Love Cigarettes?

Blog Post created by Giulia Champion on Oct 16, 2013

This blog was brought on by another person’s response on a blog.  That’s the beauty of this site.  One never stops learning and thinking and being and doing and experimenting, hoping and living and striving to overcome and understand the nature of this addictive beast.  That’s what this journey as a non smoker is all about.  We are not the “never have been there non smoker.”  We’re the “have been there ex-smoker.”  (Or the struggling to be free one.)   There’s a HUGE difference. 
This is  not about forcing your brain into thinking of cigarettes as evil and horrible.  You'll never win at that.  It's not a natural thought process for us addicts.  We’ve spent too many years on the opposite side of that thinking coin.  We’ve made up as many excuses as are imaginable to keep our smoking selves alive, to give us reasons to continue on with this death.  Even though we know it’s killing us.  Slowly.  That’s a big ship to try to turn around.  That ocean liner of excuses and addictive thinking.  It’s enormous.  And it doesn’t happen overnight.  And it doesn’t happen after a month, or even a year.  It’s a gradual turning - through experience, continued education, and application of that knowledge learned.  We’re ADDICTS.  This isn’t a mere ‘habit’.  We’ve altered our brain scheme in a major way.  We’re physically re-wired it and need to pull some of the plugs.  Habits also alter our minds in impactful ways, but addictions are a whole different ball game.  I have a habit of getting up and drinking coffee, but if I don’t have time for that I’ll forego it ‘til I do, or until it’s past coffee time and skip it altogether.  My morning cigarette?  Nothing would have made me forego that.
The loathing of cigarettes only truly occurs after you  "get it."   Only after you've been quit and grasp emotionally the horrors of this addiction by reading and getting to know those people who are experiencing those horrors.  Who are living 24/7 with oxygen.  Who have COPD.   Who have had lung transplants.  Who are on this site trying with all their love and all their might to say to you PLEASE DON’T WAIT ‘TIL YOU GET TO WHERE I AM.  But even given all that, you’re still not gonna loathe that which you believe gave you comfort.
 Yeah, yeah, I knew cigarettes were bad, that they lead to COPD,  cancer, etc.  But it wasn't a reality in my brain.  It wasn't - there wasn't an emotional connection, it was purely an intellectual knowing.  And it's the emotional knowing that makes the difference.  Until that happens within us, it's just not going to be believable.
We can hate our addiction, but we can’t force ourselves to hate cigarettes, that which we are addicted to.    So I would suggest that rather than try to force yourself to hate them, accept that you may be one who will always be partial to them.  Like me.  You’ll walk past the smell of someone smoking and go “ahhh..”  And that’s ok.  As long as you don’t dwell on the thought and act on the urge.
And for the newbies, believe me when I say - the more time you have in as an ex smoker, the less impact those crepuscular cravings will have.