How Did I Manage… ?


Well, I’ve seen that some people wrote a personal story, and I will write my own here.  Or, I should say, I will be writing some – as I have had a few experiences with different forms of smoking, mostly from second-hand or family-related issues.

You see, I come from a population of heavy smokers.  French from Europe or Canada are known to love this habit, and my family and friends were no different.  I was lucky enough to have an extremely strict RN mother (Registered Nurse), though, and never had to endure it in my own house.

This changed drastically, however, when I moved out of the house.  I was no longer protected by my mum’s strict rules and overly harsh glare (at times her eyes look like they will pop out of her head… !).  I had to learn to cope on my own.  Here is how my smoking story starts…

After a tough break-up with a man several years ago, I was at a loss.  I kicked him out but was actually unable to afford the cost of the apartment entirely on my own.  Furthermore, half the furniture was his, so I was left with nothing more than two bedroom sets (ours and the guest room), and the washer and dryer.  Not much of a comfort when you’re looking for a place to eat your dinner.  I tried finding roommates, but my landlord started giving me trouble; she kept saying that my ex-boyfriend and I had been accepted, but kept threatening me to kick me out if I asked others in – which is legal, actually.  I had the right to let anyone rent my room as long as I was responsible for any damage they caused, which they didn’t, of course.  After a while, her harassment was too much for me.  I had to ask the only roommate who managed to tolerate her to leave (to the sound of “But where am I going to live??”) and moved in with a close friend, who was also a massive chain smoker.  Although up until then I was only a social smoker – I would bum one or two when I was out with friends who smoked – I didn’t consider myself a smoker.

Mylene had gone through a tough break-up as well – a strange coincidence, but hey, at that point, I was glad it happened.  We asked a third girl to move in with us, who happened to be a chain smoker as well.  I thought I wouldn’t have any problems… and found out, the hard way, that I was wrong.

I was born with weak lungs.  I nearly died at two years old from a spasmodic croup, which means that my lungs nearly closed.  I’ve had a tough case of breathing issues due to this, and never thought that my mother’s extremely strict rules about smoking had something to do with this.

At first, I thought that I could handle the smell by smoking myself.  Yes, the smell was diminished when I puffed one as well, so my roommates happily let me bum some to allow them to continue smoking indoors.  This is when I started the nasty habit of smoking cigarettes.

I started smoking in bars as well.  Then, after moving out, I started buying my own… because I was starting to see the benefits, that feeling of relief from stress that comes when the smoke is sucked in.  However, I never fully inhaled, and this may be the reason why I managed to quit easily.  I coughed and hacked heavily if I did, and I believe my lung problems are what kept me from doing so.

After a few months, I took one good look at myself and realized what I was doing to my body.  People at work started to complain of the smell, and although I didn’t smoke much, I apparently stank like crazy.

My decision was quick.  Right there and then, I said: “This is my last pack.”  And that was it.  Where did I find this willpower?  I still don’t have the answer.  But am I glad I did!  I’ve been smoke-free for 10 years now, and find the smell as horrible as before I started… and am not tempted, not one bit, to go back.


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