Breaking Free From Bad
How it all Began
I´ve always been what you call a “rebel soul”, I never quite knew what I wanted to do with my life, but if you asked me I would answer “drugs, sex and rock & roll baby!”... I don´t really know where I got that idea from, but I was sure I wanted to be free to experience every single thing life had to offer in every aspect.
I was a Beatles, Elvis and Janice Joplin fan, still am, thought life was short and didn´t want to waste it by second guessing myself or being afraid of any experience.
When I got to the age of thirteen I decided it was time to begin my trip on the “rule-breaking train”. I stole a couple of Cuban cigarettes from my parents stash, a lighter, went up to the rooftop and smoked the day away while meditating on the meaning of life, my existence on this earth, pretending to be a deeply misunderstood philosopher too mature for her age.
Janice Joplin, Summertime
Recurring Trips to the Rooftop
Soon enough, I began inviting other friends to the rooftop, together we smoked away my parents Cubans´ and stole a whole lot of their regular Camels´, which used to be stored in packs inside the refrigerator. My poor parents, both chronic 40 a day smokers, thought they were now smoking 60 and blamed each other for their lack of self-control.
Suddenly I started smoking in other places, the bathroom, the garden, my room, outside my school, on my friends´ rooftops… when my parents finally realized what was happening, I was a full-time smoker and had no intentions of quitting. They were on to me, I couldn´t keep on stealing from their stash, so I started using my lunch money to buy my own. Everything revolved around this activity, I felt so grownup, so cool, such a rebel…
My parents obviously didn´t like it, but I was far beyond their opinion and really didn´t care much for it. No matter how grounded I was, I always found a way to overrule them, they didn´t really know it, but for me, their kingdom was at an end. I was creative and 100% irresponsible, my friends and I came up with various schemes to get the money we needed to maintain our supply. We would stand outside a shopping mall looking innocent and helpless, approach any adult with our teary eyes and say “my irresponsible alcoholic mother forgot to pick me up after the movie and I have no money to pay for a cab”, needless to say, we made millions.
By this time, we were not only buying smokes, we were also buying beer, going to parties, clubs, you name it. I would make up stories to my parents like “I´m at xx house studying”, and when this stopped working (mainly because my parents are not stupid) I would hide some pillows and a wig under the covers of my bed, wait for them to fall asleep and tiptoe my way out of the house.
I grew up in Mexico City, buying smokes, beer and going to a club while still underage is quite easy, even more when you are a cute young girl from the “nice part of town”, who looks like she wouldn´t even attempt to murder a fly. People couldn´t really conceive that I was a full-time nightmare for my parents, who by this stage were wondering what they did to deserve such a pain in both their asses.
I was an excellent student, my grades were always good, was “the teacher´s favorite” all my life. I figured that if I didn´t give any excuse in this area, my parents couldn´t really do something drastic, like sending me to a boarding school (or to a psychiatric institution for instance), and I was right, they didn´t.
My Teens Ended
School ended, it was time for college. I went away to another state and began my life as an independent “adult”. My mothers´ last words as she left me alone in my dorm were:
“You can be an asshole and blame us for all the stupid things you´ve done till this day, if we were a bad example, or didn´t love you enough, or didn´t live up to your expectations of perfect parenting, fine, it´s on us. But, from now on, it´s on you, if you screw this up, know this well: only your own stupidity is to blame”.
It may not sound as the wisest advice ever, but, it really was.
I then knew that I was on my own, that I was responsible for my own actions and couldn´t blame my parents for anything that went wrong in my life, from now on, everything was on me.
Thirty and on an Identity Crisis
I really, really, enjoyed my twenties, I did everything and anything I ever wanted. Needless to say, I continued to ride the “rule-breaking train” and landed a whole bunch of experiences, some good ones, and some bad ones also. Just like my mother asked, I didn´t blame my parents for the bad ones, I learned to take responsibility for my own actions and, thanks to it, grew up to be an intelligent, mature, wise woman. Somewhere along the way, I came to be satisfied with my desire for “drugs, sex and rock & roll” and began to live a more down to earth existence.
I quitted drinking, I quitted the parties, stopped experimenting with drugs, and stepped down the “rule-breaking train”, I finally got fed up with it. Now I´m in my mid-thirties, trying to find a new meaning to my life, a deeper one, a new path that doesn´t include any self-destructing of any kind and that might help me achieve a peaceful state of mind.
I´m off dysfunctional relationships, learning to love and accept myself for who I am, and trying to find a new identity, a more peaceful one. I used to be a tornado, I now have the need to slow down and maybe dissipate into a lighter storm. I´ve been able to control, or at least satisfy, most of my obsessions, except for one: smoking.
The Smoking Monster
I´m really, REALLY having trouble quitting. I know it´s a disgusting addiction, it will kill me, I´m better off without it. I´ve now managed to smoke no more than 10 cigarettes a day, which is a lot for me, but I still can´t bring myself to STOP once and for all.
I´ve been searching the internet for tips, help, advice, etc. I found a book called “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking” by Allen Carr, I bought it, read it in two days and found the audio-book for free on youtube:
It is helping, I can´t deny it, but it hasn´t quite sealed the deal yet. Nicotine is a hard drug, an ugly one if I may say so. It punishes you in a silent way, not like alcohol and the terrible hangovers you get when you abuse its ‘use, this one is more subtle, more dangerous.
I know I can do it, believe me I know I can, but, it´s so hard I can´t even begin to explain how awful I feel sometimes. Of all the things I´ve done in my life, smoking tobacco is the only one I regret doing, I wish I could go back to those days spent on the rooftop smoking and change the story. I wish I´d never started, it´s a nightmare and I want to wake up, I want to break free.
I know my mother was right, only my own stupidity is to blame, so, if you are thinking it might be a good idea to become a smoker, STOP, think, you don´t need it, you can still be a rebel, just please be a non-smoking rebel, it´s way cooler believe me.
If you used to smoke and managed to quit, and you´ve managed to read me this far, please do share some advice, some useful tips that may help me undo the damage that I know I´ve done to myself by using this horrible drug. Help me break free from bad, I will be forever grateful.