Originally posted 25 Sep 2017
No, this is not the political rant that you were most likely expecting. I get it, the title and timing are a little misleading. Hmm, I guess it could be considered “click-bait”, but I started this before the events of this weekend. Well, if that is in fact why you came here feel free to stop reading now.
The other day on kik we were talking about smoking in my group and I had a “you used to smoke!? Me too! Did we just become best friends!?” moment. That moment reminded me that way back in Bucket List (Eight Update) I told you all that I had a pretty interesting smoking story for ya… So, here ya go!
I am one of the rare (stupid) smokers that didn’t pick up their first cigarette until after they were 18. Yep, that’s me. I grew up in a house where my mom smoked like a chimney. She only smoked in her bedroom and the bathroom but still, a non-smoker can smell that throughout the entire house. She would also occassionally smoke in the car with my sister and I. I HATE when I see people do this, that was a different time then (and, she’s my mom) so I cut her some slack when it comes to this.
My Dad on the other hand, grew up in a house with smokers as well. My paternal grandparents were regular smokers up until my grandfather had a heart attack, then they both dropped smoking like a bad cliche (see what I did there!?). Also, I’m pretty sure that he never smoked.
And then there’s yours truly. I have always disliked the smell of cigarettes. I started smoking Black and Milds when I was in training, they smelled so good. Then, as training progressed we were given cigarette breaks throughout the day. You cannot finish a black and mild in 5 minutes, you just can’t. It was frustrating how much money I lost on half smoked cigars (well, not really cigars, but you know what I mean). So, I randomly decided to try a cigarette. Then decided that I would smoke them during our breaks since I could actually finish them in that time. Then, they became all that I smoked. Still, I hated the smell.
Over the course of my 3 deployments I went through periods where I was smoking darn near 3 packs a day. Also over the course of my deployments I went through periods where I would try to quit, the longest I think I went was 3 months. Ok, so how did I finally end up kicking the habit?
It’s going to sound a little cheesy, but one random day, in Afghanistan, some random guy came came into my motor pool looking for someone who had never worked there. He was a talker. He ended up in the smoke pit, talking to me and a bunch of other Marines about how hard it was for him to quit smoking. This guy did patches, gum, shock therapy, hypnosis, and finally (what got him to stop) acupuncture, in his ears.
Everyone was in awe, and all I could think was “if it takes me getting stuck in the ear to quit I never will”. That day I decided to limit myself to one cig every evening. I figured that eventually my body would get used to it, and eventually I would be able to go without it. I also figured that as long as I was getting my nic-fix at night I wouldn’t go through the short tempered phase that people usually talk about. On that part I was wrong, but to my first point it worked like a charm.
I smoked one cig a day for almost two months then on my sisters birthday (unfortunately there isn’t a real correlation between the two) I stopped. Since then I’ve had zero cigarettes and two cigars (spaced a year apart), and felt like I was going to die while smoking both of them. I don’t really have a great ending for this one. I started smoking, smoked for 7 years, then quit. Ta-da!
Until next time, quit it!
P.S. This is me on my first deployment, back when I had more hair on the top of my head than under my nose. Speaking of which, I just recently shaved off my mustache. Thats the second time that I’ve shaved it since my dad passed in 2013 (I’ll probably end up making a post about it… Eventually), I’m not sure how I feel about it. Oh yea, please excuse the pit stain.