Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Journey

It was ’97s Holy Saturday (the Saturday before Easter) when I smoked my first cigarette. I was challenged to be a man and even though I “mouth-fagged” the first few, I was glad that I proved to my friends that I was a man and even happier that I had my first cigarette. I puked my insides out after about three cigarettes but I didn’t mind. I felt like a man. No, I was a man.

Cut to 2010. As per my calculations, it is 13 years now that I have been smoking the cancer stick. I think it is exactly 12 years and 10 months if you think about it. I have had three failed attempts before and one of the voices in my head has a wager that this time it will be no different.

Attempt number 1 was in Manipal when I decided upon a date, threw out all the ashtrays, matches and cigarettes in the room the previous night and woke up the next day smoke free. I didn’t touch a single stick for three whole days - The number I am at right now, which is why it is scary and which is why I have decided to write down a small memoir about my journey to either a smoke free life or a relapse in to a smoke filled one. On the third day, I did about three nitros and had already downed three pegs of whiskey when someone was passing cigarettes around. I sheepishly accepted one, thinking to myself that it will be harmless and I’ll stop after that one. I woke up the next day with an almost full pack of 20’s and it was another three to four years till I decided to quit again.

Attempt number two was a part of a New Year’s resolution and I had the support of two women from my office who decided to quit with me. One started within hours of meeting us and the other within a day in to the New Year. As for me, I went three whole days again!

Attempt number three came the next New Year where I went a week (yes a whole week!) without smoking. But here I was lying to myself. I had not quit, in fact I had cut down because I was smoking a cigarette after work. In order to avoid that, I began buying “Nirdosh” cigarettes that are totally herbal (not marijuana or hashish) and nicotine free. I forgot the pack one day in the office loo and couldn’t find any at the medicals so I went ahead and bought one from the paanwala and then the relapse began.

So now, after 12 years and 10 months, I have decided to quit again. The decision was not mine entirely, my girl, let’s call her Emily here for purposes unknown even to me, was absolutely pissed and psyched with the amount I smoked and drank that she simply broke down. I couldn’t bear that and decided to quit the next day. I did not, as suggested by many, bid farewell to a faithful friend. A friend that has been through thick and thin, through our fights, good news, bad news or even no news at all. I do not have a plan B, no alternate means, no what if. I just have a plan A, which is just no smoking. It is a difficult thing to do. I can’t say I’ll miss this friend of mine that was by my side through almost 13 years of my life. Actually I don’t miss him. But there are withdrawal symptoms and those are chronicled in my diary – The Quitter’s Diary.

1 comment:

Roanna said...

Emily! Haha. I support your cause. You're actually quite strong-willed.