Terrorism comes in many forms, including your ability to breathe.
What happens when you have trouble breathing? Does the
world shrink or expand?
29, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 716
Gasping Breaths Of Terror
Seek Oxygen of Vigilance
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Aug. 29, 2003-- Today
I face the Beast of Lung Terror. I'm taking a test to tell me
how much damage smoking has caused my lungs over the past four
The Beast of
Health Terror has ravaged my body for too many years
I'm a little nervous, as might be the man
who is on death row who goes to inspect the execution room a few
months before his time is called.
People who abuse their bodies as I do with
smoke don't want to know what they're doing to themselves.
It's a crime but true. Self-abuse is the worst part of it all,
for the abuser is the self against the self.
Bad habits are that way.
Persons who eat too much, excessively, clogs their veins with fats and
balloons their bodies. They may detest smoke and smokers, but
they slam the food fistful after fistful into their mouths, as
ravenously as we smokers suck on the tobacco-filled cylinders of
Smoking, I noted the other day on a report, is
the primary cause of preventable deaths in New York City.
It is much the same in other parts of the United States.
But I would think overeating is too.
dictate I have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Then there're the
drinkers. The people who guzzle down their beer and
booze and end up on the sick rolls, clogging up the health systems.
How do they fair against us smokers?
I'm trying to cast off the spotlight.
Smokers try to disguise their bad habits by
pointing to other's bad habits. Fat people who drink
but don't smoke? Do they equal one smoker?
I find it troublesome that part of me wants to
fight for my right to smoke, as though sucking the fumes of the Beast
of Health Terror was some privilege. It isn't.
I'm a smoke addict. That is, there's not a single day that
goes by where I don't want to quit, beg to quit, but don't.
I also never defend smoking to anyone.
I do not champion anything about it, but still I smoke.
champion smoking in front of my grandkids
For the past 24 hours, however, I haven't
The respiratory test I am going to take
this morning will gauge the damage thus far to my lungs. It will
record officially my stupidity and my bullheadedness.
I will no longer be able to duck the facts
and figures that prove I am cutting my life down. I
will be able to see in clear data how I am going to gasp and choke and
die what some call the "black death," when you can't breathe and your
body turns ashen from lack of oxygen.
Will the Beast
of Health Terror attack me again?
We all die, but some of us more nobly than
Abusers such as myself tend to suffer,
reminders to society that human weakness often prevails over human
The big question is whether I will pick up
a cigarette right after the test and start killing myself a little
more with each puff.
Will I be stupid stupid?
Looking the Beast of Health Terror in the
eye is one thing, but learning from it is another.
If we were all smart, we would never make
the same mistake twice. But, I fear, the majority of us
all tend to fall into ruts of Complacency. We tend to do the
same thing over and over, expecting different results. They call
this insanity in some camps.
I call it Complacency.
To me, it's about my laziness to change.
Change is tough. It means I have to want something so bad
I am willing to give up the "easy life" to get it. Bad habits
are the "easy life." It takes no effort to enjoy bad
Take thinking about ourselves for example.
If we look upon ourselves in a negative way--victimize ourselves as
losers, failures, washed up seaweed of life, God's fodder--it's pretty
hard if not impossible to change that way of thinking.
We get used to picking on ourselves:
"We're too fat. We're too thin. Too old. Not rich
enough. Not smart enough. Not young enough.
Not lucky enough. If only.... I should've.... I wished I
Bad habits sink our ships.
The Beast of Thought Terror torpedoes
us constantly, whether we smoke or don't smoke, overeat or not.
Thus, not all addictions are of
the physical nature.
So, today I will face the Beast
of Lung Terror. And, after the event, I will face the next
Beast....the Beast of Change.
Will I take
the high hard road or surrender to the easier, softer way?
Will I be willing to change my
entire life? Will I want to take the high hard road rather
than surrender to the easier, softer way?
Bad habits are so seductive.
You just tell yourself you can change them any time. You put
down your Sword and Shield of Vigilance and assume the Beast of Terror
sleeps while you play. You forget the Beast's primary
mission in life is to hunt you down and capture you, and then torture
you slowly the rest of your life as you dash in and out of his gaping,
taloned, scaly arms.
I've quit smoking so many
times my calculator's batteries are dead counting them.
And, dieting, well. And, changing my life so I don't
feel like a loser, a failure, a man who has wasted great talents doing
nothing....ah...such bitter roots.
I plant the
seeds of my own discontent
All my problems are of my own making. I
plant the seeds of my own discontent, as we all do.
Today, I get to see the results
of one such seed.
I'm a little nervous.
I've had men die in my arms,
gasping and choking. They caught bullets and shrapnel that
I luckily escaped, and couldn't breathe as the blood filled their
I can never forget their faces,
looking at me with a wildness, a deep perplexing sadness that I was
alive and they were about to die. We had been
standing next to one another and they caught the shards of death and I
Bad, bad luck.
So, my reward was to fill my
lungs with my own booby traps. To kill myself slowly.
I am hoping and praying the
Beast of Health Terror is driven off by my Sentinels of Health
Vigilance this time.
I'm tried of fighting the
battle of Complacency. I'm tired of killing myself.
But, I know it will take
Courage, Conviction and Right Actions to sustain myself without
smoking. Good habits take effort.
of Vigilance will help me fight the Beast
I'm going to call upon the
Sentinels of Vigilance to help me.
If you're stuck in some health
problem due to your own mismanagement of your health life, you can
You can fight back.
Take the Pledge of Vigilance.
Let Courage replace Fear, Conviction
overpower Intimidation and Right Actions for future generations trump
I'm going to give it a chance.
Wish me luck. No, wish me
Aug 28--56 Buckets of
Blood Spilled In Iraq
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