Man, I could really go for a smoke right now. What a strange craving.
I quit smoking , June 29, 2002, 4 years and 4 months ago, 1588 days to be exact and have only had two cigarettes since. Neither one tasted good to me at all and I didn’t even finish them. I have been completely smoke free now and this was after smoking on average a pack a day for 25 years.
But I still crave cigarettes. I have dreams about them that are so lifelike I feel as if I am developing cancer. Really, I have dreamt about smoking, woken up and actually gone through most of the day thinking I really did smoke the night before. What a strange feeling once I realize it was just a dream. On one hand I am elated that I didn’t smoke and have been able to fight off the temptation. On the other though, I get a little depressed because I realize that I really am not able to just smoke and quit at will. At least I don’t think so.
When I quit, I quit Cold Turkey. No patches, no nicotine gum, no hypnosis, no cutting down or weening. Cold Turkey. And I knew that this as the only way I would be able to do it. I knew my weakness was access. If I could get to a cigarette, I would smoke it. I am not saying Cold Turkey is the way for everyone, but it was what I needed.
However, I do feel a drawback to going Cold Turkey is not having the time to adjust your daily habits which might be associated with smoking. With that cup of coffee in the morning, in the car while sitting in rush hour traffic, outside with a couple co-workers where you got the real scoop on company gossip, or in the evening after dinner.
So why the craving right now? I am sitting in a restaurant drinking coffee, getting caught up on some work emails and planning other things I need to do today. Maybe it is just that taste in my mouth right now from food and the coffee that could only be completed with that musty hot and arid taste you get from a cigarette. If you are a smoker, you know what I mean.
It could also be that sense of identity that comes with smoking. “I am a smoker” it says to others and in today’s society you can’t be more independent than being a smoker. But I never was a very open smoker. I always tried to hide it. Not like denying that I smoked or wearing cologne or constantly sucking on mints to cover it up. I just didn’t smoke around people I knew. My mom and dad, my in-laws, etc never “knew”. They probably knew, we just didn’t talk about it and I just didn’t do it around them.
I was the kind of smoker who could literally go hours without smoking. But once I moved from a non-smoking situation to a smoking situation…..fire up the furnace, baby. I was a chimney.
I am proud of myself for being able to quit smoking. I only wish more people knew I had done it and to be honest, that seems weird. But everything about smoking is weird. We know it is bad for us but everyday someone else starts up a habit that will last for 20 or more years and be very difficult to quit.
I loved smoking and I still crave “it” but I know I made the right choice 1588 days ago. maybe I’ll have nice “smoking” dream tonight as a nice little reward to myself..