During my recent hike through Congaree National Park, I realized that cigarette cravings are much like dealing with snakes in the wild. Let’s call them “ snakerettes” and think about coexisting with them…
On this journey of ours, there will be snakerettes. They live in this territory, after all, and are a natural part of it. Remind yourself that snakerettes do not hunt you down on purpose. They are not “out to get you”. They are simply here and there, and can be dealt with smartly.
Just the thought of a big snakerette can be scary. It can even keep some people from ever taking the hike. Just be aware of what’s in front of you (remember to look up, as well), and don’t be so afraid that you can’t even walk forward. Common sense and confidence can move you along safely.
We know that snakerettes prefer certain terrain, so we are wise to steer clear of these areas. Purposely walking into “smoke dens” is setting the stage for possible trouble, so stick to the proven path. (And if you find that you are always ankle-deep in snakerettes, you might want to get out of the bushes and choose a better path than the one that has lead you astray.)
Occasionally, a snakerette will slither out of nowhere, cross our path, and startle us. Stop in your tracks, take a deep breath, wait for a few moments, and let it pass. (It will, trust me. Always.) If need be, slowly step backwards and give yourself some room to maneuver from a different angle. But, whatever you do, don’t tease or poke the snakerette. And - in the name of all that is sane! - don’t snatch it up with both hands, wrestle it around your neck and face, stick a lit match up to its fangs, and scream and holler about being attacked and bitten and poisoned.
Only a crazy person would try to smoke a wild snakerette.
Leave it be, and get on with your journey. The mission is to smartly get through to the other side, not get trapped in a swamp full of slithering struggles.