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When I first started noticing I wasn’t the child I remember, I honestly didn’t think too much of it. I was usually a happy kid, someone who wanted to do things, and slowly I began to turn into someone who was worried and sad all the time. I was probably around 9 or 10 when this change started happening.
Fast forward 5 or 6 years and I was 15, sophomore in Kimberly Highschool. My depression hadn’t gotten any better, but it had gotten worse. Bullying, school work, my home life, all was crumbling down around me.
Read more: My Own Private Depression
For the longest time, I hadn’t even begun to contemplate smoking cigarettes. I would watch my mom smoke them on the patio while I was sitting in our small apartment. One day I wanted to give it a try. I knew where she kept her packs, so I went into the opened one and grabbed one to smoke. Went outside, lit it, and took a drag from it.
The harshness of non-menthol for the first time is something that will always burn the back of my throat. That was the beginning of my downfall, from depression to addiction. Like any other “thief” I started small. I’d only take one every couple days, then two, then three. Next thing I know I’m taking entire packs out of her cartoons.
She would ask me what I was doing after I’d come back from a lap or two around the complex late at night, and I’d reply with “just walking around, I was bored,” but I knew then she realized what I was doing. To this day, I still ingest nicotine, but now in the form of vaping instead of smoking.