Tuesday, February 13, 2007

My Day Part II - plus the secret

So here it is. Now that I got the weather-related issue out of the way (see previous post), it's time to admit to the blogger world my dirty little secret that has plagued me and my goody-goody appearance. And it's funny, because this secret has come up three times in the last two days, so I figure it must be a sign that I need to come clean. So here it is...wait for it...its coming....

I am a smoker.

Well, maybe a better term is "was." I was a smoker. But since this nasty habit is never far from my consciousness, I might as well just own the fact that I smoked for about twelve years and finally quit two years ago, FOR GOOD (I hope). Of course, like any smoker, I quit several times before that.

Smoking has always been a huge part of my life. It was the key to meeting new people at school, like outside on smoke breaks, commiserating over the craziness of psychoanalysis, or at a party outside on the porch, flirting with guys and making small talk. It is connected to high school, driving around with my best friends, smoking and trying to find the next party while listening to "Me and Bobby McGee" on the mix tape. It got me through the loneliness of college, the desperation of bad break-ups, the excitement of new apartments, and frankly, the day-in/day-outs of life.

So how has it come up recently? And why am I coming clean now? Well first, it came up a couple weeks ago when I read a fellow blogger's back-posts, and saw his confession. Then two days ago, my brother offered me one (the same type I used to smoke) and dang if I almost said yes. And then today it actually came up because a friend of mine was smoking during one of our conversations, and boy did I want one.

And I am now just coming clean about it because I have been communicating with other people in this triathlon world who have been or are currently smokers, so I finally feel like maybe its not as super horrible as I make it out to be. In fact, I attribute my current "quit" status not to my stunningly strong will, but rather my dedication to finishing this Ironman without dropping a lung or vomiting blood somewhere around mile 102.

You have to understand how much I truly hated that I did this. This is the epitome of the dirty little secret, as I never told anybody, never smoked with anybody, and usually hide it tight from all my boyfriends until I either got caught or...well, I usually got caught. I would probably post a picture of me smoking on honor of my quit status, but I refused to ever be seen or photographed in such a state. I though it was ugly when I did it, I thought it was ugly when other people did it, and I lied all the time about doing it. My dad was a smoker, quit for 20 years, then got diagnosed with lung cancer and I STILL smoked. When he was sick, my cousin and uncle used to come over to give me a break from taking care of him, and I used that time to walk around the block and smoke. That makes me sad to even read that sentence.

I finally quit when I got a new job to which I took the train everyday. Prior to that, I worked 50 miles away from home, and smoke in the car during the commute. But without the sanctuary of my car, I felt exposed. I could have just smoked outside of my building, but for fear that my new boss would see me, I just figured it would be easier to quit. So I did.

And there it is, my lovelies. I guess as far as secrets go, that's pretty lame, but to me, it's huge. And I do take pride in knowing that I no longer succumb to the cravings (but they are still there, even two years later). So I guess that's pretty good, at least for me. So speaking of my dad, and co-dependence, and vices, I have to go my ALANON meeting now. Later skaters.


Duane said...

Good for you and overcoming it!

Cindy Jo said...

I smoked for over 10 years. I always said I'd quit when I had kids, and after my honeymoon I quit (and ended up pregnant a month later!!!). But about once or twice a year I have a cigarette. And I've done 4 Ironmans (and I have asthma) since I had a kid. Don't get too down on yourself. Most people have WAY worse secrets than THAT!

TriJack said...

i'm with you for this... i was never a regular partaker, but i would go through phases a couple of times a year when I would spend a couple of months with 1 or 2/day. none since august, i think - a week before i my first tri. i must admit that i kinda like to smoke still, just choosing not to do it (i think that isnt good, but oh well; i'm full of not-too-good things...)