Friday, August 21, 2009

It's raining here, so hard that my deaf self can hear it quite easily inside. Lots of thunder and lightning.
It's almost 11 at night here. The house is quiet, everyone asleep. I don' t even want the music on to disturb me.
I went to my high school's first football game tonight. The school we played has a lot of money. They attract good football players there, as long they behave. Of course, they handed us our hat. When I left in the 3rd quarter it was 28-0. But I take solace in the fact that even with all their money, we always top their academic scores. Our school is over 50 % free or reduced lunches (high poverty). So there, nanana nana

I was reading Rachel Lucas tonight. Anyone who has been at her sight knows how great she is. I don't get by her sight every day, but I really like what she has to say. I would love to have a drink with her and just people watch.
It got me thinking about quitting smoking. I have 5 years as a non-smoker coming.
I smoked my first cigarette when I was 10. Got high and drunk that summer too. At The Needle at Astroworld, of all places.
I was a confirmed smoker by the time I was 17 or so. Smoked through my pregnancies, my father's death from heart disease, my mother's death from lung cancer. It took two years after her death to convince me to quit.
My guilt and shame were almost palpable.
Here I was, a high school science teacher, for crying out loud, and I smoked. I would not smoke in public. I would not buy cigarettes. It was hard to buy or smoke out of state, so embarrassed was I.
Slowly it sunk in.

Both my husband and I smoked. Both of us, if we kept this up, would die in our early 50's, like my parents.

And leave our children parentless. Like my parents left me.

I had to stop.
I couldn't stand the idea of it. In my heart, my secret-est of hearts, the place where I think things in silence that I am afraid of saying out loud for fear of breathing life into them, I am afraid. My husband still smokes. And he stresses out at work. And doesn't eat the best diet. And has all those high risk factors. I am afraid. How will I tell my children the day he dies? How will I do all the things I do and then do all the things he does/did that make our family such a great place to be? How will I be a single parent?

Still, I want to live a long time. I want to see my grandchildren graduate high school, Marine Boot camp, all those thing s my future holds.

So I quit. I just decided I was a non-smoker. period. It was hell. Learning to be a non-smoker. My anger got the best of me. Still gets the best of me. Dealing with the emotions, instead of stuffing them back down with a smoke. I still have a hard time being diplomatic, or even kind some days. My husband kept the kids away from me while I seethed in anger over everything. I drank too much. I ate too much.
Even now, after 5 years, I'm just now starting to feel "normal". Human.

I'm glad I did it. Most days, when I see someone smoke, I am struck by how grateful I am that I quit. Every great now and then a smoke will smell good, but only for a moment.

I will never smoke again.

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