Cigarettes and the Incredible Hulk(ette)

I quit smoking three days ago.

To those who don’t know what I look like, this is me… right now.
Nice to meet you.


For the past couple of days, I have gnawed my way through around 1000 toothpicks, violently attacked a gazillion sugar-free (bleh) bubble gums with my chompers, accidentally swallowed about half of them (I would not be totally surprised if my rear end decided to start blowing happy little bubbles soon), crayoned my way through a coloring book for children and even started knitting socks! The embarrassing things we do to keep the mind busy.

Quitting sucks.
But it has to be done.

It  all started a few weeks ago. Flu Season ruled Germany and I (like so many others) surrendered to the seemingly irresistible trend of coughing and wheezing. It looked like a ‘must-have’ at that time, so of course I joined the fun.
I was pretty much down and out for a couple of days, but as soon as I got better and could draw a few breaths without coughing, I went back to smoking.

I know. Very wise decision.
What lengths addicts go to. So very proud of myself.

The cough never really stopped, but I nevertheless kept smoking, thinking it would get better eventually.
Last Friday, I got struck down by the flu yet again. This time with a nice ‘light pneumonia’ as an extra treat diagnose on the side.
The doctor who examined me joyfully said, “Hey, do you want an Oxygen Tank when you’re 50? Keep on smoking!”

That hit home.

I work in Health Care.
It is not that I don’t know all the risks; hell, I preach them occasionally – but I guess I never really listened to myself.
Now, I am freaking embarrassed.
How fucking stupid is it to light a cigarette when you can barely breathe, just to satisfy these nagging voices in your head, yelling at you to surrender to addiction?!
How fucking stupid is it to let objects, that come in little packs and look so tiny, enslave you?

Am I really so weak that I let them rule my life???

Just saying.
I am thankful my doctor put it that way.
No, I don’t want an Oxygen Tank. I want to be able to breathe all on my own.
It scared the crap out of me.
I guess sometimes you have to hear something a thousand times, before you actually listen.
My, what thick skulls we have.

I do not know where I will end up with my struggle.
I am far from saying I will never touch a cigarette again – because right now, those disgusting little false friends are pretty much all I can think about. My mouth is tingling, I’m totally on edge, I am pretty sure my skin is actually turning green (note to self: put a Danger! Keep Out! – sign on the front door and pray any possible surprise visitors heed the warning) and I am daydreaming about lighting 10 cigarettes at once, drowning in a delicious cloud of blue smoke.

Instead, I will put toothpick #1001 between my teeth, snarl at my taunting thoughts and keep on scolding all the furniture in my apartment.

I know, I created a monster.
But damn, that monster desperately wants to keep breathing past the age of 50.

Wish me luck.

photo credits:

8 responses to “Cigarettes and the Incredible Hulk(ette)

  1. I totally understand. I went through the gum, the patch, cold turkey many times. I’d buy my cigarettes by the carton, break them all up, put them in a garbage bag along with all the ashtrays and lighters then take them to the curb. Early in the morning I’d get up and go get them to smoke bit and pieces. How did I finally quit? 10 days in the I.C.U. after having the cancer cut out of my throat.

    Stay tough. Each second brings you closer to being free. It can be done. It’s been done by others and you can do it too. I know you can – I’ve read your writing!

      • You’re very welcome.

        I read once that the hardest thing a human being can do is fight an addiction because you are actually fighting your own mind.

        I meant what I said about you and your writing. I think you are a strong person who knows their self very well. You will do this.

  2. Good luck! I’ve quit a few times and ended up smoking again, unfortunately. The patch worked good for me, until I stopped using them.

    • i quit once a couple of years ago for about half a year… then started smoking again during a one-month-period of tests and exams.
      stupidity, thy name is me.
      thanks for the comment, much appreciated 🙂

  3. You can do it Miriam!! I do know how hard it is, but anyone who looks that good in a pink bra, can lick these foul little sticks! I can always smell a smoker, and when my Mom stopped (after 50+ years) all of her grandchildren kept telling her how much nicer it was to hug her… that she smelled so much better. You just can’t cover that shit. Then, when you truly consider the tank issue… the chronic coughs, the cancer potential… there is so much to walk away from, and walk toward. You can do it! I’m rooting for you. 🙂

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