A couple of months later, I smoked again. I was working at a law firm downtown and my hours were 10 to 6. This gave me ample time in the morning to sneak off to my ravine spot and have a cigarette before work. I only did it twice though, on two consecutive days. The first day, I enjoyed the cigarette and managed not to poison myself before work. That, in itself, was a feat considering what I had done to myself a few months before. The next day, it was a lot colder outside. I decided I didn’t care though, because I wanted to have another cigarette. I went to my spot and because of the wind and the cold I had trouble lighting the cigarette. I wanted it so bad that it made me upset that I couldn’t light it. I finally got it lit and smoked it but that brief moment of panic I felt when I couldn’t light the cigarette really scared me. I mean, I’ve hardly started and already I was, at least mentally, craving it. I thought about this as I smoked the cigarette. I mean, it was sort of a crossroads. Should I go down the path to addiction or stop now and be free of it. I was pretty disgusted with myself by the time I was back toward my house. I quickly made the decision to chuck the almost full pack of cigarettes in the dumpster and never think of smoking again.

But I did think of smoking again. I mean, how could I not? Smoking is addictive that is why. And I was or at least the pleasure centers of my brain were definitely enthralled. I didn’t smoke again for another three months. I got my opportunity when my mom went home for the holidays. The first day she was gone, I stopped at the convenience store on my way home and picked up a pack of Matinee Slims Menthol- an ultra light cigarette.

These cigarettes were almost too easy to smoke. It felt like inhaling air and the feeling of inhaling menthol was just well cool (Pun intentional). That and the pleasurable feeling returned immediately. I was almost instantly riding a wondering nicotine high with no adverse effects.I smoked inside, knowing that as long as I stopped long enough before my mom came back from her holidays that I would be able to get rid of the smell.

I smoked again that morning after breakfast but before my shower. As I smoked it I could tell that these cigarettes were designed for addiction. This time that realization didn’t scare me, even though it probably should have. All day, I couldn’t stop thinking about smoking. The moment I got home, I got my cigarettes out and lit up. I dragged and inhaled my normal sized puff and nothing happened. I didn’t feel the pleasant relaxed feeling wash over me like I had the last cigarette. I decided I must need a bigger puff. I drew on the cigarette as long as I could and inhaled and finally received the feeling I was looking for. It scared me a little, that after only two cigarettes, I was already becoming tolerant to nicotine. But I didn’t let this worry me for long, but I did decide that I wouldn’t smoke in the morning.

Physically, I felt fine all day despite not having the morning cigarette. This pleased me since I didn’t want to get physically addicted because I was going to have to stop before my mom got back. I still wanted a cigarette when I got home. I smoked one right after supper and decided that I wanted another one. I knew it wouldn’t be a good idea to have another right away, lest I want to poison myself again, but I only managed to wait 10 minutes before I lit up again. I got through most of the cigarette fine and didn’t really start feeling sick until I put it out. Oops, I did it again. I OD’d on nicotine. My lack of self control scared me this time. I wrestled with whether I should throw the rest of the pack away and decided against it despite the fact that smoking was really no good for me.

I kept that pack for months without smoking, although I certainly did think about it. I threw them away as I was getting ready to go away to University. They were probably stale anyways, but for me it was an affirming action- that I wasn’t going to smoke again. But I did, because as me and many others have found out, smoking cigarettes is like eating Lays potato chips- bet you can’t have just one.

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