I remember the very first time I lit up. I was 15 years old and hanging out with two girls, one of whom was over the age of 18 and smoked. I succumbed to peer pressure and took my first drag.
It was as if my head exploded. I literally saw stars and my lungs complained so bad that I felt like one was going to explode from my chest. You would have thought that would be enough to have me say, "No, thanks!" from there on out, but I found myself hoarding my paychecks and asking that 18 year old to buy me smokes. I hid it from my parents and my 12 year old sister (that I later found out had been sneaking our dad's smokes into the garage since she was 10!) and tried to hide it from my friends.
That smell, though. It never dawned on me that those around me could smell it. I never got in trouble, and I finally came clean to my parents right after I graduated high school two years later. By then, close friends had tried to convince me to quit. My response was always, "I can quit any time I want to. I am not addicted to smoking. You're crazy."
Fast forward almost 23 years later - those friends weren't crazy after all. I have so many regrets, but it's ridiculous to look upon the past and wish for a change that will never come. What's done is done. It's time to keep moving forward and as I head into my third day of freedom from smoking, I cannot believe how much better I feel. Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.
If you're new to the EX community and just stumbled across this blog, I welcome you. Last weekend, I came to this site with the full intention of not quitting until March 1, 2017. There are so many wonderful and encouraging folks here that within two days, I quit. Period. And I don't regret one second of it.
The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.
~ Rafiki (Lion King, June 2004)