I started smoking as a young girl at the age of 12. I grew up in a household full of smoke as both my parents smoked and so did my older brothers. I can remember being really young and hating that my house smelled like smoke. I remember when I would go to bed at night I would push my head down into my pillow so I would not go to sleep smelling the smoke that was almost always coming upstairs to my room from the kitchen downstairs.
Both my parents are gone now and I loved them dearly. They were great parents and would have never done anything to hurt any of us. However, I do remember being burnt by cigarettes as a child just because my mom was careless and would either run into us with her smokes or visa versa we would run into her. I know this was never intentional, but I remembered being burned nonetheless.
My sisters and I used to sit and watch my mom as she read her newspaper, books, etc. and watch to see how long her ash would get because it seemed she never flicked them. She could almost let a whole cigarette burn without flicking her ashes but I remember lots of times they would just fall on the floor or couch. I swore I would NEVER smoke. I hated everything about it when I was young. We (me and my siblings) used to get in so much trouble because we would take our parents cartons of cigarettes out into the fields and burn them thinking we were helping. Boy did we get a lot of ash whoopins for doing that!
Then came Junior High...you remember, the day puberty sets in and everyone starts noticing the opposite sex and being "cool" all of a sudden this becomes really important. Unfortunately, one of the "cool" things to do according to the gang I hung around with, was smoking. We lived in an area which was very cold during the winters and we used to pick up cigarette butts off of the ground on our way to school and pretend to smoke them because you could see your breath and it looked like smoke.
The fateful day came when all my friends started smoking. I will never forget the day, after pretending to smoke with my friends when a girl named Patricia came up to me and said very snobbishly:
- "We all know you dont inhale, Lori."
I will never forget the head rush I got from that sickorette. As a matter of fact, it hit me so hard I actually fell off the booth. Another thing I will never forget is looking over and seeing a very sweet elderly couple staring at me and my hoodlum girlfriends and just shaking their heads sadly. I can still to this day see that couple looking at me as I inhaled my first cigarette. After that, the rest was history. I was now a smoker at the ripe old age of 12. It then became a part of my life. It was who I was, my identity. Lori the smoker.
When I turned 18 years old a lot of things changed in my life. I moved away from home and my friends to go to another state. I started to look at life in a whole new way. I guess you could say I was trying to "grow up." At any rate, I actually quit smoking for 2 years at the age of 18. Cold turkey. And believe it or not I had none of the withdrawal problems I have had with this quit. I was always considered the "runt" of my family as I was the second born out of a set of very small twins and it took me until I graduated from high school to get over 100 lbs.
Unfortunately, I gained A LOT of weight (about 50 lbs) during the two years of this quit. And then, to make a long story short (is that possible for me??) I saw my sisters pack of cigarettes sitting on a table, and with absolutely NO craving or desire picked one up and smoked it because I knew if I started again, I would be skinny again. How dumb can I get!!
My smoking habit continued and I am now almost 39 years old. I quit on August 31, 2004 and will never smoke again. I am a parent of two children and I have NEVER smoked in my house because I never wanted them to go to sleep smelling smoke like I did.
Page 2 - Lori Loses her Mother to Smoking