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 August 21. 2015

Women’s Equality Day Luncheon Be sure to reserve your seat for the upcoming Womenís Equality Day Luncheon! The guest speaker is Juliana de Beers, owner of J.B. Whitney & Associates, who also teaches communication courses at Edwards. Additionally, Jon Ghent from Lockheed Martin will present a short speech on ìWomen in STEM.î Aug. 26 has...
 
 

Personnel Briefs August 21, 2015

Undergrad flying training applications due in November The 2016 Air Force Undergraduate Flying Training selection board will convene Jan. 25-28 to select applicants for 2016-2017 pilot, remotely piloted aircraft, combat systems officer and air battle manager training opportunities. Eligible active duty officers must apply by Nov. 20 and selection results will be released in February...
 
 
history-run

Run with History deadline Sept. 10

Edward’s AFB History Fact: Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier Oct. 14, 1947, here at our very own Edwards AFB. He flew the X-1 at Mach 1.07 at an altitude of 45,000 ft. Most will know this fact, but did you know that tw...
 

 

Seed bugs invade Edwards

During the past weeks Edwards has once again fallen prey to Mother Nature’s hand and has been invaded by Melacoryphus lateralis — †the Seed bug. Misty Hailstone, 412th Civil Engineering Group, Environmental Management biologist, identified the species, which was confirmed by an entomologist. The Seed bug does not sting or bite and is not known...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Annual orientation trains new key spouses

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber The Airman and Family Readiness Center hosted an annual Key Spouse Program Orientation Aug. 18 for newly appointed and returning Key Spouses. The Airman and Family Readiness Center hosted a...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

JSF ITF reaches historic sortie milestone at lightning speed

Lockheed Martin photograph During the month of July, the Joint Strike Fighter Integrated Test Force flew 76 sorties, making it a first for the ITF involving a new monthly flying record. The Joint Strike Fighter Integrated Test ...
 




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>