Gimme a Break!

(This blog part of and in response to, Linda G. Hill’s “Give Me A Break!”, SoCS writing prompt/post:

I was a smoker – I quit, started, re-quit, started again, stopped again – I am at a point in life where I am perfectly okay dealing with my nicotine addiction, dialing it down enough to let lunches in summer of eggplant and tomatoes feed my inherited addiction – instead of reaching for one of horrible, awful, nasty, only-people-who-might-as-well-be-a-smoking-pedophile, might do to feed their nicotine addiction…

Yes, to me, it is that bad…   And it is surprising to folks who know me that I could describe my ‘addictive weakness’ this harshly, for they know, I would never wreak terror on a child with intent –

BUT…. This is what it feels like, as I’ve lived through a society that says,

“Let’s All Smoke!”

To

“We can Smoke when we are Drinking, but probably not good to do all the time…”

To

“OMG!  This stuff is bad for you!!  What were you THINKING!  Stop!  NOW!

To

“I don’t know why this is a big thing – I smoked for awhile, gave it up and I’m fine – you just lack Self-Discipline…”

To

“Look, Mommy!  That woman is smoking… (in clearly designated smoker’s area so I don’t destroy everyone else….)   “She’s a bad person, right, Mommy?”   (Mommy, after quick dirty look indicating how I’m one step from becoming (insert your favorite villain from history or movies, replies…), “Yes, Honey, She is a Bad Person!   Don’t ever be around people like her!  They will Kill You with their …(didn’t here the rest, because she was all but pulling the small child’s arm socket out of the shoulder joint in hurry-scurry to get away from bad influences…but I suspect, you must not come into contact with me, because I used to smoke, and could revert at anytime, therefore, I am pure Evil….)

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Like all things, that touch a chord in me, and I feel the need to respond to, in order to address the complaints from one side, with the needs of another, and try to find the happy medium for healthy living, compassion and fellowship, I list out the following bullet points – both on past and latest research, AND what you can do to find that common middle ground/compromise with someone you love to be around BUT you just cannot find the Great Divide Mid-Point on the Smoking Issue – :)”

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Factoids (listed in oldest, to newest information, received by this grey matter….)

  • My Grandfather was a Kentuckey, and later, Southern Ohio Tobacco Farmer, He Smoked
  • My Dad was warned to not start, because hard to stop, by HIS dad, but did, none the less…
  • Ceremonial use of wild plants from the family of plants with Latin name ‘nicotania’ somewhere in them, didn’t seem to be a big problem, any more than chewing on cocoa leaves to handle high elevations, energize and stave off hunger were for native peoples – UNTIL!  Modern Chemistry said, “OK….we got the Active Ingredient!!! WE KNOW!   It’s Nicotine (cigarettes) and (hmmm… since I’m not a cocaine addict…not sure what to tell ya….) BUT!  Congratulations to US!   We can know manufacture in the lab or isolate the “Good Stuff” that makes people feel better and treats a myriad of health problems, just by extracting/purifying/isolating the Active Ingredient…!)  (My experiential research tells me to say… “Um…NO….Not Really….Try Again…..”
  • MY Tobacco Growing for Cash Crop Grandfather told me in my youth (before I ever smoked…) “Don’t Smoke, BUT, that’s useless – didn’t work with your Dad, so IF YOU do! Grow your own, cure it the way I told you, purchase a quality made pipe and smoke it that way – company processed tobacco, pre-rolled cigarettes, the papers they use, the s**t they put in the ‘filters” – THAT will kill ya sooner than the tobacco will…(he was in his 70s and retired and quit smoking because he didn’t grow his own anymore – not sure how many years he fought the Grumpy Demon – but, he could turn off his hearing aide and pretend he didn’t hear irritating folks – that does help, ALOT! Just Saying….)
  • As a child, I had Asthma – I hated riding home in winter time, when dad kept the windows up to keep the ‘children warm’ but had to smoke, all the same – When I became a parent, I don’t care how cold everyone got (I bundled ’em up) If a day planned where vehicle smoking was a likelihood, the windows were down – even in blizzards/white-outs – just saying….)
  • The first time I smoked, I felt a small feeling of elation and well being (nope, I didn’t get sick…)
  • Over the next 6 months, I went from 3-4 on the weekends – to one a day, after work – to one in the morning when I had only 4 hours worth of sleep between end-of-shift and start of class – and…welllll.. yeah, it morphed on, from there…
  • When I started working, there was a designated break area for smokers – and you could spend your law-mandated time in that area 3 times a day – AND if your work was done, your sidework caught up, and area in good order, you could take a quick ‘smoke-break’ there on your way back from a bathroom break without getting into trouble – – seriously – until I worked a sit-down/desk job, I had never smoked an entire cigarette at one sitting in my life – I lit, inhaled 2-3 puffs, carefully stubbed out and laid in MY labeled ashtray to re-light later –
  • I worked from 13 years of age, on, in arenas with women who started smoking because smokers were the only ones who got breaks during a 9 – 16 hour shift (OMG! – They HAD to all be seriously dehydrated, too!  Just Saying….Have you SEEN the side effects of Dehydration?   Coupled with Sleep Deprivation, Serial Killer in the Making…Just Saying….)

So, now that I’ve shared some prior hurts/experiences/etc. over being a smoker in a society that morphed from “Everyone Smokes, why aren’t you?” to “OMG!  YOU EVIL!  Get Away!” perceptions – when I’m technically a Nicotine Afficiando (Addict) – I’m not even going to post the Factoids on Research – Lord Knows, I have quite a few times before AND I’ve Blogged about my various journeys in quitting cold-turkey, quitting via help of FDA approved, Dr., prescribed pharmaceuticals (Heck!  I had quit for nearly 4 years, and a mis-diagnosis of Depression, with 3 days worth of prescribed medicine sent me right back to the pacifier of cigarettes/nicotine and a further black mark, in my mind, over Big Pharma – 🙂

So I won’t bore you, further – search any keywords re: nicotine, e-cigs, nicotine, etc., with the addition of ‘ballybin.wordpress.com” and you’ll have reading material –

BUT, I must share the irony:

  • YES!  I’m a Nicotine Addict – in our society = THAT’s OK!  As long as I ain’t polluting their air with tobacco – and not encouraging their 9 year old to pick up a hookah or e-cig….
  • YES! I never weaned myself down to 0 nicotine in my own made e-cig juice – I got down to mixing 6 mg equivalent into a bottle of e-juice that filled my e-cig for 3 months or more – no matter how many eggplants I planted/harvested/fixed to new recipes – no matter how much I incorporated raw tomatoes into my diet, I still got antsy –
  • After a Decade of trying to quit, being quit or re-quitting, I’d like to say, I think I know more about my physiological addiction, need for a calm mind than you do – and, quite frankly, I am fairly confident I feed my addiction in the best way I know how without making my children starve or freeze, due to no food in the house, or the gas/electric turned off for failure to pay, due to: new car payments, gambling, extracurricular activities, more new clothes than I could wear out in a lifetime, shopping for s**t I don’t need and buying s**t I won’t use in this lifetime, dining out at food service that makes me ill, because ‘that’s where everyone will be, you have to come!”, etc., etc., etc.,

Nope, I still get torqued off over this Smoking Debate – If every smoker (legal if you’re of age, to buy/pay taxes on) quits tomorrow – the s**t you are addicted to, to ease your soul and keep you sane may just be taxed heavily in order to make up for the lost revenue – –

Here’s My List of Things to Tax, in Lieu of Tobacco Products:

Chocolate (whaddya I care?  I crave chocolate about once a decade and I’ll pay the damn tax…  Granted, those of you who love dark, bitter, no sugar, cream or anything else added dark chocolate lovers, should get a free pass – because, in small amounts, it is good for you – Everyone else?  You are increasing our National HealthCare, Even Losers Can’t Die from Poor Life Choices, System – Say goodbye to your store bought, American made Chocolate bars –

Twinkies – I LOVE TWINKIES!  I’ll Pay $2 in taxes per box!  Seriously!   I only indulge once in a blue moon – whadda I care if you eat a box a day?

Alcohol – Ramp that crap up (granted, we imbibers are already carrying a big share of the deficit, BUT – shouldn’t that just encourage us all to grow the goods in our urban backyard and make our own healthy brews/tonics/fermented beverages?  Seriously?  Love the Microbrewery rennaissaince going on – but then, that’s just me…  One of my son’s friends is taking agricultural classes and a brewmaster class next year – busy sourcing plants to have a variety of ingredients for him to choose from next winter/spring for his final – – LOL

All Cosmetics/Fashionable Clothes – Doesn’t have to be a big tax – for health sake/cultural uses, you really ought to replace purchased cosmetics every 2 weeks to 1 year time frame, and completely refresh your wardrobe every season – small percentage should make up the deficit if you just tax the hell out of pharmaceutical grade nicotine OR make it legal to Grow/Cure your own for home use AND/OR make purchase of pre-rolled cigarettes or papers high taxed –

(…Cuz ya know… that chemical/nasty smell that really has gotten to you these past few years?  Well, yes, that’s the fire-retardent papers that are federally mandated – seems to many smokers were burning themselves because they fell asleep – so we must keep the smokers safe while making the rest of you non-smokers nauseated from the smell and toxic from the chemicals – HEY!  I didn’t come up with this plan!   Don’t Blame Me….)

🙂

P.S. Forgive the typos, harshness, tangents – I just participated in a topic posted for SoCS by Linda G Hill, and been bloggy pals with her, long enough, I figure, she’ll see my good points, forgive my failings and say, “Oh?  Are you actually writing again?” and we’ll all have a good laugh – – 🙂

Linda – my house is a purified and essential oiled and being modified to get rid of 9 months of smoking back indoors (during a fail) – You ever find yourself nearby, If I fall off the wagon, I will go outdoors in my own home, to ease your comfort – I would never, ever, expect to smoke in your smoke free car, home, work place – – LOL – I have found ways to wash/neutralize the smell off me if I dare to smoke 150 yards away in the designated smoker’s area with a high wind blowing the stink off me –

BUT! If ever I fall of the wagon, will you kindly ask, “I’m really allergic to smoke, what needs to happen in order for me to enjoy an evening at your place, chatting, breaking bread and having fun?” instead of, “Well!  You should just quit smoking and if you do that, then I don’t care what else you do for me, or how hard you try – it’s never good enough – until I KNOW You have QUIT forever and never go back, fall off the wagon, etc….”

Think there needs to be a club, for the Nic Addicts, right?

I’m thinking ASS is a good one – “Association of Slipped Smoker’s” – – It will double in meaning for all the Holier than Though Quitters who want to judge those quitters/sliders coming up behind them – – LOL

Thanks for the thought/prompt/blog post, Linda G!  Ya Know I enjoy your take on the world – and left this as is, without asking permission to fix/re-write to be kinder – I hope you understand that I trust you to take the ‘tongue in cheek, mixed in with old hurts/anger’ stuff that came out while I did SoCS – cuz seriously?  Your cyber relationship, chat-time, etc., more important to me as a connection than talking about my addictions and raising awareness….LOL 🙂

The WordPress Family Award

My Family is Awesome!
My Family is Awesome!

Some while back, Melanie over at MotherofNine generously gifted me with my pick from a bouquet of awards – of course, I picked the WordPress Family award.

A message from Shaun, the creator of this award:

This is an award for everyone who is part of the “WordPress Family” I started this award on the basis that the WordPress family has taken me in, and showed me love and a caring side only WordPress can. The way people take a second to be nice, to answer a question and not make things a competition amazes me here. I know I have been given many awards, but I wanted to leave my own legacy on here by creating my own award, as many have done before. This represents “Family” we never meet, but are there for us as family. It is my honour to start this award. Thank you, Shaun @ http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com/

The guidelines are as follows:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.

2. Link back to the person who nominated you.

3. Nominate 10 others you see as having an impact on your WordPress experience and family.

4. Let your 10 Family members know you have awarded them.

5. That is it. Just please pick 10 people that have taken you as a friend, and spread the love.

So here are the most cherished members of my WordPress Family – I’ve got it all – the brothers who know what’s what and are prepared for everything, the artistic aunts that cheer me up and inspire me, the grandma that always gives me words of wisdom, the cousins who share my interests and make me laugh, the creative sisters who look out for me & let me borrow their clothes – and last, but not least, the knowledgeable uncles that promise not to snitch when I had one beer too many!

Enjoy!

GrandmaSays

newbloggycat

Jade’s Jungle

JulianneVictoria

SandySue

rmactsc

Maurice A. Barry

Julian Froment

Russell Deasley

Looking Out the Window

Linda G Hill

DataDrivenViewpoints

IPledgeAFallagience

Thank you all, for being part of my WordPress Family.