I was born into a family of smokers. Both of my grandfathers, my father, and my uncles smoked. It was normal for everyone to smoke around me. I grew up thinking that it was just a part of life. Men smoke, that’s it. Their pockets and ashtrays were always full of cigarettes, and their clothes always smelled of smoke. There were no mornings without seeing my father having a cigarette with a big cup of coffee. And, when they came together, it was like a forest fire.
30-40 years ago, people barely cared about the dangers of smoking! It was allowed to smoke in public places, and people didn’t care as much about their health as these days.
No wonder I couldn’t help but be influenced by them. And unfortunately, I picked up this terrible habit. I wish I wouldn’t.
My first experiment with the cigarette
When I was 12 years old, I stole a cigarette from my father and hid in the basement to smoke it. It was my first cigarette experiment, and I thought it was really cool. I loved how it made me feel – powerful, rebellious, and manly. Of course, it made me cough a bit, but who cared about it? I smoked that one cigarette, and then I was hooked.
Then every few days, I stole a cigarette! It was such an adrenaline rush and satisfying when I pulled it off without getting caught. I smoked with such enjoyment, I remember. Actually, it became a habit. Whenever I was bored or wanted to do something terrible, I went to the basement to puff.
I smoked alone, without friends. It’s not that I didn’t have any friends, I did, but smoking was something that I liked to do on my own. It was my thing. It was quiet and relaxing, and it was just for me.
I think I did this ritual for a few years. I had a cigarette every 2-3 days.
Getting addicted to smoking
I started high school, and within the first few weeks, I made many new friends – all of whom smoked cigarettes!
Before and after school, we used to get together and smoke. It was so much fun! It was just something that we all did. We thought it was cool and made us look tough. I didn’t really think about the long-term effects of smoking. I was just trying to fit in with my friends.
Smoking was my everything during my teenage years! It was a way to rebel against my parents and feel like I was in control of my life. Plus, it was just so fun to smoke with my friends and feel the buzz it gave me.
I smoked with my friends every weekend at parties as well. We thought we were so cool, smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. We thought we were grown-ups. But, looking back, I realize that we were just kids trying to fit in and be like our older peers. Smoking and drinking were a way for us to feel connected to each other, to feel like part of a group.
I became a smoker during my teenage years. I smoked every day then, at least 5 cigarettes. I loved the way it made me feel. I didn’t think about the health risks; I only cared about how smoking made me feel in the moment. Smoking was my addiction, and I couldn’t imagine living without it.
I became a strong smoker
During my university years, I loved smoking cigarettes! It was just like brushing my teeth or taking a shower – a regular habit. I smoked more and more with time and didn’t go a day without it. It was easy to buy cigarettes, and I could smoke them anywhere and anytime I wanted. It was so natural for me that I didn’t even consider quitting. Smoking provided relaxation and a sense of well-being.
Every day I smoked a package of cigarettes, but when I went to parties, I smoked at least 2 packages. I absolutely loved the feeling of being high and relaxed. It gave me an air of self-confidence and made me feel social. It was an incredible feeling that I really enjoyed!
It was obvious to me that I was addicted to smoking. I could not function properly without it, and I had to have it to survive. Quitting was unthinkable.
I’m still a smoker
After I started working, I began smoking more cigarettes. The stress of my job might have contributed, or I was spending more time away from home. But whatever it was, my smoking habit grew worse and worse. On average, I smoked 1.5 packages per day.
With time, I began to feel the negative consequences of smoking. My lungs were always congested, my cardiovascular system was weak, and I was experiencing signs of high blood pressure. This motivated me to reduce my cigarette consumption. I lowered my daily cigarette consumption from a pack to five. These days, I only smoke when I am stressed out or going out with friends. As a result, I feel physically and emotionally better.
How do I feel about smoking?
I would lie if I said smoking is bad. I love smoking, but I don’t like that I’m addicted. I’m addicted to something which makes me weaker and unhealthy. Over the years, I have tried several methods, but none of them have worked for me yet. Yes, I know it is my weakness. It’s my fault. But, at least I have reduced the number of cigarettes I have daily. And I feel sooner or later, I’ll be strong enough to get rid of it once and for all.