The Ark

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The Online Filter or Seeing Beyond the Smoke

One of my earliest memories is of my Mom chasing me through the house trying to get me to take my medicine. I had Bronchitis and had to take this syrup stuff that was orange flavored and I hated it. To this day I cannot drink Orange Crush because it tastes like that medicine. I had Bronchitis at least once a year from the time I was two until I was 20. Bronchitis makes breathing very difficult. It feels like there is an elephant standing on your chest. There is much coughing and phlegm (I hate that word). I wouldn't wish Bronchitis on my worst enemy.

I believe the fact that my father was a chain smoker was a contributing factor in my illness. He smoked constantly for several years. He did quit cold-turkey at some point. I'm not sure how old I was when he quit. I always hated the smell of his cigarettes. I avoided sitting on his lap and hated riding in the car with him. I don't know if he finally quit because he realized what he was doing to us kids (my older brother had asthma and my sister had whooping cough) or if he did it for some other reason. I never asked him and he passed away from heart disease a few years ago.

I do know that I have always hated cigarettes and could never understand their appeal. They don't taste good like junk food or candy and they smell horrible. When my dad quit smoking we had to repaint the walls in our house to get rid of the yellow stains. I used to hate anyone that smoked, just because they smoked. I know that is wrong. If someone hated me just because I am fat, it would be the same thing. They can't help that they are addicted to nicotine and I can't help that I am addicted to junk food. I hear that nicotine is more addictive than heroine. So now I try not to judge people based on their addictions, and I hope they do the same for me.

There are some people online that I know are smokers, and if we had met in person I would never have been able to get to know them because of the cigarettes. There are people like Zipster, Nutcheese, PrincessDiana and many more, whom I find very funny and entertaining and kind. Now I can see beyond the smoke to who they really are, and I like that. I like that a lot.

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Comment by JoAnn on January 30, 2009 at 10:45am
@Christine, I have very bad allergies and just the smell of a cigarette near me closes up my throat and sets me off on an allergy attack. It is horrible. I guess everyone is different.

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