This post is the start off of the entries to be submitted from my fellow readers. This is an entry submitted by Pistol Pete which was originally posted at Necessary Therapy. Enjoy.
I smoked for 6 years. It doesn’t sound like much. But if you add the smoke I ingested in the womb, around the house growing up, in cars with the windows rolled up and other places, I had a good 23 years under my belt.
In college, smoking was cool – even though smokers were a definite minority in the early 80s (in fact, this made us all the more cool – a unique sub-culture). The thought of quitting entered my mind once in a while, but quickly passed away. Ingesting smoke was like breathing in the angst that felt so necessary to have as a privileged youth. We knew we were special and that life had it in for us, so we rebelled by smoking. Or, as one of my friends put it, “Killing ourselves in a way deemed acceptable by human society.”
After college, though, I gave my life to Christ, and didn’t feel so good about desecrating the Lord’s temple, as they say. One night I was playing basketball in a very close game and had to take myself out, wheezing on the sidelines while my team lost at the last second. Given my faith in Christ and my commitment to basketball, it was time to do something drastic.
I decided that night to quit. November 11, 1988. I haven’t smoked since – except in my dreams. Some mornings I still wake up feeling the warm, pleasant burning sensation that cigarettes leave behind.
You can’t underestimate the power of nicotine addiction. I am very grateful to God for my recovery and have tremendous respect for everyone battling the addiction as well.
One of these is my father. He smoked for well over 50 years (they start them young in). At some point, he became tired of his health struggles and prospect for an early (and excruciating) death. He went “cold turkey.” Yet, to this day, he says, “If they told me I only had a month to live, I’d back my pick-up truck into a distributor’s, fill it up with carton after carton and smoke to my heart’s content.”
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