Saturday, October 13, 2007

What Have I Done?

Thursday I was minding my own business and watching Grey's Anatomy, when I had a massive attack of smoker's regret.

One of the patients had tongue cancer and was at risk of losing her tongue, quite possibly to never speak again. But, at least she would have a chance to live. I wonder how one gets tongue cancer I thought. Followed by, Oh s#@&, she probably smoked for 20 years or something like, like . . . like ME.

I've never been a big fan of regret as an emotion. What a waste of time, really.

But, since having children I'm having pangs of regret. Big awful ones in which I pray deeply and emphatically - Please God, don't make me pay for this. Don't make me pay in terrible awful ways that will hurt my children and cause them heartbreak and pain. Please God, forgive me, absolve me, save me.

My smoking was connected to youth. By youth I mean the illusion of immortality. When I started smoking I was 13 freaking years old. Just a stupid rebellious child. Really I thought the odds of being 30 were kind of far out and I thought 50 was old and no one cares if they die when they're that old. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I guess I thought nothing like that would ever happen to me. Nothing like death or oldness would happen to me.

Besides, I was going to quit when I had kids. I wasn't going to be truly addicted, not like those other smokers. I'd get pregnant and never go back to it. I guess I didn't figure children would come so many years after I started smoking. And I didn't figure I would want a cigarette so bad after 9 months of not having one. I was addicted, addiction messes with the processes of the brain.

Can anyone else relate to begging God not to make you pay the consequences of smoking?


MamaFlo said...

My father was a 5 pack a day Lucky Strike man, he died with cancer all over his body at 64 but the worst cancer was esphogus cancer - he didn't even want me to see him when he came out of surgery hooked up to life support and would never talk again. My father was a talker and everyone loved him and loved listening to him - that would happen no more. He was relegated to writing down his thoughts (something else he was great at) and he continued to smoke........he never told me not to, I don't know if he had regrets other than dying so young.
It breaks my heart just to think about it.

My regrets - if I hadn't smoked, or at least had stopped years ago, I probably wouldn't have the health issues I'm now faced with. My husband has cancer (he's never smoked but has been around me) and of course I probably have a predisposition to it myself from my father.....I pray to get many more years from my decision to quit. I have my first grandchild on the way (March)and I can hardly wait (I smoked through both of my pregnancies and throughout my children's lives - I'm as dumb as a box of rocks).
As for regrets though, I feel like you really, they are a waste of time, you have to live for today and tomorrow and that will be without a cigarette, of that I can promise you. I'm through with killing myself and hurting those around me.

Tracee said...

Oh Mama Flo,

You are so right. Such a painful addiction it was. I pray for everyone's freedom. At least I'm quiting early in my children's lives.

Peace be with you and your family. It takes courage to admit what you just admitted - a lot of courage.

Scott said...

Oh I pray to God everynight to not punish me for what I have done. Not just smoking but I can feel where you are coming from. Hang in there and live. And congrats on quitting. So am I! Chantix. i haven't made it through my started pack yet buy I can feel a change.

Stay strong,

Tracee said...


Praying can never hurt. I'd venture a guess that it's never the wrong reaction to any emotion.

You're ready to do this. You are going to be a non-smoker. Smoke your brains out this week - say good-bye and mourn your loss.

Then develop better coping strategies. You can do that too.

Come back as often as you like for support. My goal is to respond personally to every comment with encouragement.

You're totally ready to do this. You deserve to be a non-smoker - no matter what you've done.