My Struggle to Cope

Freedom at last - Breathe Happy

I’m Sammi; a spunky 16 year old girl who’s been through a lot but still manages to keep a smile shining on my face. I smoke cigarettes, and, unfortunately, I’m addicted. It’s been only about a year now since I’ve started smoking, but dang, that nagging nicotine sure knows how to keep a hold tight on you.

I started smoking after I was discharged from a psychiatric hospital in Massachusetts; the second I’d been sent to for severe depression, anxiety, self-harm, drinking, presecription drug abuse, bipolar disorder, impulsivity, eating disorders, and suicidal thoughts and tendencies. Now, it may seem like I’m some type of wacko, but really, I’m just troubled. It’s genetics, my environment, how I’m wired, and how I instinctively handle things.

When I was discharged after about 2 1/2 months of intensive residential treatment, I picked up my first cigarette and puffed away. I wanted to try it due to seeing my parents smoke since I was young, being used to and almost comforted by the scent of smoke, and my own hopes that it would be a release from leftover stress; boy, was I wrong.

Over the past year, my boyfriend and I have collectively purchased over 700 dollars worth in cigarettes; my dad’s engrained habit, that’s all his own on a whole other level, there’s no calculating how much he’s spent. My boyfriend and I also feel the toll the chemicals and tar are taking on us, yet we cannot find the strength to quit fully. Sure, we’ve tried, gone without for a day or two (while having breakdowns due to withdrawals), and attempted weaning off of them but we are each addicted and stuck on different levels; me even more so.

As I write this, I’m lighting up another smoke, it’s like an after school ritual: get off the bus, sit on the porch, and light up without even saying hi to my family or taking my backpack off first. What happens if I don’t have my morning cigarette before school? Raging emotions take hold and I feel as though I’m in a dream the entire day until I get my nicotine fix.

My parents handle it alright, they used to refuse to let me smoke in front of them, now they don’t mind at all which makes it so much easier to smoke more often. It’s a tough road I, as well as many others, am on, but I know with a little more willpower and perseverance I can do this! I want to live a long, happy life; not a short, smoky one. It’s best for me to break the habit now than continue, and I need YOUR help for that. Thank you for reading this brief glimpse into my addiction, I hope we an help each other.

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