It’s only been about seven days since I quit smoking, but I haven’t actually wanted a cigarette in years. That’s one of the (many) problems with smoking: it doesn’t take long for it to turn from a vice into a full-blown addiction.
Where I’ve always failed to quit before is by thinking of it as giving something up. Even though I didn’t ever enjoy it any more, I’d gotten convinced that I’d be missing something if I quit. So here’s all the stuff I’ll really be missing:
- Having every cold last an extra two or three weeks because I can’t stop coughing
- For that matter: being absolutely miserably sick with a cold, coughing so bad I’m retching, and still feeling the need to go outside for a cigarette every hour or so
- Walking a few steps behind whatever group I’m with, so the smoke doesn’t blow on them
- Missing the last minute or so of every conversations because I’m already planning how and where I’m going to have a cigarette as soon as the conversation ends and I can get outside
- Instinctively reaching for the cigarette pack the moment I step outside, whether I want one or not
- Making people wait for me in or around smoking areas before we can go inside or keep moving
- Leaving my new bike in the garage, since I always had a permanent excuse not to exercise
- Finding stray cigarette buts all around the trash can in my kitchen
- The big black spot on the heel of my shoe
- Having to go through security twice on flights where I have a layover, since I have to head outside the moment the first leg of the flight lands
- Getting rained on
- Getting rained on in the cold
- Teeth the color of butterscotch pudding
- Having a layer of ash that looks like dandruff on the chest of every dark shirt
- Taking five times as long to write anything, since every time I get stuck I have to go outside and have a cigarette
I can’t get excited about saving money yet, since I’m still on the nicotine patch, and those things are at least as expensive as a half-pack a day. But that’ll be another bonus in a few weeks, once I no longer need to be able to furiously rub the patch every time I have a craving. Not to mention all the other crap that nicotine addiction adds to the mix.
Of course, I won’t look nearly as cool as I used to, sucking down a known carcinogen that gives you bad breath yellow teeth and can cause high blood pressure and impotence, but that’s a sacrifice I’ll just have to make.