Yeah, I quit smoking. And I’m still quit. But there is no law that states I have to be happy about it. Nor do I have to preach about it to other smokers. I’m here, I’ve quit, if you want to know how and care, I’ll be happy to tell you. But I’m not going to get in your face uninvited. Why? Why not? Lots of reasons.
Smoking is a personal choice, and although I now find the smell repulsive, I did it for more years than I care to admit (since my parents might read this, and they are pretty good at math). I don’t have the right to judge anyone else for something I did. For a LONG time. And when I was smoking, people who did that just made me smoke more. So for all you non-smokers, let me tell you… your preaching and lecturing usually has the reverse effect. It makes the smokers stressed out, annoyed, and it makes them think about it more. All of which lead to more smoking. Also, I’ve never met a former smoker who quit because Auntie Elsie lectured them into it. (I’ve met a few who didn’t speak to her EVER unless forced to because they were hog-tied.) You have to quit because you want to. It’s the most addictive habit ever, and it takes an amazing willpower to succeed. And to fail and try again. And again.
I’m actually kind of annoyed about the whole thing, and since I have a tendency to speak my mind, I am going to share my reasons. Do I regret quitting? No, that would be silly. Just the money I’m saving is totally worth it. But has it been the awesome, walking down the streets of gold experience everyone promised? NO NO NO. It irritates me.
First, I thought quitting meant people would stop criticizing me. But no, they just find something else to criticize. Now that I am not smoking, everyone has decided the method I am using is purely evil. E-cigs are under fire, and they now cause cancer and even second-hand lung issues! Holy crap people, I gave up the carbon monoxide and elephant piss for water vapor and flavoring, and you are STILL complaining? (Mine does not contain propylene glycol, so I’d like bonus points… it is WATER VAPOR.) So they cannot complain about the smoke, now they complain my water vapor is killing them. What would make you happy?
Next, I thought quitting meant I would get sick less. All those sinus and upper respiratory infections? Caused by smoking. NOT. Five minutes after I quit, I started getting ill. Then I got pneumonia. THEN, I found out there is a problem with my immunoglobulin levels… which was not caused by smoking… and this particular deficiency means I get lots of sinus & upper respiratory infections. The solution? IV immunoglobulin therapy. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? But I QUIT SMOKING. Sorry, that wasn’t the problem. Argh! (By the way, that therapy is more expensive than cigarettes… just saying…)
Also, I really thought I would still hang out with the smokers and enjoy inhaling their second-hand for years. I’ve made a lot of friends standing outside in the middle of a blizzard-hurricane-tornado-ice storm (all at the same time, yes) trying to get a few puffs in before certain death. But nobody warned me. I can no longer tolerate the smell, the smoke, the anything. Honestly, I always thought a few former smokers were being melodramatic when they started hacking up a lung around me. I officially and publicly apologize for those thoughts. One whiff, I am gasping for air. I have no idea why. But at the moment, I am still carrying an inhaler, and I have to use it. XX years of smoking, and five minutes after I quit, I’m halfway to asthma.
Finally, I am now permanently stuck in awkward social situations. Unless I am just rude, I no longer have a default reason to escape. And if you know me at all, you know this is a really big explosion just waiting to happen. My smoking has undoubtedly prevented a number of deaths over the years, and my quitting may very well cause some. But at least I will be healthy and happy… oh, wait, no I won’t.