HAPPY to be a non-smoker!

The moment of true liberation (only, nothing is ever 100%) has finally snuck up on me. I hope that after you’ve worked so hard at quitting, the moment of true liberation will sneak up on you, too. I am certain it will.

Smoking is a lie. We’ve been fooled. All that shit about smoking supposedly relieving stress and bringing people together: that’s just bullshit. Complete and utter bullshit. All smoking does is tear people apart. It’s our hearts and our words and our love that bring people together–even in families that sit around and smoke together. The cigarettes didn’t bring you together, you did. And if family members don’t quit smoking, and support one another in quitting smoking, somebody is going to die. Maybe more than one person will die or suffer. It will be painful, and none of it will have been worth it. Likely, the shame will try and get people to say that it wasn’t smoking that’s killing them–but it is. Cigarette-related illnesses are the number one killer in America. Kinda makes you want to punch Camel Joe in his big fat nose, doesn’t it?

Shame on Philip Morris. Did you know that after all the anti-smoking campaigns of the 80’s, the 90’s and today smoking has decreased and Philip Morris have began targeting less-educated countries such as the Philippines? Here is a segment by VICE that reveals the criminally-minded fuckery that is Philip Morris. Vote with your dollar and say no to all cigarettes. American Spirits may be organic, but they’re still killers, so there. There is still nothing cool about American Spirits–there never was. That’s just one way we’ve been duped or played.

Anyway, the point of this post was not all of that (above) but I hoped it did something for you. Even just sitting here reading this right now, considering that you are not smoking while doing so, is more productive than sitting on your porch (lets admit it, in the rain, snow, sleet or sunshine) and smoking. The point of this post is to talk about The Moment of Liberation I experienced just this morning.

Folks, I FEEL GOOD! I feel GREAT! It used to be I’d wake up in bed in the morning, crack my eyes open, look out the window–which has a lovely view of a barn and a mountain side covered with evergreens, typically shrouded in fog–and I would then take a big inhale of air, a kind of yawn. Sometimes, most the time, I would cough. There would be a limit to how deeply I could inhale. But I kind of shrugged it off. Then almost immediately in my mind would begin the game: COFFEE! COFFEE! COFFEE! I could picture getting my coffee and then, to smoke or not to smoke? It was like a battle, I knew, on the one hand, that I was capable of getting  a cup of coffee doing something else, but would I? Why would I? I’d eventually have to give in to the temptation of smoking anyway: let’s face it, I was a smoker. So most the time I would get my coffee then sheepishly go steal a few drags off a good old fashioned rolled cigarette. I felt ashamed inside. My boyfriend and I would engage in this ritual together, as if it were the most natural thing in the world. We never acknowledged it though: we weren’t like “Oh this is the best cigarette this morning, isn’t it? So refreshing!” Nope. Why would we? It’s a killer, and we both knew that! We’d talk about the weather, or the dreams we had that night, anything to avoid admitting what we were actually doing together: engaging in highly addictive behavior/killing ourselves/wasting time!

So this morning, I woke up, I looked out the window and I had to smile because, even though I wasn’t fully conscious yet I could sense my liberation and freedom. No battling in my mind: to smoke or not to smoke. It was a long, hard road but: I am over that! I have better things to do! I breathed deeply in through my nose and felt the breath go all the way down inside of me, like I was taught in yoga class. I exhaled. I opened my mouth and took another deep breath–no hesitation, no limitation–I could feel my health and strength of lungs: I’VE GOTTEN SOMEWHERE! I’VE REALLY GOTTEN SOMEWHERE! Better than that even is the hope I felt when I saw that the sky, which has been unseasonably dark and damp for this time of the year, had some blue sky poking out. The clouds were just kind of drifting by. I was thinking things are getting better, they really are….if I could just open my eyes and SEE it. 

So I am a witness to my own liberation this morning. I am HAPPY to make my coffee, and sit and enjoy it, inside, warm and cozy, by the front window, without the distraction of smoking taking away from the enjoyment of my organic, dark roast cup of coffee. I am HAPPY to take my dog Cedar for a walk without simultaneously struggling to light a smoke in the wind as he drags on the leash, causing frustration. I am HAPPY to have more time to do WHATEVER I WANT! WHATEVER THAT MIGHT BE! I am HAPPY to breathe deeply, and to have the exercise I’ve been doing over these past few months not be undone by the habit of smoking. I am HAPPY to be a part of the millions of American’s who have seen through the smoke to quit smoking and put Philip Morris in it’s place (though, sadly, they have moved elsewhere), I am HAPPY to be an inspiration for friends and family who have yet to succeed in quitting. I am HAPPY to admit that it took me many, many attempts to do so. I am HAPPY to say I did not give up, and that I reap the benefits this morning and many mornings to come. I am HAPPY. And guess what? HAPPY is not something I always was. I was very UNHAPPY as a smoker, and smoking only compounded my depression. At least now, I genuinely have something to be HAPPY about.

Remember: Non-smokers don’t smoke! Continue to hold yourself accountable. Do not be afraid to seek help. And never quit quitting. Someday–if you haven’t already–you will wake up with a refreshing feeling of liberation and well being, just like I did this morning. You will be free to live your life, not tied to the anchor of nicotine. You will be HAPPY you did not give up, ever. You will create your own testimony.

Be well, you deserve it.

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