Meet Willie! He's the 12-year-old toy poodle I adopted a few weeks ago so we can keep each other company during this really bizarre period. Toy poodles are among the longest lived dogs, so I figure we'll have each other for the foreseeable future and beyond. He is the perfect dog for me; he has some pep left in him but he sleeps right next to me for a good part of each day. He has a bed right next to my computer chair, and he's snoring there right now. I walk him 4 to 5 times a day and at least three of those times we stay out for 15 minutes (assuming it isn't pouring down rain). When I watch TV he either sits on my lap (he only weighs 6 pounds) or sleeps right next to me on the sofa. After four weeks of stay-at-home I was really ready for a companion, and he fills the bill perfectly.
Many of you know I lost my job on March 20, the one it had taken me 4 months to find. I'm pretty heartbroken about this and while I will contact them when the stay-at-home is lifted and I feel safe going out (my doctor says I'm in the highest risk bracket, so I doubt I'll be going out to work until the fall) but this shut down about killed the company I was working for, and I doubt seriously that they'll have anything for me. The result is that when I do go back out I will be right back where I was last year, looking for a job at the age of 71. I've decided I don't have it in me any longer to work full time, so it will have to be a part-time job and I will have to move someplace cheaper. But since I live in Virginia and we're on lock-down until June 10, I'm just not going to think about any of that right now and I'll go back to binging on Netflix.
The good news is that I've had almost no craves. Being alone and feeling dread about the figure was kicking up old craves (they didn't last long and I knew why I was getting them). The little old addicted lady in my brain is very opportunistic and when we went into lock-down and I lost my job and I was alone 24/7 she popped up with the same old suggestions ("you can have just one," "it will make you feel better," "no one has to know" "blah, blah, blah"). This is what we elders mean when we say you have to maintain your quit. It's way easier than it used to be and I go months most times before I have a crave. With this pandemic and its precautions, and being alone 24/7, and losing my job to boot, I had a few. Some of them were fleeting; others were insistent. I started romancing the smoke. But I know that there's no such thing as just one, and even if there were, smoking does nothing for me but clog up my already compromised lungs. The truth is if I took a drag on a cigarette I would probably cough for longer than it would take to smoke it. There's nothing in a cigarette I want, and I will let those craves fade into nothing.
So from a person who's been quit for 5.5 years, let me say to all newbies it gets so much better, and those craves you have now should never plague you again. But know that there will come a time when you haven't even thought about smoking for what seems like forever, and then BAM, you're romancing that smoke. Remember it's just the addicted part of you taking advantage of a situation you probably haven't been in before, or a stressor you're facing for the first time or in a new way. Just look that crave in the eye and say "NOPE, I don't do that anymore."