Commentary

August 2, 2013

Slowest of suicides

Tags:
Airman Ryan Conroy
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

smoking-edit
AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -†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.


 
 

 

News Briefs June 26, 2015

Legal office closure The base legal office will be closed for legal assistance July 2. For more information, call 661-277-4310. Lt. Col. Promotion Team Edwards is cordially invited to a promotion party 4:30 p.m., June 26 at Pancho’s in Club Muroc to celebrate the newest lieutenant colonel selectees. The selectees are: Michael Batchelor, 412th Aircraft...
 
 

Leaders: the good, bad, and forgotten

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas–It’s been my Air Force experience there are three categories of leaders- the Good, the Bad, and the Forgotten. Everyone reading this probably thinks they’re in the first category, but we know that’s not the case. Airmen who work for you certainly wish that were true, but not every leader’s an...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

AFTC needs to be ‘agile, ready, right’

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, commander of Air Force Materiel Command, hands the Air Force Test Center guidon to Maj. Gen. David Harris June 18. Harris assumed command from Maj. Gen. Arnold W. Bu...
 

 

Enhance teamwork, effectiveness, significance and leadership skills!

Comprehensive Airman Fitness is comprised of a multitude of targeted programs and activities as well as resiliency skills taught to enable Airmen to make sound choices. The program’s goal is to build and sustain a thriving and resilient Air Force community that fosters mental, physical, social and spiritual fitness. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen....
 
 

AFMC Employee Assistance Program services

Personal problems can affect the lives of employees both at home and at work. To help prevent, identify and resolve potential stressors or issues, Air Force Materiel Command partners with Federal Occupational Health to provide our Employee Assistance Program services. EAP services are offered free (limitations apply) to civilians and their family members. The EAP...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Patric Lovato

Annie Banannie dazzles during summer reading program

Air Force photograph by Patric Lovato Balloons come to life during Annie Banannie’s story time for the kids at the base library June 19. The story’s hero utilizes laser vision, just one of his many super powers, to combat t...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>