Addictions Addictions banner Home

Forty-four years of smoking

One woman's Testimony of what smoking meant to her

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How could I possibly enjoy myself if I couldn't smoke?

Written by Maureen. Published with permission.

Being a smoker

I donít really know where to begin or, for that matter, why I feel I should do this at all, but the fact is that I feel I should have a go at explaining what it feels like to be a smoker.

I have smoked cigarettes for the past forty four years. In the early days it just didnít matter whether you smoked or not. There were no restrictions thenóI could smoke wherever I felt I wanted to, even lying in bed in a hospital ward. I can hardly believe it now, that after giving birth to my second baby a nurse put her in my arms and promptly asked if I would like a cup of tea and an ash tray; it beggars belief doesnít it? It also wasnít unusual for me to visit my doctor, usually with a chest infection I might add, to see a cigarette burning in an ash tray on his desk. Not for many years did I ever hear that it wasnít good for me, or those around me, to smoke.

I have felt so small for so many years now since we all began to be educated into the dangers of such a dangerous habit. Yet I just continued to do it. I didnít think life could possibly be the same without being able to ďlight upĒ whenever I wanted to. I must tell you that I feel ashamed actually telling so many of you how I felt, but I will continue.

No smoking here

The thought of going away on holiday and not having a cigarette was terrible. After all, how could I possibly enjoy myself if I couldn't smoke? The thought of eating out terrified me, how was I going to get through a meal without coughing my lungs up? I couldnít go to the cinema as the same would happen there. I have been so controlled by this apparent need for nicotine and I have allowed it to spoil much of my life. Many have heard my filthy cough during Sunday services at my church. On those occasions I felt lower than a maggot crawling along the ground, yet I carried on. Not only does having such dreadful coughing spasms hurt my throat and my head, my back also felt the brunt of it too.

Headache

In the year 2000 I woke one morning with the mother and father of all head aches. To cut a long story short, I had, and still have, a blood clot on my brain. I donít have to tell you what caused it do I? - and still I carried on smoking. The thought of stopping terrified me and yet every day can be terrifying to a smoker.

Many people have tried to talk sense to me over the years. Smokers can be very crafty though; I actually made people too afraid to talk to me about it. I would attack if anyone got a bit too near the truth of this addiction and because of this what I often had was sympathy from them, which was great as far as I was concerned and meant that I could carry on slowly killing myself with not much hassle from anyone. My poor lungs have taken such a canning and a lot of the damage is permanent.

Many people have tried to talk sense to me over the years.

 

 

 

 

 

I hated myself for being so weak and allowing this filthy weed to control me.

Cross words

This week my husband got very cross with me. The timing wasnít good; it was the day that I was told that I had to have an urgent chest x-ray and I felt really poorly and also very afraid as the symptoms I had were horrendous. The next morning I told him that I would have said exactly the same thing to him had I been in his shoes, the only difference being that I would have said it years before. So I would say to anyone to think twice before you use a soft approach with a smoker. Although having said that, now and again people have got too near the truth and because of that I wouldnít go within a mile of them. The truth is I just didnít want to stop smoking. Can you believe it when I tell you that I loved it yet hated it for what it was doing to me? I hated myself for being so weak and allowing this filthy weed to control me. I can tell you honestly that each packed of cigarettes I have bought for years now I believed would be my last because I was always going to stop tomorrow.

when I really thought I was out of the woods and the withdrawal pangs had gone, BANG I wanted a cigarette.

Heartbroken

I would feel so happy and proud of myself when I managed to stop for a little while, and it wasnít really very difficult at first, but after a few weeks, when I really thought I was out of the woods and the withdrawal pangs had gone, BANG I wanted a cigarette. I didnít need one, but I wanted one. It wouldnít go away and I became obsessed with this cigarette that I couldnít have. I had been so proud of myself for stopping and made no secret of it; how could I now tell people that cared about me that I just wanted a cigarette? Well I couldnít could I? So I would pick my time, a time I knew I would definitely be alone, and I would have this longed for cigarette. It would taste so harsh and raw, and once more I smelt like a smoker. I would be heartbroken too, as although I had smoked it secretly, I couldnít hide the fact from myself, so Iíd have another, and anotherÖ

Prison of addiction

Iíve given you an insight into the prison that Iíve created for myself. I realise that smoking is an addiction. Are all addictions much of a muchness? Is it fear that keeps us all hooked on whatever our thing happens to be?

Too ashamed to turn to God

What was so dreadful to me earlier this week was the fact that I felt I couldnít pray when I needed Jesus the most. How could I? After all, I had done this to myself. Knowing what a loving Father we have didnít make it easier as I had sunk to new depths and I was too ashamed to turn to God. How much smaller can you feel? So how grateful I was for my churchís prayer chain.

A friend of mine has suggested to me that I could maybe feed my faith instead of my habit. Itís a lovely thought and I canít see why it canít happen this way with any addiction. Can you imagine how I have suffocated the Holy Spirit living in me? Maybe that thought alone may stop me ever smoking again. Such a small thing to do for Him isnít it?

Can you imagine how I have suffocated the Holy Spirit living in me? Maybe that thought alone may stop me ever smoking again.

Victory

I had my last cigarette on the 9th February 2008.

May God bless you all and keep you safe,

Maureen 

This article was first published in Maureenís church magazine. It is used here with permission.

If any of the issues raised in this article have touched you and you want to contact someone I am quite happy to communicate with you. Please e-mail. If this is the first time you have contacted me I can be reached via the home page.

(place holder)

Return to top       Return to Home Page

This article © Linda Faber 2006-2009.