Dear Mrs. Nicotine,
You had me at hello. Well if I am being honest, it was 3 or 4 times after that in which you had me. At 14 years old, my brain wasn’t wise enough to know that your influence was so great and your claws so deep digging that the first few times we met, your grip would hold so hard that I would throw up because it was too intense. Little did I know that I would persist…out of curiosity…out of peer pressure…out of boredom…out of stupidity…does it matter now? I would persist to let you into my naive existence. Filling the need to help me cope with a world of new people and experiences during my first year away from home and into a boarding school experience.
Tens of thousands of dollars, significantly less gum line, and 2 decades later I am now coming to realize the dangers of self-medication. I don’t blame you, this was all on me. I took this on knowing the perils. I was educated in the 80’s and 90’s, we were brought up with the understanding that you could kill us. The stupidity of youth can be quite surprising indeed. At 14, let alone 34, that word “deniability” is all too easy. It is not until a loved one, or a doctor, or in my case both tells you we have a problem that it only starts to sink in, even 10%. My problem is that 10% wasn’t good enough. I needed 100% of my mind focused on ridding my life of you and it took so many years and deceit before I could convince myself that it is truly what I wanted.
I chose you over health, I chose you over friends, I chose you over family, I chose you over intimate relationships, and the love of MY FUCKING LIFE. Who are you? Why is it that you hold so much power over me? Surly I can overcome the likes of you in the face of all of these wonderful things mentioned above I had always thought. Yet it always continued, our little affair, and you remained a constant in my life; I could always continue so long as you were there with me, as long as you could calm me down, as long as you could share my past with me, as long as you could comfort me, as you always did in your own special way.
It really wasn’t until I hurt someone more than I knew I was capable of that I got a feel of how badly I relied on you and how badly it was a one-sided love affair. Sure you can give me a sense of calm pretty much always, but can you help me grow? Will you be there for me like her? Will you ever tell me it is going to be OK, or that you believe in me? Will you keep me safe? Quite the opposite you bitch! I have been the contributor to our relationship for all of these years, and I hate myself for this. I don’t anticipate any similar sentiments from your side as you are just a drug that has invaded in my life for 20 years!
I hope it isn’t too late, I hope your diseases never reach me and my family. If they do I wont blame you, I knew the drill coming in yet I persisted. I can’t believe your power was so strong.
Calmly I walk away. It hasn’t been an easy journey, but 100 days of separation…along with the help of some very caring and like-minded men and women as well as the support of my wonderful wife and my family, I can now say my final goodbye to my first love. My worst betraying compassion. It has been real. Thanks for the memories, and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. i have a new trick to calm me, it is called staying away from you Mrs. Nicotine.