmonkey said...

amen! i love the photo and your attitude.

EE said...

Smooch, I love you anyways. ;)

It's an awesome photo, dig that.

mama_tulip said...

That's a really cool picture.

Does Steve smoke?

Alien said...

Katherine, no, Steve doesn't smoke. Ya know, he's never really asked me to quit (other than when pregnant and he didn't really need to ask me since I would've done that anyway). I mean, I'm sure he'd like me to (LOL!), but we never really talk about it. I ONLY ever smoke outside and never really around him, so maybe he just doesn't care. LOL!

Belynda said...

I love you honesty!

Chelle Y. said...

Yeah, I ditto Belynda. I would rather be a friend to someone like you whose is totally honest, than some self-righteous "non-smoker."

Sometimes I wish I had something to help "calm" me too. I already have bad lungs, so smoking won't work for me. I hate wine. I need help! LOL!

Great SPT!

Pink Rocket said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alien said...

Thanks Rocket Girl! LOL! I've copied and saved your email address, so feel free to delete your comment here if you don't want it out there in internet land. ;)

I'll be contacting you soon!

Tink said...

Awesome photo!

One of the things that gets me is, nonsmokers get shit for taking breaks during the day at work. Smokers have an excuse.

I think that's what really started me on them. I needed the break. It was that or scream and screaming just isn't as accepted. LOL

Sonya said...

This is a really cool photo. Anyway, my S.O. quit smoking cold turkey about 9 monthes ago. I'm really proud of him. He said it was the hardest thing her ever had to quit. I do agree that smokers tend to bond. They all have that common ground. Sometime I'm jealous I don't smoke cuz it so opens the door to meeting new people. Oh well, I turn to blogger instead.

Melissa said...

Cool picture.

You know how I feel about smoking. LOL But, it's not a judgement of the smoker. I do admire your attitude about it (and other things).

I still hope you quit one day....*ducking*

Amber said...

A; That photo is really cool looking.

B; I don't think you should feel bad at all. But I wish you would quit.

C; But in case you don't, leave me something good.


(Awwww! Come on! Lighten up! That's funny shit, right thar!)


trudesign said...

AMEN sista! I love my tiny breaks at work and at home, helps me think through things. DAMN chicago for outlawing smoking in bars - grrr

Java Junkie said...

I know I'm coming in on this late, and that this comment will quite possibly be missed but after seeing this picture on SPC and then reading your story I just *had* to respond.

I am an ex smoker. I quit because we were broke and I was pregnant. And with every fiber of my being, probably until the day I die, I will miss it. I enjoyed the HELL out of smoking, and I sure as hell don't enjoy the lbs that I put on when I quit. If it wasn't bad for me I'd probably smoke 2 packs a day.

Now my dad has two dark spots on his lungs, probably cancer - still waiting on the last CAT scan. He's never smoked a day in his life but he spends night after night in smokey bars playing drums. I can't imagine putting my children through what I'm going through right now, so because of that I never will smoke again. But I wanted to say I 100% understand how you feel and that it pisses me off that most of the stuff that causes cancer in cigarettes are put there by the companies that make them with pesticides, etc. There would be a lot less deaths from lung cancer if they just grew the stuff naturally, etc. But now I ramble...

Great post.

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