A Writer Who Hates Cliches

Blog Post created by Erica_holland on Apr 1, 2020

   I just realized today is April Fool's Day -- I keep telling myself this is not joke. 


   I have spent thousands upon thousands of dollars smoking cigarettes and vapes (though I absolutely despise that word), and hundreds upon hundreds of dollars on "quit-smoking" products over the years. 


   I'm 28, and I started smoking when I was 14 years old and was dating Nick -- I'm way too pretty to smoke but I wanted to be cool like him, whereas as a grown-up who studies literature, I just want to avoid cliches like the two in that sentence. 


   That was the beginning, and I smoked cigarettes on and off for the next 11 years (mostly "on"), starting with the stuff kids start with (Camel Crushes) and ultimately landing on Reds (aka: Cowboy Killa's). When I moved to Boulder and started dating Sean, he thought smoking was gross and always made comments about me quitting. I got an e-cigarette at 711, thinking it would help me quit and that it must be less gross overall. It has now been roughly 3 years on vapes, and I'm disgusted with myself. I smoke way more than the average person. One Juul pod is supposedly equivalent to one pack of cigarettes, nicotine-wise, and I smoke between 2 and 4 per day. It's amazing I can even breathe at all. All those discarded plastic pods... poor sea turtles! I'm a vegetarian for Christ's sake!


   If I spent $18 on a pack of Juul pods every other day for the past year, that is $3,285


   I've never had addiction issues, I could always just stop doing something when I saw that it was no longer serving me or I was going overboard. But not the damn nicotine. When I got my appendix removed, my mother brought me chewing tobacco in the hospital! If I ever don't have nicotine, I literally freak the **** out and have a panic attack. I'm so anxious by nature, plus all the caffeine, that I'm scared to quit because I genuinely enjoy it in the moment and it calms me down, regardless of what my long-term feelings may be.


   I've got nicotine patches, chewing gum, lozenges. I bought this herbal supplement you take twice daily that is supposed to detox your lungs and reduce cravings. I bought b12 inhalers to mimic the "smokie" (that's what I call it because it's way cuter than "vape"... ugh, my God) because I've had a crazy oral fixation my whole life. I downloaded about 4 apps on my phone that help in different ways, one of which utilizes CBT therapy as a means of approaching quitting psychologically. I joined this online community. My boyfriend, roommate, parents, everyone wants me to stop. I have all of these tools and support, yet I am TERRIFIED. It feels like a whole piece of my day will be missing, not to mention the few moments of calmness it brought.


 My mantra will be:

"You can make yourself happy or miserable, and they are the exact same amount of work."


   Do I want that to be my mantra? Sometimes "misery" actually seems way easier.


Bottom line: I could have gone on vacation with that money, but all I've got is a car full of empty Juul pods in every crevice.


You can do this.