I’m not shy about the fact that I am addicted to nicotine. My delivery method of choice is a Cowboy-killer cigarette. There is some talk in the mental health community that tobacco companies like to prey on the mentally ill in order to sell more product. I completely agree with this statement as living proof. While I was in a mental health facility, twice I might add, smoking was a great way to pass the time. Although I wasn’t a smoker my first go around,they still provided nicotine products for those who were. During my 2nd in-patient treatment I smoked like a chimney, and became very close to others that did as well.
I have very mixed feelings about smoking. On one hand, it is a torture that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemies. It destroys your body as well as your finances, and will always lead to an early death. On the other hand, it has become a self-harm coping mechanism for me, for the same reasons stated above. While started as a way to ease into my social circles that I hadn’t yet found while in college, it has become a ravaging addiction.
I desperately cling to this addiction, even though I want to quit. It gives me a solace knowing that I’m shortening my own life with each smoke. The depression in me loves this fact. While my depression is getting better, my body now depends on the nicotine to function. It really is the last bastion of my depression that even I myself am trying to defend.
Smoking has become something incredibly negative in public view, and for good reason. However, I can’t help but feel further alienated by being a smoker because it impacts one’s health so negatively. Smoking is banned in building, near buildings, and I always feel guilty lighting up around other people. I’ll constantly get these stairs from people as if I’m a disgusting monster for this bad habit of mine. I’ll constantly be singled out by people because the odor sticks to my clothing and is always on my breath. While I do not blame these people for treating me so differently, it puts fuel on my mental illness fires. So much so that it becomes this loop of smoking because I’m depressed or anxious, then becoming more depressed or anxious for being judged as a smoker.
I want to tell all of you out there, that smoking is a terrible thing to do. Yet while I do it to myself, I know I sound hypocritical. If you smoke, I recommend quitting if you can; if you don’t smoke, don’t start, it’s not worth it. I too will quit when my insane suicidal fantasies behind smoking also end. Until then, I continue to hope that someday, this habit of mine will cost me my life. For all you out there, there is hope for you yet. Someday, I’ll follow suit.
“Life is like a cigarette, at first it seems long and you think it’ll last a while. But by the end it seems so short, went by too fast and you want another.”
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