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A billboard peeling away an image of a cigarette to reveal an image of lungs

Beyond My Addiction

I can say with certainty that I would love a cigarette right now. It’s not a feeling like I would kill someone for a smoke, but given the opportunity,  I would probably snag the odd drag from time to time.

However, nobody smokes anymore, and due to the pandemic, nobody has been in my house, so I have had no temptation. But, if I did have an opportunity, I probably would.

Proud to no longer be a smoker

The thought of having a smoke hasn’t entered my mind in six years. I always tell people how proud I am to be a non-smoker.

No smell, no cost, no hacking my brains out, bringing up tons and tons of phlegm, or leaving the table in the middle of dinner. Since I have been a non-smoker, I have no cough and little phlegm production, and I feel so much better that sometimes I can even breathe.

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But I wonder why this bothers me now.

The worse place to run into secondhand smoke is just outside the doors of the hospital and restaurants. I haven't been around anyone who smokes in a long time.

Still, when I look back at my addiction days, I remember how I loved the smell of cigarettes and huddling together as a tight-knitted group, if only for the 5 minutes it took to choke down a cigarette.

Not so much anymore. I can’t even eat smoked meats. That woodsy smell cuts my throat, and it feels like my respiratory system has gone into spasm.

I am left gasping for air and unable to catch my breath.

Missing the days of smoking

I have these mixed feelings and can’t stop thinking of how much more fun life was when I smoked. After all, it was a standing joke that all the fun people smoked.

We were never alone because we did it in unison, together in one big smelly group. Remembering those days, standing outside with the cold wind blowing up our pants and down our necks, makes me sad.

I would freeze all winter long because I was a trooper to my addiction.  Most addictions are the same way.

Addiction is addiction. It can be drugs, alcohol, or tobacco. It rears its ugly head, as it will from time to time, and only I can decide what to do about it.

I would say this was the most troubling time for me.  Being at a crossroads,  I have a decision to make. I am an adult, who can take care of myself, for the most part.

If I wanted to, and if I wanted it bad enough, I could just walk into a store and buy a package of smokes. Who would stop me?  But, dare I?

Knowing I could not develop the addiction again to the point of loving it as I had years ago, what was the point of starting it again?  Without the deep feeling of love I had for smoking like before, it was a nightmare that was disguised as a dream.

Editor’s Note: We are extremely saddened to say that on January 7th, 2024, Barbara Moore passed away. Barbara’s advocacy efforts and writing continue to reach many. She will be deeply missed.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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