“So as long as I don’t violate any laws and I don’t disturb anyone [I should be free to smoke]. This is one of my few remaining freedoms.”
Now, there's something that would truly polarize this nation haha. Haters (gonna hate) to the left, smokers (gonna smoke) to the right. Ang hiraaaaaaap. Haha. Smokers say leave him alone; non-smokers say the president should be a role model. Eh si Obama nga nagyoyosi pa rin di ba.
Where I'm coming from: Happy to report I've been off cigs for the better part of the past two years after being a smoker for seven years. SEVEN YEARS, YOU GUYS. I used to kid that my relationship with nicotine was the longest I've ever had haha but then I look at myself now and for the most part (for the most part) I am in awe of how I managed to go from this girl who used to smoke a pack or two a day (A PACK OR TWO CHRIST) to this girl who can go without.
Well, a lot of it is due to significant changes in personal circumstances: There's Andrea, for whom smoking is the number one "deal-breaker" (mine is anorexia or some deep-seated hatred for food LOL), and the people I now hang out with often don't smoke at all. That's the most important thing, I guess, the immediate vicinity -- the first thing a quitter needs is a good support system, because letting go of the habit is letting go of a crutch.
Oh, I still miss it every now and then - it's like when I miss coffee, or when I miss alcohol. It's been so deeply entrenched in so much of what I'd been used to doing (that's what habits are, aren't they?). I used to smoke whenever there was space and time for it - in the office lobby while waiting for a gimmick, in waiting sheds while waiting for a jeep or a cab, in a bar while nursing a bottle of beer. I even smoked even when there was no TIME for it, just so I can introduce nicotine into my bloodstream. It was that desperate. The hardest part, I think, was that I smoked whenever I wrote anything -- academic papers, love letters, work, fiction. So just imagine how hard that was, when I stopped smoking in early 2008 and I found that the words have left me.
Left me. I wanted my nicotine back because I wanted the words back and that was hard. 2008 was a hard year on that front, but so much more rewarding in so many other places. 2008 was also a year of major career changes, of added responsibilities. Was it actually a crazy idea, to let go of smoking while in the middle of important life changes?
But then, now, here we are. It's astounding, really, how I got through Elections 2010 without nicotine (and actually spent the last stretch leading up to May 10 without alcohol and caffeine as well! IKR, PANO NANGYARI YUN?!) Since severing ties with yosi, I've rediscovered my nicotine-less self as actually enjoyable (LOL enjoyable); sure staying around in all too smoky places now makes me sick, and I've been out of the bar-going, nightclubbing scene for quite a while now, and I do miss getting drunk and so full of nicotine I feel like puking (oo minsan nakakamiss ang kawasakan) BUT THEN I've also rediscovered that there are a lot of things out there that I can also enjoy minus the smoking and the binge drinking.
The most important thing I rediscovered? That I can write without these substances. That the words are back. 2009 was a good year, and it was a good year without nicotine. I needed to rediscover myself as a non-smoker, to redefine myself as someone not substance-reliant. And so far, so good. The feeling that I can say no to myself -- that I can manage to not smoke when in the midst of smokers, that I can say 'iced tea' instead of 'San Mig Lite' - it. is. AWESOME.
So, from me to you, Mr Presumptive President Elect - you should try it. It's freedom at its finest.