It’s been 5 months and 1 day since I threw away a half-full box of cigarettes and made the decision to quit. It wasn’t “at the end of this box” or on a certain date or point in the lunar cycle. I just decided to quit.
It helped that I’m pregnant and nauseous and throwing up. It did, a little. But that wasn’t the only reason I stopped. I stopped because of this. I quit because my reason to quit was bigger than my reason to smoke. Let’s face it, “I smoke because I enjoy it” is not really much of a reason. It’s a cop-out. I’m not saying it was easy for me to quit, just because I had a big reason and because I could no longer lean on the enjoyment argument – it hasn’t been easy.
There have been times when I’m really battling with a piece of writing and all I want to do is go stand outside, light up a cigarette and think about it under the influence of a fresh nicotine fix. I’ve had arguments with my fiance that have left me so furious that I just wanted to go outside and light up a whole box of cigarettes all at once, and puff on it until my rage subsided. Not smoking after a meal has been hard. Wanting a cup of coffee and a cigarette outside on my balcony at home has been hard. Not having cigarettes as a procrastination crutch (“let me just have a smoke first, then I’ll do XYZ”) has been hard.
I dream about smoking cigarettes nearly every single night. It’s always the same. I seem to have “forgotten” that I’m pregnant and I smoke. I remember that I’m pregnant, after the fact – but by then I convince myself that it’s too late, the damage is done and I might as well carry on. But when I wake up, I don’t.
I’m glad I haven’t, and that I don’t. I’m glad that I don’t stink of cigarettes constantly, anymore. Because seriously – and yes, this is hypocritical ex-smoker to the max – it really does stink. It makes your hair stink, your clothes, your hands and your breath. The smokers at work? STINK.
I’m glad I don’t smoke in my car anymore, and that my car doesn’t smell like an ashtray any longer. I’m glad that I no longer have to rush out of a meeting/movie/restaurant/mall to find somewhere to light up and drag desperately on a cigarette for a few minutes. I’m glad that I don’t have to sit in the smoking section of restaurants or refuse to go somewhere new because there’s nowhere for me to smoke.
I’m glad that my life is no longer ruled by my next nicotine fix. I’m glad that my Kid doesn’t have to pull his nose up when he hugs me. I’m glad that I don’t have to tell him not to come near me, because I’m having a cigarette.
Will I keep it up once I’m no longer pregnant? I don’t see why not…