Trump is no reason to take up smoking.

brokencigarettes

I started smoking again early in 2017 because I was so stressed out over all the chaos Trump and his White House was causing.  In particular, his attempts to repeal Obamacare were turning me into a mental case.

Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?  My fears about losing healthcare were cured by taking up something that could give me cancer!    Of course it’s stupid.   I knew it was stupid, but I did it anyway.

Since it is Lent, I finally decided it was time to quit again.   Giving up ciggies is my gift to myself and to God.   I feel like this time it will stick.  I am using the Nicoderm system (skin patches) and I’ve been smoke-free for a week!  Very few cravings, and I already feel like I’m breathing better.   I actually feel like my circulation is better too, and is improving the appearance of my complexion.   When I look in the mirror, I feel like I actually look younger than I did as a smoker.   And that’s after only a week.  So what if I gain a few pounds?   That can always be taken off, and besides, chewing lots of gum and drinking a lot of water can curb food cravings.   There’s no reason one has to gain weight!

I think I want to live to be 90 like my dad.   There are so many good reasons to quit and so many bad reasons to not quit.

Why smoking sucks. 

It’s expensive.  Spending even $100/month on cigarettes is like literally burning dollar bills.

It will kill you one way or the other — or at least shorten your life.

It’s messy.

It turns everything in your house an ugly yellowish color (which means more cleaning).

It makes everything dusty.

It’s socially unacceptable in most places.

It ages you prematurely.

It stinks.

And finally (forgive me for this) it makes you appear low class.   I’m no elitist, but I don’t want people to think of me as low class.

It makes you feel like shit.

It does not relieve anxiety — the feeling you get when you first light up when you’re stressed is an illusion.  Cigarettes are actually a stimulant, like coffee.

 

risksofsmoking

 

Good reasons to quit:

If my body is a temple, I want to treat it like one, instead of like an ashtray.

You will feel the health benefits almost immediately.

Food tastes better (I’m not sure that, for me, this is a good thing!)

You are much less likely to die of a smoking-related illness like cancer.

Your circulation will improve, and as a result so will your skin tone.

You will feel proud of yourself as you count the days.

Coffee tastes even better without a cigarette.

You no longer have to deal with the cravings or embarrassment of being in situations where other people are not smoking or where smoking is not allowed.

You will have more money.   You can either keep it and buy something nice for yourself (or save it), or do what I am doing, and donate it to charity (as I am doing for Lent).

Your house/car will be much cleaner.

Eventually the cravings (if you have any) will cease.

You’ll just feel healthier all around, even if at first you’re extra sleepy.

*****

Donald Trump may be doing a lot of things, but I’m not going to let him ruin my health.

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One week smoke-free!

No smoking

I smoked my last cigarette a week ago tonight, which was also the last night I spent in Chapel Hill before driving home on Friday morning.

I hadn’t actually intended to quit.   Its not like I was a heavy smoker.  But there was no good reason to continue smoking either.  Besides the obvious health issues, it’s a huge waste of money, it makes you and your clothes smell like cigarettes (I HATED being told my clothes or my car smelled), and (if you smoke in your house — I tried not to, but sometimes cheated) turns everything in your house an ugly shade of yellowish brown after awhile.

Smoking is also no longer really socially acceptable.    Hardly anyone smokes anymore, and those who do are treated like lepers in most places now.

When I arrived at the Aqueduct in Chapel Hill last Monday night, I realized it was going to be a real challenge obtaining smokes.   The camp-like setting is in a rural area, nowhere near any stores, and I didn’t know the area at all.  If I were to go try to find a store that sold cigarettes, it would have meant driving in an unfamiliar area after dark, which is something I can’t do because I have such terrible night vision.

During my stay in Chapel Hill, I had one pack of cigarettes I had bought on Sunday, the day I left for the retreat, and that pack lasted me for the better part of the week, until Thursday.   I was probably the only smoker there, and it was embarrassing having to go down to the parking lot at night and try to hide the fact I was smoking.  I felt ashamed!

I simply saw no need to buy any more on Friday morning even though I was returning home.  What the heck for?  I’d already tapered down to only 2 -3 cigarettes a day with no cravings or ill effects, so I knew the next step would be to just not buy anymore.  Why put off the inevitable?

So tonight, it’s been a week.   I’ve had a few cravings, but they haven’t been bad, not like I expected.  I’m seeing a difference already:  I can breathe more easily and am smelling and tasting things more (I’m not sure how I feel about that, since I don’t exactly WANT food to taste or smell better).   I also think my skin already has a healthier, pinker, more youthful tone.

I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to enjoy a cup of coffee anymore, since I usually drink a cup with my first cigarette of the day, but so far, I’ve enjoyed my joe just fine without the unnecessary “accessory.”

And all that money I was spending on cigarettes?  It’s going into a vacation fund instead.   I can think of so many things I’d rather do with that money than see it all go up in smoke.