I will carry on as if I know what I am doing


Figuratively speaking, I was born with a cigarette on my lips. My mother was a smoker and bore 13 children. Therefore, nicotine is already in my blood. When a child is born by an alcoholic mother, the child is born with fetal alcohol syndrome. Consequently, I can call myself fetal nicotine syndrome.

When I was younger working in a corporate environment, it was reasonable to smoke and drink.  I remember some people think I look so ‘cool and sophisticated’ holding a glass of red wine and a cigarette on the other hand with my long manicured red nails. With red lipstick, slowly bringing the stick of tobacco to my lips, gently sucking the tip, inhale and slowly exhaling the smoke I feel sexy thinking of the ad “You’ve come along way.”  The power of brainwashing in the advertising world and it just happened I worked for them. Alcohol and tobacco go hand in hand. I thought when I stopped drinking, I will stop smoking. No, smoking is the hardest addiction to kick.

It’s meaningless to tell me to stop smoking. I am addicted to it. Drinking coffee with no cigarette is pointless.  It’s meaningless to have meals to not smoke after dinner to take away the aftertaste of the food eaten.

I’ve tried many ways of smoke cessation from Allen Carr System, hypnotism, laser, acupuncture, Chinese herbs. The Government of Canada in BC provided free Nicorette patches, gums, lozenges and inhalers that I took advantage. I did not last long.

My teeth suffered. The dentist that I visited for the past forty years just loves me as a patient for I invested so much money to have my teeth cleaned three times a year. Keeping my teeth all pearly white, most people think I am a non-smoker. When they discover that I am, it’s a shock to them. They can’t smell the cigarette on me because I cover it with a dab of essential oil.

Smoking gives me a reason to go out for fresh air. That’s what I tell my colleagues when it’s time for coffee break. At home, I only smoke outside, the balcony. Most of my female friends and boyfriends I went out with are non-smokers, except for two. I am lucky to be associated with non-smoking people who are non-judgemental. If they do judge me, I remind them I am the only one who has the right to judge me. Take me as what I am.

The problem with giving up a bad habit is it will be replaced by another bad habit. I am not ready to give up smoking and replace it with marijuana even though it is now legal.

I know, I know. I know. I can be healthier. I will not die of lung cancer. I will live longer. I will save plenty of money. I’ve heard them all and thought about it.  What I am afraid the most when I quit smoking, it will trigger something else. Severe Depression. I am not ready for that.

As for now, I will carry on as if I know what I am doing. No New Year’s resolution for me, again.

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