Surviving Cigarettes

You know maybe it’s just me

but I don’t need to walk around
with a heavy sign around my neck
that says I am a recovering cigarette smoker
that it has been twenty years since my last drag.

I don’t need to go to meetings
or confess my cravings
which I honestly don’t remember.
I don’t need the pat on the back
or the camaraderie of fellow ex-smokers
to get through another day.

I sent that bitch packing.
I buried it
said a few words
and left it to rot
where it belongs.

I didn’t look back.

Some friend
it soiled my lungs, hair
and clothes.
It yellowed my teeth
wrinkled my face, turned me into a liar
and a sneak. It made me miss out
on special times with friends and family.
It was a selfish, conceited bully.

It made me believe
all sorts of lies.

It was never satisfied
always wanting
more and more of my attention.

It had me fooled
spun me up like a top.
I forgot about food, I lived on diet soda and one meal a day.
It was the first thing I reached for in the morning
and the last thing at night.

I woke up to its trickery
I slowly learned that
I had other choices
that I didn’t have to be a victim
or a hostage
to this friend.

So I quit that habit

dropped it
for the cheat that it was
and suddenly food tasted better.
My car
house
and my breath smelled cleaner, sweeter
attracting positive friends
like health and fitness.

It brought things like
memory into sharper focus
reversed the damage to my lungs
gave me a life free from chronic bronchitis
made my immune system
more resistant to infection
and speeded healing.

My so-called friend
had been killing me inch by inch

guaranteeing me a
one-way express ticket
to the dirt and ash concert
but I decided to postpone
that rendezvous.
I know that time
will come soon enough.

In the meantime
I have too much to do
too many things to experience

so many doors to open

reawakening the child within
reminding me of
simplicity and common sense
of how things used to be and
could be again, if I just let it be.

Retesting boundaries
and exploring

beyond my comfort zone

way past where
any of my old friends
had ever gone
or will ever go.

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