Yes, I was a smoker once. Not a lot of people know about this. In fact, very few do. And I imagine my family would flip when they read this, but I had to pen this down, to forewarn naïve souls who want to voluntarily play with fire.
It was end of 2015. I was going through a rough patch, and felt like I was drowning. Every day was a struggle. I desperately needed something to hold on to. One day, when I felt like everything was about to collapse, I went down to a store nearby and asked for a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. “What brand would you like madame?” she asked. I had no idea. I told her to give me something that girls mostly bought. She handed me one, and I ripped it open. The urgency made me feel like an addict already.
I held it between my lips, and rolled down the metal spark wheel towards the red ignition button. It burnt my nail instead of lighting the cigarette. I tried again; this time I inhaled as the flame licked the cigarette awake. It worked. It was a slim ciggy, with low levels of nicotine. I didn’t cough, like you usually see on TV, and said to myself, “how bad can this really be?”.
I smoked again that day on my way to home. And then it became a ritual, which continued for a week. My best friend came down the week after, and helped me put some of the pieces together. Despite a certain improvement in affairs, we continued to smoke. A lot. I tried the regular cigarette as well, and hated it. During her 10-day stay, my days were devoured by work, smoke, heartfelt conversations, endless tears, laughter, drives, tea and notorious adventures. One night, we stumbled upon a tobacco store and bought chocolate cigars. They didn’t taste any different, just costed a lot more. Utter fail.
Then it was time for my bestie to leave and Mother India (my mom) to arrive. I couldn’t smoke with her around – you wouldn’t be asking why if you knew her. She’s a fierce lioness kind of mom, with very low threshold for crap. She came and pushed my life into fourth gear. I had to pack my life up and prepare for the big move. I had very little time for mopping around. Smoking also slipped into the background.
I didn’t touch a ciggy after that day, took the plunge and moved to a new life.
However, to date, every time I pass by someone who’s smoking, I get rooted and inhale some. It’s instinctive, and I need to consciously push myself to keep moving. Very often, I have a pressing urge to get a pack and light one – and I have no idea why. I smoked for all of two weeks, and yet feel like something changed irrevocably. I was a no-smoking champion and now I have to fight the urge.
How do I manage to stay strong against the blazing pull? I am truly petrified of addiction – of any sort. Then, I have an amazing support system (also known as Mr. N) who gently pulls me away from everything harmful. Also, two people in my immediate family recently passed away due to lung diseases (potentially triggered by years of smoking).
I understand that the temptation to try it once is overpowering. You just want to see for yourself what’s it all about. And while I can’t stop you, I’d strongly recommend against it. You can’t imagine how easy it is to fall in this trap. You really can’t just have one. Before you know it, it will become an addiction and not many can swim through it to see the dry land.
Also, smoking kills, makes your hair and breath stink, takes up your shoe money, doesn’t help forget anything, solves absolutely nothing, is not cool and doesn’t have a single redeeming quality.
Want an alternative? Try Lindt Excellence Mild 70%. I am all for this addiction 🙂