I think we're all a little bit envious of those who (can) still smoke after we've made the choice not to. UNTIL we get to a certain point in our quits and truly grasp a) that it actually tastes and smells AWFUL; b) really understand and BELIEVE the truth of what continued smoking will do to us, and c) come to the reality (usually after many failed attempts) that it doesn't change anything, make anything better, solve any problems, nor give us any succor after all. All it does is keep us addicted to itself.
And when we do get to that glorious point of understanding with our emotional bones, we have attained the opposite perspective. (It's not the intellectual part of our brains that is the catalyst for change, it's the emotional part - MOO) We don't envy, rather we pity the smokers who can't quit. Not only do we not want to be like them, we actually become afraid of being like them, and we want to encourage them to see the light of this addiction. We're glad as heck we're free and never want to go back to that "envy period" of our journeys.
It's only in the beginning of our quits that we're envious of those who CAN still smoke (when we CAN'T). As if they're "allowed" to smoke when we aren't. Really? We CHOSE to not smoke, because we know better! We don't have to give it up. Nobody has a gun to ours heads. Except our own better self who really knows better. It's that positive, life enforcing essence that tickles us, badgers us, pushes us, encourages us, love us enough to transform us. Well, unless it's a diagnosis of COPD or lung caner or.... Then that choice becomes more of a non-choice. SO DON'T WAIT THAT LONG!
But when we embrace that choice, agree to it, accept it, the "can't"- and that accompanying feeling of being denied some imagined pleasure - morphs into "I don't really need to." Which then morphs - with time - into "I don't want to." For envy is - on a biblical scale one of the 7 deadly sins. And whether you're a Christian or not, envy makes us feel spiritually pretty needy and crummy and all that "I wish I were," "I wish I could have" which downgrades into feeling sorry for ourselves, that we're not good enough, not capable enough, which is so depleting and denying and depressing.
But time away from our smoking selves is what changes the addict-mind thinking of our journeys. Time give us the needed perspective and enables us the distance from our former smoking selves to become the masters - as opposed to the slaves of our addiction. But it's not just time - it's how we use that time for further education and reinforcement of our choice. Many have gone back to another Day One (instead of a Day Won), because they didn't keep paying attention to their quit. Didn't keep reinforcing it by staying connected to a quit community, or continuing education on the subject. I think to be ultimately successful (for the majority of us), we need to stay engaged in our quit journeys. In whatever way each individual finds that participation.
When you stop envying smokers, you have reached a new understanding. It's a beautiful one. Wait for it. May it happen for you soon.
(Thanks Dale for the brain spurring: Love (d) To Smoke? )