Thursday, June 5, 2014

Portrait Of A Quitter.

Hello, my name is Kevin, and I'm an addict.

(Everyone say 'Hello, Kevin')

I smoked my first cigarette August 9, 1993, at 12:22 PM. It was a Monday, the week before my 21st birthday, and I had had a bad day at work. At lunch, I went and bought a pack of Marlboro Lights. I smoked maybe 5 cigarettes that day, but that single action started a habit that has become pretty damn hard to kick. 

Let me just put this out there: I love smoking. For me, it's one of the most relaxing things in the world to do when things are falling apart all around me. I can just light one up, and for the next 3-10 minutes, nothing else in the world matters. Nothing beats a smoke after a good meal (or other extra-curricular activities! Don't act like y'all don't know what I'm talking about!).

I had been contemplating starting for a few months before I actually started! Yes, you read that right, I PLANNED my addiction. I was (and still am) a big fan of the smoker/whiskey drinker voice, that raspy sound, and the quickest way to get it was to become a smoker/whiskey drinker. The whiskey didn't agree with me; I found myself in quite a few predicaments with no recollection of how I arrived there, so I gave it up. I'm sure if it could communicate, my liver would say thank you. 

As I said, I started smoking Marlboro Lights but quickly moved to Marlboro Reds when the Lights started feeling like sucking on a straw. I stayed with the Reds for a few years, but eventually moved to Camel Lights; a light cigarette that was as strong as a Marlboro Red! I've been a loyal Camel Light smoker for the better part of 21 years.

Lately, I've really been thinking a lot about my future. Recently, I lost another friend to lung cancer, and it kinda opened my eyes to this whole smoking thing. I've tried to quit before. Made it 4 months one time, but it ended the night I got hit in the side of the head by the hardcover edition of "What To Expect When You're Expecting" (long story, don't ask). Since then, I have been smoking a pack and a half to two packs a day. A healthy addiction! 

As of June 1st, I've instituted my new and improved Stop Smoking In 20 Days Program. It basically works like this. I have a fresh, unopened pack for the morning. Whatever I don't smoke from that day is lost and not carried over to the next. Each morning, I open a new pack and remove the number corresponding to the date. Today is the 5th, so I removed 5 cigarettes from my pack this morning. This is all I'm allowed today, so smoke them with careful planning. Tomorrow I remove 6, 7 on the seventh, and so on until June 20th, my first day without a cigarette in 21 years. I've chosen to wean myself off this way as it's the least scary way I can find and it actually provides a way for me to stay on track. Cold turkey makes me lose friends and influence enemies, or worse, so that's a no go.

I've been hesitant to announce this for fear of failure, but I really want to quit this time, so I'm asking for everyone's support. So far, I'm 5 days in and the last couple of days have been really hard. To go from 2 packs a day to under a pack has been decent progress, but the next 15 days will be the true test of my willpower. I'm determined to give this a solid go, the absolute best I can to quit a disgusting habit that I never should have started.

I've commandeered the Primary Control Computer from Double Wide Studio since my laptop took another crap, this time for good, so maybe I can stay busy with this blog thing. I've made it this far, and talking about smoking has kept my mind off of wanting a cigarette, so maybe this just might work. I'll let you know.

But now, it's time for a cigarette.