I personally got the added bonus of also saying goodbye to that other incapacitating substance, alcohol. I feel certain if I hadn’t stopped drinking, I would have fallen back to the smoking on the first inebriated chance. Even something as seemingly inoffensive as a cup of coffee, screamed in my head cigarette, so this also had to go, on reflection I don’t miss any of it.
It’s been four years now and I am well out of the woods. I do feel for smokers though, I know it carries with it a form of self loathing and is certainly the strongest addiction I encountered. We have to take care though that we do not replace one addiction with another and while we are patting ourselves on the back in congratulatations over the defeat of this or that substance, another one is sneaking in the back door in disguise. In my case I developed a raging sweet tooth, candy bars and biscuits by the packet,which I have only recently address and controlled .
We excuse ourselves as we always do with habits, with words like, well I deserve it I don’t drink , smoke etc anymore, so I deserve some of the “good” things of life, not realising that we are slowly drawn back into some of the symptoms from the previous discarded addictions, mood swings, fatigue to name but two.
Moderation in all things might be the word but abstinence in something’s would definitely apply.
I would say looking back to those smoking days, and particularly when the smoking became intense and assumed the role of a psychological crutch, that no amount of horror stories about its bad effect, or photographs on packets of cancerous tumours and the like, would have mattered in the slightest to me.
I feel in fact the reverse is true and they could have something of an perverse encouraging affect to the smoker, he is after all the “outside” ,”the outlaw’ or has been increasingly cast in this role, and so probably immune to this form of fear tactic.
Smoking is also another form of suicide, be that a slow one, so theres also a sort of bravado, ”Hey bring it on”, feel about it all, and “who‘re you trying to scare with this shit, you wanna hear some really scary stories, let me tell you about my life, etc, etc.”
So there are many conflicting factors for sure but it does boiled down to an almighty strong addiction and this there is no denying.
I doubt if you would ever find someone who has stopped, that does not bless the day they finally said goodbye to cigarettes. The time has to be right for the person to stop and the support has to be there and also lifestyle changes will have to be considered. It is not easy to stop, it is though brilliant and perfect to be free, and that’s exactly what it is, freedom.
I could go on and on, as could one who has discovered a new life, a life free of illness, and incapacity, and this is no exaggeration, I have had nothing more than the odd slight cold these last few years since stopping smoking, and where as a cold would have lingered weeks in my smoking days, and I would have had to carry on smoking through the sore throat and tortured lungs and chocking cough, now that rare cold, is if anything, little more than a 24/48 hour wonder.
That’s my Story Kathleen, far from unique I am sure. Oh I also might add, when I left the UK those years ago before India I was on the strongest prescription for a very high blood pressure rate, when I asked how long I would need to take these pills for I was informed, for life. I asked how I might break free of this need, I was told you would have to quit, smoking, drinking and meat eating, I remember at the time responding with words of the, And pigs might fly variety, well pigs it turned out did fly, so I discarded those pills along with the packs of tobacco I had in far way India those years back.