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Being an Ex-Smoker

Written on April 4, 2017

2 years ago, on this date at this very time, I had my last smoke.

I’m not going to lie. It has been rough.

Smoking has been with me in some form since as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories involve cigarettes. That’s no joke! I can remember sitting at the kitchen table at my Step Grandparents place watching them role smokes with those machines. It’s ingrained in who I am. I learned how to tap down smokes and role them when I was still in single digits. It may seem like a terrible memory to some, but I always had so much fun at my step Grandparents and times spent there are quite honestly still some of my favourite memories. And some of those memories involve sitting at that table watching (and then helping) them role smokes, listening to them talk and laugh, playing outside or in the antique cars or in the garage with the awesome bric-a-brac.

So, cigarettes were so much a part of that from then all the way to 2 years ago, when I had my last one. I said it then but I will say it again, it was like saying goodbye to a friend that has been with me for my entire life. Cruising down the highway with the windows open and music up and having a smoke, hanging out with family laughing, chatting, drinking and smoking. The smell of tobacco is one of those smells like fresh bread. It means home to me. Not only that, but smoking worked as a ice-breaker for meeting people I would not otherwise know. I mean, I would not have my cat Chaos if I wasn’t a smoker at the time. I met is former owner while outside have a smoke break.

People think it’s stupid or “dramatic”, but it’s true. Not everyone has those same emotional attachments or nostalgic feelings associated with smoking, but I sure did. So, it was hard as hell to say good-bye. I had a last smoke “party” to say goodbye. Yes, sound ridiculous, but it was the only thing that has every worked for me. I had to say goodbye to my old friend. So now, that the physical addiction is gone, I can think about smoking or cigarettes as a found memory of something that was in the past and got me through stuff, or makes me think of family and smile. But at the same time, I can remind myself of how hard it was to quit, then pain in the ass it was becoming to try and have a smoke. To have that burden on me all the time to have smokes, find a place to smoke, etc etc. Money and health played zero part in it for me.

I am glad I am a non-smoker now. Though I still miss it sometimes. I am still adjusting to not having that part of my life in my life anymore. Still. 2 years later. Adjusting. I was thinking just last night. It used to be a reward to motivate me. I would say ok “Clean for an hour then go have a smoke”. It was something to look forward to. I used it for everything. Work, housecleaning, even hobbies. It was a complex relationship. A burden and a reward. And like I said, I am still adjusting. It’s taken its toll on me physically and mentally. It’s a change of lifestyle and habits. You never know how much something like smoking is wrapped up in all the aspects of your life until you take it away and you must rebuild every. Single. Habit.