The first 30 days you avoid all smells of smoke. You're washing windows, walls. You're tearing down curtains, wiping down ceiling fans. You desperately want all smells of smoke gone. You steer clear of all smoking areas or places that allow smoking. You don't want to be tempted.
The next 90 days you very timidly re-enter into life slowly anticipating the worst and finding out it wasn't so bad after all. People still avoid you like a plague because now you're one of “them.” You're not liking this whole roller coaster ride with the emotions up one minute and down the next. Dragging your feet one second and elated the next. It's a ride you want to get off and get off now.
You're now nearing the 6-month mark and these bizarre smells of smoke come out of nowhere. Sometimes you're even seeing them. Could it be from the lack of sleep lately or is it mind tricks? Who knows, but they're not going to win this time. You have the fleeting thought of maybe just a few tokes off of somebody else's won't hurt. All your smoking friends tell you that you've been quit this long, you're not going to go back if you just have a few puffs.
The next 6 months are waiting for the other shoe to drop. It's like it's this big phantom cigarette chasing you everywhere waving its finger at you. You simply shake your head because you're finally coming to grips that smoking was a big part of your life for many, many years. You performed that act at least 30, 40 to 50 times a day. It became so automatic that sometimes when you lit up, you thought to yourself, why did I light that up? I didn't even want one. At times of duress, you find yourself reaching for that pack. You've finally realized that smoking may be all around you at times, but the main thing is that you don't have to act on it.
I really honestly don't miss smoking. It was a nuisance for me after awhile. It was burning my eyes, making my fingernails yellow, staining my teeth, filling my lungs with gunk. I got tired of emptying ashtrays, sweeping up ashes. I never cared about cigarette butts when I smoked, but I only see them as trash now, litter. I watch people in the dead of winter with their windows slightly open driving blowing smoke out their windows. I had a friend who swears her husband doesn't know she smoked. I find that very hard to believe. I can always tell when my husband goes to the local bait shop in town here. The owner smokes like a chimney. It stinks. I marvel at how I used to think it smelled so good. Funny how one's perception changes over time, isn't it?
That was my story for the first year. I wrestled with that cigarette for the longest time until I finally threw my hands up and said, fine. I get it. It's not smoking that has me hooked. It's what's contained inside that tube that I have a problem with. I get a taste of nicotine and I'm off and running, plain and simple. Separate the two. I have a friend who says he's not an alcoholic because he only drinks beer and loads of it. It's not the beer he has a problem with; it's what's contained in it. He's addicted to alcohol. He can't have just one drink a week and be pacified anymore. It's not just the beer. In our case, it's not just the cigarettes.
We're a rare breed, you and I. We can't stop at one. But if you remain close to this site, read the multitudes of material on here, search for things that you are inquiring about using that magnifying glass, read, read and read again. Bookmark things that ring true for you. Write out blogs to vent. You don't have to publish it. You can save it as a draft and add to it every day if you wish. Please consider publishing it because you'll be helping those that are coming behind you and also those that are ahead of you. We're just a bunch of former smokers helping other smokers quit and stay quit.............