Commentary

July 25, 2013

Slowest of suicides

Commentary by Airman Ryan Conroy
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy (AFNS) — I’ve been slowly killing myself for the past three years. I intentionally inhale toxins that destroy my lungs and heart. I smoke cigarettes.

But, I’m quitting — again.

According to the health and wellness center’s tobacco cessation class, the average smoker will attempt to quit five to seven times before achieving success.

This will be my third attempt.

To this day, I still tell people I smoke to be social and network. But, the truth is that I like the feeling of breathing in the smoke and letting it all go. For me, smoking may be the easiest way to reduce stress instantaneously. It also has the most severe consequences.

The Center for Disease Control states adverse health effects from cigarette smoking account for more than 440,000 deaths, or nearly one of every five deaths, each year in the United States.

My grandparents were examples of those deadly statistics. My grandfather died of emphysema and my grandmother of lung cancer. My mother described their experience as “suffocating to death.”

Yet, those facts never really bothered me because they never adversely affected me.

What finally influenced me was that I would be out of breath after walking up a flight of stairs, the stares and snarky remarks I would get from nonsmokers and the smell that perpetually permeated every piece of clothing I owned. None of these characteristics are attractive to say the least. This is the motivation that I hope will drive me throughout the rest of this quitting process.

Recently, the first lieutenant in my office would pester my supervisor and me every single time we would go for a smoke break. “You know you’re killing yourself, right?” and, “Seriously Airman Conroy, you need to smoke again?”

She encouraged me to go to the HAWC for a class on quitting smoking and finally I gave in.

During the class, the instructor informed the class on the health risks, talked about nicotine replacement therapy and gave us the tools to quit for good.

I then realized I needed a life change.

Instead of smoking every time I get a little stressed out, I intend to do sets of pushups. The dollars I would have spent on cigarettes are now going into a travel fund. I figure the little rewards will help me maintain my mental strength through adversity.

When I hit my lowest moments, and desperately crave a smoke, I know that I have a support system in the office through my supervisor, who decided to quit with me, and my first lieutenant who couldn’t be happier for the both of us.

I don’t want to end up like my grandparents — because let’s be honest– smoking is just a really slow suicide.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Holidays!

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. — In our increasingly secular world, there is a growing misunderstanding that it is safer to say “Happy Holidays” during the Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza season, than to name the specific holiday which you or most other people celebrate. I am always drawn to explore these interesting dilemmas. I once read a...
 
 
Richardson_pict

Down and out at Dyess: Air Force Assistance Fund to the rescue

It was scary, leaving home and joining an organization such as the United States Air Force. The people, job, and location were all brand new. When I joined the military, I came from a less than honorable home life.  I come fro...
 
 

Asking for help is sign of strength not weakness

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. — Growing up I was a big fan of Muhammad Ali. He was the world heavyweight boxing champion and unashamedly referred to himself as “The Greatest.” I vividly remember a reporter asking Ali, “When did you know that you were ‘The Greatest?’” Before Ali could answer, the reporter offered, “Perhaps it was...
 

 

“Little people like you make Christmas better”

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — “It’s little people that make the difference. Little people like you.” The fictional character Frank Shirley pitched his “little people” Christmas message to Clark Griswold in the 1989 movie “Christmas Vacation.” Although demeaning in a comical way, the little people reference is seen over and over in classic Christmas stories. Litt...
 
 

Thanksgiving and our Native Americans

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — On the fourth Thursday of every November, we as Americans celebrate the national holiday Thanksgiving. This day focuses on honoring the early settlers, and their harvest feast, which we know to be the “First Thanksgiving.” However, long before settlers came to the United States’ East Coast, the area was inhabited by...
 
 

Keep safety in mind when cooking Thanksgiving feasts

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. — Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve, according to the National Fire Prevention Association. Cooking fires are the No. 1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries.  Every year hundreds of Americans die, thousands more are injured and roughly $500 million...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin