I remember all the crazy things I did and only smokers or ex-smokers will be able to understand this post. The terrifying moment, when we realize we are almost out of cigarettes and it’s close to midnight and time for bed. Every smoker and every ex-smoker knows how that feels when the panic starts…
Today I am smoke-free since 11 months. Confession time…
- There was a time in our lives when money was tight and buying cigarettes was not always easy, even though they only cost $1 or $2 back then. I remember how we went through pockets, purses, and drawers trying to get cigarette money together. Dimes, nickels, and pennies…we added it all together, made little money towers, and one of us had to go and buy cigarettes.
- Have you ever driven by a hair salon and there was a female standing in front of the store, wearing something like a tent with her arms sticking out and lots of foil on her head. Then you probably saw me. I could not make it though a session at the hair salon, without smoking at least one. I had no problem to make a total fool out of myself…as long as I could smoke.
- Sometimes I was stuck at the house when we had only one car, or mine was in the shop. I always knew my husband would be home in a few hours, but sometimes I ran out earlier and wanted one right then. This is difficult to admit, but I went through our ashtray, not just once, trying to find the ones that were smoked only half. Trying to find cigarette butts that were still usable. Now, after months of not smoking, I can hardly believe I did that.
- Next scenario, even more, frustrating than looking for the cigarette or money, was looking for lighter. A smokers nightmare…you have cigarettes, and you can’t find a lighter anywhere. I can still see me going through drawers and cabinets, trying to find those damn matches, that I know I had somewhere in the kitchen. I turned everything upside down.
- My match-hunt in the kitchen was quite often unsuccessful, and I was still without a lighter. I am not kidding when I admit, that I went through every clothes pocket in our closets on my search for a lighter. I looked everywhere and had endless energy by doing so (this is fun to write).
- A gas stove solved my problem relatively easy, but we didn’t always have one. I tried to light a cigarette on an electric stove once. I put that damn burner on high, and when I tried to light the cigarette I couldn’t do it, it was too hot. So I used a piece of paper and a toothpick instead…insanity I know.
- I never tried that again, but I tried to light a cigarette with our toaster once. It worked…but it killed the toaster.
- The worst thing I have ever done, I did with my sister-in-law. We were visiting family, and the guys started to watch football. We didn’t care for it and decided to go for a walk. It was winter time, right after Christmas. We bundled up, grabbed our cigarettes and went out the door. We walked downtown and further toward the cemetery. She wanted to go to the family grave, and it was all right with me. We spend some time at the cemetery and on our way out we both wanted to smoke a cigarette. My lighter started acting up, and I couldn’t get it to work. We had cigarettes, but no lighter. It was later in the afternoon, and I could see all the memorial candles burning. She just looked at me “No you can’t do that.” “Why not, it’s a flame isn’t it.” She was very religious and almost had a panic attack when I lit my cigarette on one of those candles. I have to admit I wasn’t sure what would happen either. Would lightning strike me right then and there? Would a hand come out of the grave and grab me…too much Edgar Allen Poe I assume. I have to say it didn’t feel right. I smoked my cigarette, but somehow it didn’t taste right. My sister-in-law wanted to light her cigarette of mine. I looked at her and teased her “it’s still the one that was lit with the memorial candle.” She just gave me a look and asked me not to tell anybody when we got home. I never told a soul. ‘
Now, looking back, I am stunned by the stunts I pulled, just because I thought I had to smoke. Because I was in panic mood each and every time, I run out of cigarettes or came close to running out.
I quit 11 months ago and had a pack of my cigarettes still unopened in the freezer for quite some time. Even though I quit, I wanted to be on the certain they were in the house…just in case. Then, after a couple of weeks into my quit, I felt secure enough and gave them to my husband.
I am glad all this is a part of my past. I know a lot of you out there reading this just quit on New Years Evening. Good job! Stay quit. Don’t go back to the insanity of the nicotine addiction.