Dear Ashtray…

Dear Ashtray,

You were first bought for me in 1994 when I was 16 yrs old. A beautiful grey and white circular marble with Japanese writing and the letter “M” engraved on the bottom. You were a gift from my mother. Who, back then, had quit smoking for 16 yrs. She would eventually make it to 20 yrs and then due to all life’s stressors, the sudden death of her brother, a mid-life crisis, a new relationship, and falling ill herself, she took up the terrible habit of smoking again! Continue reading

Smoking In A Different Era

Sometimes I wish I was growing up in this era. Like if I was 18 or 19 yrs old, I probably wouldn’t be a smoker. Times are different from 20 yrs ago when I started smoking. It’s not as easy to buy a pack, smoke places and there is no cool factor anymore. When I was growing up I could walk into any store and purchase cigarettes with no questions asked. Now you have to be 19 yrs and show your government photo ID. And you can’t see what you’re purchasing because all cigarettes must be covered so the public can’t see.

Kids today are way more informed, educated and dissuaded about the harms of tobacco use. Continue reading

Working On It

I am now 27 weeks pregnant and boy is the baby moving! This is the time where the baby’s position turns from upwards to downwards. I love the sensation I feel. I can’t wait for my next ultrasound. I’m having one done at eight months and maybe this time they will be able to tell me the sex of my child. I really, really want to know!

I’ve had a pretty stress-free February. I am currently involved in a program at CAMH for mood and anxiety disorders. It’s called AIM (Alternative Inpatient Milieu) and here I attend group sessions as well as individual counseling. Anyone can be referred, you don’t have to be part of the CAMH network. The program lasts for four weeks and you live and eat here. On the weekends you get passes to go home. It’s really helping me a lot, especially with quitting smoking. Because I have to walk off the property to have a cigarette, I don’t do it very often. It has become a chore. Continue reading

On My Way…

Hello, I’m Melissa. I just turned 37 years old and I am exactly six months pregnant. I am also a smoker trying to quit.

I started smoking when I was 14 yrs old during March Break and haven’t stopped since. I thought for sure when I became pregnant I would quit and that it would be easy. That’s not the case – it’s as hard as ever for me. Drinking was easy to stop, I don’t even think about it. But smoking for me is different. I tried stopping on my own and going “cold turkey” but couldn’t. Continue reading