I thought I had kicked the fags for good. I started smoking during my divorce over 10 years ago. I quit the first time about 6 years ago during a hiking weekend. It was raining and my packet of cigarettes fell on the wet ground and I decided not to start again on a new pack. That lasted until my wife went into labor with kid #1. I was totally stressed out and back came the nicotine craving. When my kid was about 18 months old I quit again. And now, about 3 1/2 years later, the damn habit is back. I had forgotten that coppery taste in the mouth and tingling at the end of my fingers just as the cigarette is nearly done. Those tingly fingers especially. Unlike marijuana, the cigarette buzz lasts only about 20 seconds or so. Then, it seems to be a craving to find that tingly feeling again and it is a fruitless effort lighting and smoking that second one. So, I wait a few hours, light up and there it is again, the tingles.
Yesterday, I almost quit again. I walked outside and told myself that that was it, finito. But then, that devilish voice whispered in my ear, “But it’s New Years and you are going to a party with tons of smokers. Bad moment to stop, just keep going and we’ll stop next week.” Famous last words I suppose. Actually, I still have quite a bit of residual stress that will probably not subside for another few weeks as some loose ends are tied up. So, that little devil on my shoulder will still be there whispering to me. It must be similar for addicts to, say, heroin or meth I suppose. In some ways, it reminds me of Walt on Breaking Bad who, once in the life of crime, just can’t let it go as it starts spinning out of control. Or perhaps, like Nancy on Weeds. “Don’t worry, one more batch (for Walt) or sale (Nancy) and it will all be over”. I especially hate the fact that I don’t want my kids to get the image of “daddy smokes so it can’t be all that bad”. Ok, they are still young, but that is no excuse because kids do have long memories. My parents both smoked packs a day and I never had the urge to follow them in this habit until my aforementioned divorce so I guess that that should give me a small measure of hope. So, is tomorrow the day that I quit for the third time? It is so depressing to hear colleagues and friends say that they restarted after 5, 7, even 15 years or more. You ever listened to that wonderful k.d. lang album “Drag”? It is a great play on words and contains 12 songs all about smoking. So, I think my song tomorrow should probably be “My Last Cigarette” off that album. What do you think?