Hi, my name is Pearl; and it’s been almost 14 weeks since my last cigarette.
Who knew how easy quitting would be? Why, I’ve only considered begging for smokes oh, 10 - 20 times now; and the skin around my fingernails has almost entirely re-grown.
I feel like a new woman.
Even if I was quite fond of the old.
I recount the number of weeks it’s been since my last cigarette like a woman giving an infant’s age. Fourteen weeks now…
And I tell myself: I could have a cigarette if I wanted one, but I can’t.
And you know why?
Because I quit.
And that’s all there is to it. I no longer cough at night, I don’t stand outside in the rain/snow because of my addiction, and I no longer spend money on cigarettes that could go towards the good cosmetics.
Because I quit.
The whole problem with quitting is that, once everyone’s heard the big announcement “I’ve quit smoking”, there’s very little hoopla.
Darn little hoopla.
See, everyone is proud of you when you quit. “Congratulations! Hope you can stick with it!”
Of course I can stick with it. I said I quit.
But that’s all bravado, isn’t it? Sure, you feel all puffed up and righteous when you first quit. Look at me! I’m doing something responsible! Hey! Look over here! I’m a mature individual doing the right thing!
And then that wears off, and you’re left wondering how long you can keep it up.
And then your friends, drink in hand, eyes glazed with drunken camaraderie, grab you by the arm and slur into your ear, “Hey! Less go out an’ ‘ave a ‘grit!”
And that’s when you notice that the hoopla has worn off.
OK! You think. Now that I’ve quit, maybe I could just have one?
No. You cannot.
Because you quit. And quitting is lonely.
I keep my mouth shut. I want my smoking friends to quit, too, to save their money, to live longer.
But mostly I want them to stay with me.
Hi. My name is Pearl, and it’s been almost 14 weeks since I’ve had a cigarette.
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