37, college grad, 2x married, one son, one stepdaughter, four cats, one idiot dog, one very small house and small garden.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.

I'm not dead, just resting. I took some time off to gather my thoughts before posting again. Or, possibly, I simply didn't have anything to say. Perhaps I was poleaxed by the elections or stunned into silence by the unfolding mayhem in the middle east, or even just depressed about the tragedy of the tsunami in Asia. Who knows. Maybe I was just lazy.

There is always the possibilty that I was overwhelmed by my life. I've lost two grandmothers in the last three months to cancer. I have only one grandparent left alive, and that's Papa, my father's father. I lost both of these venerable women to the tobacco companies. Their products shortened their lifespans. And the guilt I'm carrying around with me is staggering.

When I found out my Grandma Jane had throat cancer due to smoking, I vowed to quit as I felt it was disrespectful to continue smoking in light of what she was going through. I did manage to quit for five lovely months (as recorded on this blog) before I succumbed to the idiocy that is addiction once again. The shame of my relapse is burned into my being. Every time I light up it is with a silent apology to my forebears.

Now I am in Cincinnati, preparing my mother's house to receive mourners for my maternal Grandmother's funeral. I was smoking just before I sat down to type this. I know the hell my mother went through taking care of grandma, and the emotional train wreck that happened when she died. And still...I put on my coat and go outside to inhale noxious chemicals. My self-esteem couldn't get any lower. What is it about this chemical that trumps all my best intentions? Why am I so tied to it? Why can't I put it down?

I don't have the answers to those questions. Right now the only thing I'm focused on is making sure my mother's house is ready, that the food is ready and that I have a sufficient stock of nicotine patches at the ready. Because whether I quit or not this time, I refuse to hurt my mother by throwing the agent of her mother's death in her face. I will cover my entire body in patches before I will light up in front of her again. I will pray and cry and fight as hard as I have to to get through the next two weeks without hurting my mother. I couldn't stay quit for my grandma, but I'll be damned if I will parade my failure in front of my mother. That kind of insult is totally unwarranted.

And the bright side is that I may actually quit again. Who knows? Plus, it's about 20 degrees out there right now and I'm not about to go out and suffer that kind of cold for nicotine. Addicted or not, there is a line drawn in the sand, and that line says, "What are you, completely insane?!?"

No...but near as dammit.


Blogger Bruce said...

You can do it...I know you can...I love you....

January 18, 2005 at 10:30 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home