Proudly smoke-free despite going to school in ciggyobsessed Switzerland and India, I finally succumbed to a nasty pack-a-day habit when I hung out with my chain smoker sophomore year college crush one summer in New York. From zero to twenty and then thirty, I just couldn’t get enough till one day I caught a nasty flu, came down with a scary bout of asthma and couldn’t take a deep breath for days. It was just the wake-up call I needed. After eight years of a morning-noon-night-and-every-hour-in-between smoking habit, I quit cold turkey. Being able to breathe took priority over my obsession. And after an awful two months of staying in every night (there were smokers everywhere those days in New York) I finally emerged addiction-free, promising myself I would never be slave to a ciggy again. Health is wealth, I constantly reminded myself, no longer sure of my immunity from the scary stuff – especially the Big C. Not being able to breathe properly can really kick the arrogance out of you.
It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and while we may think youth, genes and everything else is in our side, do yourself a favour and stop thinking you’re one of the lucky ones. If there’s anything I learned from my scary few weeks of breathlessness, it’s that no one is an exception. Get yourself checked as much as you can and never take the one thing that matters above all for granted – health. No matter what anyone says, it really is the only thing that will see you through it all. Here’s to taking care of yourself inside-out, body and mind, all the time.
Happy October, ladies.
See you next month.
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