I remember smoking my first cigarette. I was 12. It made me high. At home my mother just married a man who turned out to be a binging alcoholic. First 6 months he was hiding it. Then December 31 I came home from school, I was in the 6th grade, and saw that all of our valuables were gone from home and he was laying unconscious by the door.
After that incident I was scared to go home. Every day I go home I would be scared to find the same. And as all kids in a big city we were experiencing life and some older kids gave me a cigarette. We all did it. But I guess I needed it. I got high. I did not feel anxiety anymore. It helped with the fear.
But I was a smart and cool kid who on the outside looked very well put together. I would never let anybody know about what's happening at home, that my life is not perfect. My mom stayed with him, but overall I have to say, she stopped being a parent to me from age 6. By that time I could form an opinion and she thought that's the end of a parent phase and she got a friend and a confidant in my persona. Narcissist is a good term for her.
I thought it was very undignified to smoke in public. Besides, that man was smoking and I saw him looking for buds when he was on a drinking binge and my mother cut off all the finances. I would never become any thing like him.
So smoking was uncouth. But I did not want to go home. So I started smoking before going home somewhere so no one would see. I literally became like that man!
My mother caught me and smelled it on me, but by that time I completely lost respect for that woman. There was nothing she could do. My sister though, I still respected her. She is 9 years older than me, so when I was 12 she was 21, cool and pretty. She told me "If you smoke, at least respect yourself to smoke expensive cigarettes, not this cheap stuff". Of course, where a 12 year old kid would have money for cigarettes .
So I stopped, but I remembered how it helped me deal with anxiety, so I went right back to it as soon as I had money. I would smoke here and there. I still thought it was uncouth, so I would never admit that I was addicted. I could go months without smoking, but I would still smoke here and there. But at some point it got to where I am now. I smoke right before I go to bed. I still don't smoke during a day, so you can say I smoke 2-3 cigarettes a night. Only by myself, only alone. Now I have to admit that it is an addiction. I know, it's not a pack a day, but it is still an addiction. It is a crutch that helps me escape facing myself, any emotions I have not processed, pushing anxiety to a dark corner.
I am eternally grateful to cigarettes! I am. It was a coping mechanism, and it could have been so so much worse!! it's not heroine! So I am blessed that it came into my life when I needed a friend and there was no one for me.
But now I am ready to face this. I am an adult who is capable of parenting myself, and I can give that little girl a hug, and tell her that she does not need to be scared, that there is an adult to take care of her, I am here to take care of her. So there is no need for cigarettes anymore. They taste bitter, they make my breath stink, stain my teeth and attack my beautiful skin. I will find other ways to address my anxiety. This website is very helpful. I am not a public person and hate spilling my guts, it horrifies me to have somebody to know about my past and my dirty little secret... But this is an addiction and I am an addict. I want to be kind to myself. So whatever happens is fine. I just pray that I don't give up on myself.