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Isolation Of A Widowed Smoker

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This is sad, but it hit home for me.  Different circumstances and a generation gap, this was me.  How lonely I really was and smoking was never the friend I had thought it was.  This could be any one of us should we ever take another puff from one of those death sticks.

 

Life had become a boring routine. She had just been going through the motions of maintaining a normal semblance of existence. Waking up, having a cigarette. Washing up and brushing her teeth, having a cigarette. Eating breakfast, having a cigarette. Doing some light cleaning, vacuuming, dusting, and having a cigarette. Watching a little television while having a cigarette. Preparing a sandwich for lunch, having a cigarette. Taking a short nap, waking up for a cigarette. Reading the newspaper, having a cigarette. Making a list of needed groceries, having a cigarette. Getting ready to do some light shopping, having a cigarette. Driving to the local market, having a cigarette. About to enter the store, but stopping to have a cigarette. Checking out at the cash register, leaving the store and having a cigarette. Going home and starting to prepare dinner, having a cigarette. Eating dinner, having a cigarette. Clearing the table and washing the dishes, having a cigarette. Watching a little television, having a couple of cigarettes. Washing up, brushing her teeth and getting dressed for bed, having a cigarette. Getting into bed, having a cigarette. Going to sleep.

 

Ever since the loss of her husband many years ago, nothing in her normal daily existence seemed to give her life any meaning or any real happiness. Weeks would go by with her barely cracking a smile. Almost nothing seemed to bring her joy anymore. But this day was starting differently. After breakfast her phone rang. She ran for a cigarette. On the fourth ring she made it to the phone and picked up the receiver. It was her daughter. She lived only an hour away, but because of her career, her husband's schedule and the kid's school, soccer, piano, ballet lessons, etc., they only were able to visit occasionally. Well, to her pleasant surprise, she found out that they were coming on Saturday to spend the day.

 

For the first time in weeks she seemed truly happy. As soon as she hung up the phone she grabbed for a cigarette. She had to start planning and preparing to see the kids. She called her beauty shop to make an afternoon appointment. When she hung up the phone she took a cigarette. She got dressed and ready to go shopping, and right before leaving, she took a cigarette. In the car driving to the store she hurriedly smoked two cigarettes for she knew she could not smoke while in the store. She hurriedly went up and down the aisles, with a certain bounce in her step for she was still so excited about the visit. When she left the store she hurried to her car and lit a cigarette. She went home, put away the groceries, prepared and ate a quick bite, smoked a cigarette and hurriedly left the house to be on time for her beauty shop appointment. While she was there she smoked and conversed with the other patrons, glowing as she told of her exciting weekend news.

 

When she got home, she smoked a cigarette, and starting preparing a turkey for the big Saturday night meal. She smoked and ate, smoked and cooked and smoked and prepared for bed. One last cigarette and she slowly dozed off, happy and excited about the joy of the upcoming day.

 

When she woke up she excitedly grabbed for her first cigarette. She got up and cleaned and brushed her teeth, and took another cigarette. She ate breakfast and smoked again. She started preparing her feast and smoked numerous cigarettes. Even though she was not conscious of the fact, she was smoking more than normal. Through years of conditioning she had learned that since she couldn't smoke when around the grandchildren she had better have plenty of nicotine in her system by the time they arrived. A little last minute cleaning, and cooking and smoking. She was ready.

 

The door bell rings. She hurries to the door and opens it up. There is her family. Everyone is excited. She goes to kiss the youngest, who says "Oh grandma, you smell like an ashtray!" She was used to these comments, she loved him anyway. After 15 minutes of talking with all the kids and her daughter and son-in-law, she and her daughter go to the kitchen to work on the dinner. After a couple of hours she starts to feel the twinge for a cigarette. But she knows she can't smoke. The kids are running through the house vigorously. As the hours pass, her patience becomes strained. Too much noise she thinks to herself, boy, does she wish she could smoke a cigarette. She starts to complain of a minor headache. They decide they better eat early, grandma is seeming a little tired and a little hassled. They sit down to eat. The food is good and everyone is enjoying.

 

But grandma seems to be feeling worse and worse. Four hours have passed and still no cigarette. After dinner they all decide grandma needs some rest and mutually everyone agrees they will leave early. She kisses them all good-bye and rushes them out. As the door closes she hurries to her pack and smokes three cigarettes in a row. She finally starts to feel better. She now sits down in a quiet empty room thinking how lonely she feels and how sad that they had to leave so soon. But at least she has her cigarettes. But it had been a long day. She washes up, brushes her teeth, gets dressed for bed, and has one last cigarette.

 

Tomorrow would be another routine day.


Joel


© Joel Spitzer 1994, 2000
Page last updated by Joel Spitzer on August 24, 2003
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This is so true.  I rushed through all events just to get to smoke time and when it took a long time I was miserable.   Pretty pathetic really.   This is a great story to illustrate to those who question if they are an addict or not.  If you behave this way.....you're an addict.  Someone not addicted would never make those choices.

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A great post and a good reminder,of what I too used to be ......

I have made excuses in the past,to not go on days out with the family and grand kiddies,because I wouldn't be able to smoke,

It has been my loss....

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Want to guess what her husband died of?

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Interesting how when her day to day functioning is described you can see how smoking really is affecting everything.

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Want to guess what her husband died of?

 

He hid her cigarettes.

 

And now he's buried in the back pasture.  No one talks about it anymore..... it's a deep family secret.  But she still continues to get his monthly retirement checks.  No way can she afford those death sticks with just her income.

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It's really sad how our lives revolved around smoking.  Glad to be free :)

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Wow. There are many parallels in that story that make me think of my Mum.

 

She is Vaping now, and I don't think she intends to stop that...which worries me, but taking the positives, at least the smoking is gone.

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wow, what an eye opener and so sad. I'm so glad I'm smoke free!

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I was thinking about this earlier and thought a revisit might be in order.  ;)

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I think each and every one of us on here can relate to this story in many ways, cutting short a meal, a visit a telephone call, becoming agitated as we needed our fix, how shallow were we?  Nicotine cannot or never will be a replacement for human companionship, heartbreaking to think of the slave we were to cigarettes false sense of friendship.

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I think each and every one of us on here can relate to this story in many ways, cutting short a meal, a visit a telephone call, becoming agitated as we needed our fix, how shallow were we?  Nicotine cannot or never will be a replacement for human companionship, heartbreaking to think of the slave we were to cigarettes false sense of friendship.

Right on.

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I've read the WhyQuit books at least 3 times.  This part always makes me super sad for this woman - like DEEP DOWN sad. And sad for all of us and the many times we sacrificed more joyous, important, family moments for the monotonous sucking-in of chemicals. This story is a somber and ACCURATE reminder of what an addicted life is like.  Trapped, brainwashed, wanting/needing, and never being truly present.  We are so blessed to have escaped.

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Hi,

 

This post is brilliant!, really helped me tonight.  My In-laws are wonderful, loving, caring people, they love to cook and always provide a great spread at least three times a year.....I generally get a little grumpy whilst driving there because I know I can't smoke (I probably could have done and been my true self but really didn't want to hurt their feelings, as far as they knew, I gave up 8 years ago!).

 

I will escape!

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I will escape!

 

 

 

You already have.

 

 

 

Easy Peasy

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That's powerful-and exactly how I lived as a smoker---

 

This place was very instrumental in my quit- I can never thank you all enough--

 

Peace to all and Happy Sunday,,

 

RC

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It's amazing how much we miss out on as smokers.

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Wow. There are many parallels in that story that make me think of my Mum.

 

She is Vaping now, and I don't think she intends to stop that...which worries me, but taking the positives, at least the smoking is gone.

 

 

?? isn't that a good thing, EB? I mean, it's only PG and VG (80/20) in my case... or does she have the nicotine included?

Mine's only flavour and it's GORGEOUS!! SO much nicer than tobacco... I'm addicted to the aroma of the Lemon Meringue Pie!

 

I also read that OP with a SAD memories.. not that I was THAT bad this time, but I'd still avoid gatherings that would take "too long" lol!!

Not that I have this issue now... all family interstate, but I did!

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Jenny!! I LURVE your cat pic!!!

 

Donotwannasmoke! that's EXACTLY how I used to feel... had to 'hide' my smoking as they thought I'd quit YEARS ago!!

LOL!!

 

FREEE FREEE FREEE!!!

 

yayyyy

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What a great post. I've been exactly the same way. When I see it like this, it makes me so sad. And it's funny. I've been feeling really lonely since I gave them up. What a freaking lie that they were my friends. A billion NOPES to that BS, 

 

Thank you for that great post.

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Don't be sad feely..your giving up nothing..your freeing yourself..from slavery

Be glad..be positive..you don't have to poison yourself every day now..

Celebrate..

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There are lots of reasons to feel lonely after you quit Feely. Not everyone's story is as bereft of human contact as the widow. It's true your social life will change as a result of quit smoking too. For the better.

This is so true.  I rushed through all events just to get to smoke time and when it took a long time I was miserable.   Pretty pathetic really.   This is a great story to illustrate to those who question if they are an addict or not.  If you behave this way.....you're an addict.  Someone not addicted would never make those choices.

 

That's right Jenny... if you behave this way then you are addict.  I don't think a person can successfully quit without making this realization in the long run.

A great post and a good reminder,of what I too used to be ......
I have made excuses in the past,to not go on days out with the family and grand kiddies,because I wouldn't be able to smoke,
It has been my loss....

 

These are hard realizations and also show an immediate benefit to quitting..

 

wow, what an eye opener and so sad. I'm so glad I'm smoke free!

 

That's what happens to people down the line with smoking SanDar.

 

I was thinking about this earlier and thought a revisit might be in order.  ;)

 

On mother's day. Well there are also lots of cheerful mother's days among all the quitters. Just one mother's day is a gift.

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Not just recent newbies. I found this to be so spot on my own experiences while smoking. So many missed moments with loved ones just because our addiction demanded to be fed. Makes me angry that I fell for it all those years :(

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