I’d really planned to write something special on the topic that I’m about to write about. Really. I’ve been thinking, and coming up with really clever analogies and angles for the past month in anticipation. (And Mom, you might want to stop reading now, because I don’t want you to be upset and think, “What the hell?” because right now, my inner 16-year-old is a bit squirmy and about to get a major ass-kicking without actually the physical part of the ass-kicking…) But…my goal in re-launching my blog was to be more honest with my words and thoughts. To censor less, and stand on the two legs of personal truth. No more hopping around.
It’s like this: if you call people out who post mean things anonymously (which really hasn’t happened much to me, thank God, because let me just say, I’m no Heather Armstrong when it comes to hate mail, God bless that woman’s ability to turn it around into sublime hilarity) and then you back off of things you feel that you yourself are side-stepping, well…that’s just wrong. That’s not living with integrity, and it’s simply not using your voice.
In fact, someone posted a while back, that even though she enjoyed reading my blog, that something seemed to have changed. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it, but she said my tone was different. And it actually made me feel really good. Because I’m trying to be more me, and less, as Donna Downey might call it, “Scrapbook Cathy.” Because while I think that Scrapbook Cathy is really nice and all…she’s not really 100 percent me. I mean, she doesn’t talk like a sailor, you know? And in all honesty, I do. But that’s not my point here…
And Mom, don’t panic. My point today, this day, March 18th, is not earth shattering. Seriously. But I’d really planned to write something special. On this occasion. This anniversary.
Last night, at 10 p.m., marked one year since I smoked my last cigarette.
I wanted to write a very deep and insightful essay on how kicking the habit of smoking is the single hardest thing a person living on this planet can do, if that person is, in fact, an addict. Like me. I wanted to dispel myths about the type of people that smokers are. You know…we all don’t live in trailers. And I’m not saying trailers are bad. I grew up with trailers more or less in my back yard. I wanted to write that people think it’s such a ridiculous habit, and the whole, well you better not smoke mentality is so completely off the mark because you’re not actually dealing with a choice. You’re dealing with an addiction that takes your perceived choice and smashes it out like so many butts on your back porch ashtray. I wanted to give the addiction some credit, you know, where credit is seriously due. I wanted to remind people I never smoked around my kids. That I hid in the garage. And the porch. And tried really hard to hide it from pretty much everyone I knew because I was drowning in a world of shame. I wanted to tell all of those people I was trying to fool that I’m sorry I didn’t give you credit, and that likely, you all knew anyway.
And I wanted to say that if you told me I was going to make it to 90 and be hit by a bus, and not die from smoking-related illnesses…that I would start back up at the end of this blog post. And that that is what addiction, for me, is really about: love. Pure, unadulterated, sick and twisted, love.
Oh hell. I guess what I really wanted people to understand where all the new chub was coming from.
But instead, I’m going to just say this: I’ve been smoke-free for 365 days and counting.
It’s not the first time. But I’m really hoping it’s the permanent kind.
So, Mom…I’m not a bad person because I smoked for so long…just an addict. That’s who I’ve always been.
An addict who now, and for the past 365 days and counting, smells a lot better.