So let’s add some depth to this blog, shall we??
I wanted to start adding some articles about my personal life into vaping/smoking, and what brought me into this immense world. Excuse me for being long winded in what I am writing but there is quite a bit to my story…
I was born prematurely, roughly a month too early. When I was born, I had to spend another few weeks in the hospital while my lungs developed. My parents learned early on that I was allergic to cigarette smoke. My dad smoked at the time (Marlboro red a.k.a. “Cowboy Killers), but decided to go outside out of respect for my allergic fits. Still, a trip to visit Mom’s family would turn into a trip to the doctor’s office Monday morning with a severe case of a sinus infection with another round of antibiotics. This continued until I was 9-10 years old.
Despite feeling seriously sick, I had this unexplainable attraction to cigarettes. The first strike had an oddly sweet odor to me that struck me as odd. Yet I swore from a very early age that I would never pick up smoking. I never wanted to try a cigarette.
Never say never.
19 years old. Still never smoked, although my allergy situation wasn’t nearly as bad as it was when I was a kid. I met a girl who I was crazy about. We shared a lot in common, she was fun to be around. However, she was a smoker. Instead of it being a major turn-off, it turned into me pressuring myself into trying smoking. At first it was everything but cigarettes (Black and Mild, cloves) but by the end of that summer, I had tried my first cigarette.
It tasted strange at first. The sweet tobacco taste on the first few hits was very pleasurable, but by the end I thought it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would have been. But I can stop at just one cigarette, right?
I bought a pack on my way back to school from college. The tobacco leaves smelled so good when I opened the pack, and I thought it would give me something to do while I went outside of my dorm to have a few minutes of quiet time to myself. At first it was 2-3 cigarettes a day but quickly grew to a pack a day over the next couple of years.
During the next several years, I went into relationships with girls who smoked and a few that didn’t. I would go through several personal trials that would put my health, finances, and mental strength to the ultimate test. (I’ll write an article about the one time I should have quit in the future).
Then I met my wife. She was a smoker (and still is, to be honest). I felt this overwhelming sense of relief that I wouldn’t have to hide my nasty habit and that it was something we could understand with one another. For my 30th birthday, she bought me a cigar and a bottle of whiskey as a “sophisticated” gift, which I could appreciate. Even now I still think about how relaxing that cigar was. But after I turned 30, my health started to take a drastic turn.
I went through a lot of mental health issues (depression, anxiety, and even a few episodes where my mind started drifting towards suicide). I could hear my chest wheezing when I would take a deep breath, and could feel how winded I would get after doing a strenuous activity outside. I did the thing that most smokers would do in telling myself “I have got to quit smoking!!”
I also found out in May that I have low testosterone, which was very unusual for someone 32 years old. I did a lot of research into the hormone replacement therapy, the risks associated, etc. I was kind of shocked at the very high risk of health issues (heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, and even death). I thought that if I was going to do something, now would be the time. Otherwise, I may not be here tomorrow to change my mind.
I tried blu, Mystic, Vuse, and all other cig-a-like devices. I picked up a Lex-12 starter kit and for the first time in my life, I was able to go for longer than a week without cigarettes. I wasn’t completely satisfied with the experience, but I could mentally separate myself from the cigarette experience. After I had some issues with the device, I decided to check out a local vape shop (actually, technically, I tried a few shops). I settled on a starter kit and found a flavor that I really enjoyed.
And just like that, I drifted farther and farther away from cigarettes and started sticking with vaping. To be honest, it hasn’t been completely easy for me. The cigarette demon still haunts me from time to time. But to be fair, it’s a much easier battle to win now.
Today is our fifth wedding anniversary. Even though my wife still smokes, I am reminded everyday that the choice I made to switch to vaping will hopefully keep me around to celebrate many more wedding anniversaries. I don’t want my health to become such an issue that I have to plan my actions around sneaking outside for a cigarette. I don’t want to become so much of a burden on my wife when I get up in age just because I couldn’t put a cigarette down.
I vape because I want to live, I want to laugh, and I want to love for the rest of my life. As long as I can.
Until next time…