I don’t smoke.
I hate the smell of smoke, and having come from a family of smokers with secondary health problems as a result of cigarette smoking, I know better. In fact I think it was 17 years ago that I quit smoking for good. I’ve never taken more than a cigarette at a bar or social function since then, but very rarely. I realize that was because I was usually alone, and around no one who wanted to either drink or smoke.
I’m pleased to report that my social life has been rocking lately. Plenty of family time, plenty of time alone with Kevin and plenty of time alone with myself to write and work. There has also been plenty of friend time which I love. That won’t change. The part where I smoked cigarettes already has.
I figure it was a 22 day detour from my responsible self. It had nothing to do with the drug, but an escalation of social smoking opportunities reminded me why I love smoking cigarettes. I feel relaxed (which is bullshit because I know that my glucose, blood pressure and anxiety soar after a cigarette). Let’s call it the perception of relaxation then… and appetite suppressant. When I smoke and drink black coffee, I don’t feel like eating. I lost 8 pounds in the process.
It was confidence boosting and familiar to me. I felt like an old me… a slightly bad-ass me. A sassy and reckless me (and I liked feeling like a very old pre-marriage, pre-divorce, pre- bad stuff… me). It felt like such a simple pleasure.
I won’t say the decision to stop smoking was noble or graceful. It came with some big insistence from my husband, who as an insurance provider is VERY aware of the risk factors and health insurance costs alone of being a smoker with diabetes. But it wasn’t about the money when he pleaded with me yesterday.
“You have diabetes Lori. I want you to be with me as long as possible. I want to grow old with you, not pieces of you and spend years watching you go blind or in pain.”
Ouch. Of course, you can’t really talk to me like that and expect me to be reasonable, so I got angry. I ran off a list of things I do “right” to prove that I somehow deserved this one, single bad vice.
- I work very hard
- I am very frugal
- I pour myself into advancing our life
- I am generous with my time for others
- I keep the house immaculate
- I work hard with the kids on school stuff and manners
- I …. I…. I ….
I have diabetes and I must never smoke. I will die if I do, but not quickly. In really slow, painful, expensive, heart breaking ways. I don’t want to die (not yet anyhow). I intend to hit my 80’s and read erotic poetry in my nursing home and frustrate nurses. It’s good to have goals.
The cigarettes got thrown out. An open pack and a new unopened pack. I had Kevin do it, because this girl doesn’t smoke. Ever. Never again. Never, ever, ever, EVER again.
I didn’t choose diabetes (it seemed to choose me). And managing my health is already a battle without adding the harmful effects of nicotine to the cocktail of things that could go wrong with my body very fast, and without warning.
My friends will step outside as they do to have their cigarette. And I will stay inside and pour a glass of dry red wine (lower sugar) and eat a piece of cheese instead. Like someone who loves her life enough to want to stick around awhile. Like someone smart enough to know better.