It began with a thought yesterday morning. By mid-afternoon it became more of a feeling. And last night, standing in a Starbucks with Boyfriend Joe, I turned to him and said, "okay, I'm going to say this to you because if I don't, I probably won't go through with it."
He eyed me like I was about to tell him I had been sleeping with his roommate (which would be doubly funny since his roommate is a girl.)
I held up my half-smoked pack of cigarettes and said, "this is my last pack of cigarettes. I quit."
And that was it. Why did I quit? Because it's been long enough, I think. And by NOT nagging me and NOT giving me a hard time, Joe, in his silence, has put more pressure on me than all of my family and friends combined.
I have been a smoker since sophomore year of college, with about a year break in the middle before I fell back into the habit. As recently as yesterday I was a pack a day smoker. I chain smoke often. Nothing is better to me than standing outside, book in one hand, cigarettes in the other.
My name is Justin, and I am an addict.
I began my smoking career with camel turkish golds. From there I went to camel turkish gold 100s. From there to parliament lights. To parliament light 100s. Back to parliament lights (because they did a lot of buy 2 get 1 deals last year). To marlboro light 100s (as a silent protest against parliament for when they ended all of those deals.)
My biggest addiction isn't physical, though. It is mental. It is a way for me to say "time out!" on my life, step out of the world, and just stand somewhere. It is something I do while out walking. Every time I would walk out a door, I would light up. When things got too crazy at the bar or club, I would step out. It was an excellent way to meet other people - smokers can usually be so friendly.
My name is Justin, and I wish that there was something non-deadly, more inexpensive thing you could smoke.
Nicotine doesn't make me feel magical. It doesn't cheer me up. It doesn't calm me down. I just like the action - the pulling in a drag, and blowing it out. I like the time out from my day.
But I don't like the price. Here in New York City, a pack of 20 cigarettes costs $10.50. TEN FIFTY. That's more than I spend on meals. That's the same price I spend on dropping off my laundry. And I pay that out the nose EVERY DAY. $74 a week. Almost $300 a month. That's more than $3,600 a year.
On killing myself. And making my clothing stink. And worrying everyone from my family to friends to exes.
So it stops here. I'm not quitting. I quit. That's it. If not now, when? Never. I've put this off for too long. And for what? Wasted money and a disgusting deadly habit.
It ends here. This is Day 1.
And no, I don't feel like I need a cigarette. I'm sure it'll be hard, but I've accomplished harder things. And I'm always down for a challenge.