Jun 22, 2009

Lets smoke it all away

I don’t crave for smokes anymore. Weird isn’t it when at one time all I wanted was to be able to have that one smoke after work in the evening and I was perfectly content. I never was much of a chain smoker actually and I started smoking really late at 22 and I am almost 26 now. So 4 years of smoking almost continuously but not in profuse amounts and I could go weeks without smoking every time I headed home. But of course there have been those evenings when one puffed cigarette after cigarette with drinks loosing count and ignoring that tiny voice in my head that always knew and still knows how my lungs loose a little bit of life with every drag I take. But last couple of months I think I took a conscious decision to steer my mind away from craving for a smoke after work, or in the morning and even while drinking. I think secretly I was so glad when the smoking ban was implemented though publicly I have cursed the authorities for doing so time and time again but I have cut down on a lot of smoking because of the ban and I confess I am too lazy to be haunting the smoking rooms time and time again or to stand outside a club on a rainy, freezing evening and puff away at my smoke. I take the easy way out and don’t smoke at all if I need to be making so much of an effort for that one cigarette. I use to suffer from asthma as a teenager and for years I carried an inhaler in my bag just incase I needed it. Honestly smoking actually increases my breathlessness and decreases my capacity to run long stretches on the tread mill and I hate the stench of stale smoke when people come back to the confines of an air conditioned office after a smoke. I can make out chronic chain smokers by their dark lips, bad teeth and nicotine stained fingers. I can pin point those television news anchors who smoke too much cos their teeth scream tobacco abuse and it shows even in front of the camera. . Hypocrite ain’t I?
Why am I discussing smoking and the various disadvantages that tag along with it today? Well it was father’s day yesterday and my Dad won’t be around for the first time in almost 26 years cos he passed away from lung cancer exactly two weeks back. I know its genetic predisposition, destiny and a host of other factors some known and some unknown but the truth also being that it was the chain smoking in his hay days that might have triggered the cancer. As a child I remember being asked to run errands by my Mum and also to pick up a pack of cigarettes for my Dad. They have had incessant arguments of quitting the stick but somehow Dad would make excuses and smoke one a day or half a day. My Dad loved his alcohol but he never had a paunch or a beer belly. In fact he had abs cos he jogged some 9 kms every morning even at 57. I know there are stories of people smoking a pack at 70 and still being all hale and hearty well my Dad was a decorated officer (an infantry officer mind you) of the Indian Army for 32 years and the fittest 57 year old I have seen by far and all it took was 6 months of cancer and he is no more.
I don’t even wanna get into how the last 6 months have been as we saw our lives being turned upside down and all the happiness being sucked out of it. Everything we believed in was systematically shred to pieces. But like they say time is the best healer and as the days are passing by and the intensity of losing him lessens I can be more objective about this and I realize that this was the way it was supposed to be. Like Ma said its been 2 weeks now and then it’ll be a month, and gradually a year and years will pass by. We’ll move on like we are moving on but it still breaks my heart thinking he might have been around if not for the misdiagnosis and if he’d been a little more careful and paid more heed to the advice on quitting the cigarettes years back. Everybody who smokes doesn’t necessarily die of lung cancer but a lot of them do and my Father did. I am scared for myself sometimes and I know I should quit really soon. I wonder when I’ll have the will power enough to do so and till that day I’ll keep fighting this battle of restricting myself to one smoke a week or half a smoke with a drink on a weekend.


Jinu P said...

Love u too. Dont worry abt me.. its just the usual :)

and I am proud of u - for standing steady like a rock all this while with what life has put you through.


The Guy Next Door said...

Fantastic piece, this. We need to change our lifestyles, not for the damage it causes to us, but more importantly, for the affect it has on people we love.

My poison is food, alcohol and laziness - There hasn't been a week in the last 7 years, where I haven't had at least 3-4 units a week , There have been series of days when I have consecutively drank, without a break (My business trip to Frankfurt comes to mind - I would have a beer in the bar every night from Mon to Thu, and then a drink on the flight back to London on Friday, and then some with friends on the weekend - For 8 months). I barely do any exercise and I have absolutely NO food discipline. If I don't die of a Heart Attack or a Liver Failure someday soon, I will probably die of loneliness, as I am overweight too, and that's as unattractive as a pumpkin soup ;)

Good to get that out of my chest.

I am not saying this post will change my lifestyle but its given me something to think about.

Its lunchtime, and I am gonna have a nice salad today from Waitrose, instead of a big fat lunch.

You are a superstar for sharing this with us - It must be tough. Be strong, and hang on in there.

Jinxed Pixie said...

great post.
but its never too late to mend, is it?

Keshi said...

Anybody who smokes does not respect their bodies and lives. Thats how I see it.


My addiction is the PC...I need to check my eyes!

TC hun

SMM said...

Hugzzzzzzzz...cuz I have no words to say anything.

I gave you that Ganesha to give you courage, strength and hope. I hope it brings all that and more to you :)

SMM said...

And yeah....that part about it being 2 weeks, a month and then a year is so true. Time flies and you suddenly realize you can talk wihout crying and remember the good times and the fights and the favourite foods and birthdays as well.

Its tough, but you gradually learn that life moves on - it does not come to a standstill.

J said...

Yes, life moves on.. time heals if we allow it to and it's only the memories that bring a smile and a tear.

Take care and hope you pull through this.

The Dude said...

ah... I have to say that the first half of this post felt like I was reading something I had written myself.. except that I started smoking by 18/19 years of age and I didnt have to carry an inhaler because I had bronchitis not asthma as a kid, it was like a mirror in many ways..

sorry about your dad, I can honestly say that its never easy and time doesnt always heal the wounds, but it makes it easier to remember without all the emotions overwhelming you.. we are a remarkably hardy and resilient species when we need to be.

I had an uncle who never smoked, never drank, rarely ate meat and fatty food, ran everyday, played tennis, yoga, the works.. he died by the time he was 50..

Im not making light and justifying smoking, in fact I havent had a cigarette myself in about 2 weeks now.. what I was trying to get at was like what you said, sometimes you can help it, sometimes you cant.. from the sound of it your dad hardly smoked, mine smoked 2 packs (more or less) a day for several years and today his lungs are screwed but he's still holding on, no cancer... the smokes didnt kill him but they didnt help..

we all need to see our lives and decide what we want.. I have an uncle who was an alcoholic who screwed himself in more ways then I could explain.. today he is totally clean, but the one thing he wont let go of is his cigarettes... its the choices we make that we have to live with.

I hope you feel better soon, dont be scared, just be honest with yourself, makes it easier when it comes time to make that decision and stand by it. ;)


Anonymous said...

Considering the long term benefits of smoking cessation such as low risk of succumbing to cancer, a significant reduction in mental stress, odorless breath et al, it is definitely necessary for you to start your quit smoking regimen as soon as possible. However, during the first few weeks, it may appear extremely difficult to get rid of this addiction, but as you consistently try to quit smoking for a certain period of time, your smoking cessation efforts would yield results.

Serendipity said...

hey.. glad your trying to quit..

And hang in there, he's looking at you from up there, so be strong and brave and pick up the pieces from where u left off..

Serendipity said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
workhard said...

Hey hang in there and be tough..

If you know that someone whom u loved very much is gone because of smoking, you ought to dispose of that habit..

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