I've received my first letter to you from one of the folks that I found online.
He's going through a lot to try to get you out of his life, and it's a hard journey. The awareness alone of how addiction is different for each person is so apparent in his letter, I only hope you're listening. Either way, I think he's rid of you a little differently now than he was the first few tries.
Since the age of 12 you have ravaged my lungs with your carbon sandpaper.
With the carrot of nicotine and the comfort of sucking, you turned me into your willing slave.
I escaped for seven years; under stress at medical school, of all places, I relapsed into that concentration only nicotine provides. They didn't have patches or gum back then.
There was another three years in my thirties when I escaped your ashen clutches, but after my back surgery failed and I was in constant pain, I said, "What the hell, who wants to live? Give me a cigarette."
Afterwards six months off here, six months there, but I could never completely escape the spurs you had dug so deep in my brain.
Now I've got two months and I'm not going back. You are a great whore but a lousy master. I want to stay far from your bordello and your plantation.
I am not stronger than you, but pain is, and the pain of coughing and shortness of breath finally did me in. For me to smoke is to be sick. At the end I threw up when I sampled you on an empty stomach in the morning.
I will always envy those who can have a cigarette only when they go out to a bar, those who can keep a pack in a plastic bag in the freezer for weeks like my brother. It boggles my mind that any human could have such power over your black magic. Then there are exceptions to every addiction.
The best I can ever hope is to be a non-smoker, because, as you well know, I will always be a smoker at heart. They still smell good (Damn you!).
Should this ever change, I will have the brand removed from my forehead and proclaim myself "free." Until then I wave a wooden cross at you.
Thanks for the good time, but the price of your burning was always too high.
Go with God,
C. E. Chaffin M.D FAAFP
Editor, The Melic Review