I’ve said “I Quit” to multiple things, but this time it’s different. I’ve grown up with drugs and alcohol surrounding my everyday life and at age fourteen I was handed my first blunt. It was quite an experience I must say. The memory is still so vivid to me that I can specifically tell you the location, time of the day, the taste, what I was wearing, the weather outside and how I reacted after my first intake. Ha! I’m explaining this like if I was in a court room. Anyway, I can’t really explain how I felt or what I was feeling during my high, but I knew it was something very out of the ordinary. Since at that age I was going through some personal problems at home and with my parents; I felt like my so called “friends” were my family and escape from reality. So like any other teenager going through a difficult time I continued to do it. The more I hung around my “friends” the more I would smoke. Of course they were drinking as well, but at that time I grew up with alcoholics and saw the way they reacted and it just wasn’t for me. Shockingly, I said no to that. I guess I wasn’t that hardcore. So the urge to smoke marijuana only gained by the day.
At age sixteen I was sexually abused by a family member. This lasted for about a two months and till this day I haven’t said a word to anyone. Why? As much as I never liked that specific person, I know his punishment will not be dealt with here on earth. I leave it all to God. I’m not worried about it anymore and whatever happened, happened. When I came back from vacation I was like a piece of bread wanting to be a toasted peanut butter and jelly sandwich! I couldn’t spend another second without my “bubblegum train wreck.” (A name given to a type of marijuana.)
So on top of what I was already going through, this only made my craving stronger. Now there wasn’t a day I didn’t get high. I just couldn’t live without it. Some people can’t live without exercising, social media, music or even sex. Well my addiction was marijuana.
Some people may argue that you can’t be addicted to marijuana, but I however was. I would wake up and the first thing I would get ready is to smoke. On my way to school I would meet up with my “friends” and get high before class started. Instead of eating lunch, my “friends” and I would sneak out of the cafeteria, go across the street and smoke in someone’s random front yard. I even helped distribute some throughout my school. I would also lie to my mom and say that I was in tutoring after school and had a ride home when in reality I was about two blocks away smoking at a “friends” house. The lies, the bad attitude, the choice of words I would use against my family only grew. The walls of hating everything started to grow around me as well. I let no one into my reality. It was dark, dangerous and suicidal.
Throughout the rest of my high school years I met some pretty cool people and tried making the best out of my junior and senior year, which I believe accomplished! During my senior year, I managed to get my first job! But before any job you working at there’s a lovely test we all must pass. Well I smoked the day of my exam and I was having the panic attack of my life. I went in for my test and the manager that was hiring asked me if I had ever done any drug. I quickly said “No! I’ve never even been offered.” So she shrugged her shoulders and skipped the drug test. She was in such hurry to hire someone that she simply didn’t have time for the “bullshit.” Since there would be random drug test given out I decided to stop. This is where I came face to face with the saying, “better said than done.” After struggling to stop there was only one thing I needed to do and that was to cut out all of my toxic “friends.” I told most of them that I had to really focus on school or that I was moving soon so I needed to cut all relationships with people because I would never see them again. Luckily, it worked. But I have never craved something so bad in my life. So I turned to cigarettes. Since the stress of school, after school activities, and work consumed most of my life, I slowly lost the desire of “Mary, Juan and Ana,” but I instead replaced the craving with cigarettes.
Graduation came and left and then I proceeded with college. I met my now new best friend and when she saw me smoke for the first time she was disgusted. She would tell me that it was gross, guys don’t find it attractive and it can cause all these health problems; like if I didn’t know that already. But because we were so alike, got along so perfectly with one another that there was a light that I saw in her that I didn’t see in anyone else. So I wanted to be her friend more than anything! So I did “her” the favor and quit smoking. I then went through multiple jobs and during breaks most of my coworkers would go outside and smoke and because I didn’t want to be an outsider or wanted to get to know my coworkers more, I caved in. So the craving came back; the cigarette one. I would go through one pack of cigarettes like a hoe would go through a pack of condoms. After finishing a pack I would always say, “okay, this is my last one.” Unfortunately, it didn’t go as planned.
So here I am at age twenty-three smoking my last cigarette. What changed my mind this time? The stupid romantic chick flick called The Fault In Our Stars. There’s a scene when the young man pulls out a cigarette from his pocket and puts it in between his lips as if he’s about to smoke it. The young girl then starts arguing about how gross and harmful it is to not only the person smoking it, but to those who are surrounded by him. As they are many people diagnosed with cancer who don’t deserve it why should we let something so small give it the power to kill us. The young man then proceed with saying “I never lit the cigarette. If I didn’t light the cigarette then I’m not giving it the will power to kill me.” The fact that I am now realizing that I can prevent something so harmful from happening to my body makes me want to get on my knees and just thank God for opening my eyes in a different perspective. I’ve said this countless of times, but to really know how blessed I am with how healthy I’ve lived; there’s no reason I should give it the “will power to kill me.” So I’m saying it now, loud and proud; “I QUIT!” If you’ve reached this far into my ramblings, I applaud you. Now, time for me to pass out.