After 26+ years, I never expected this to be EASY. But I also never expected it to be so depressing!! I guess it IS one of the longest relationships I’ve ever had, so I can’t help but be a little (or a lot) sad and/or angry about it at times. It’s a bad breakup, that’s for sure. No matter how many times I tell myself, “we can still be friends,” I know that the only real solution is to cut all ties with the Marlboro Man (or any other nicotine-delivery system he comes to me dressed up as).
I’ve been reading The Journey Home: Freedom from Nicotine, a free eBook by John Polito available on WhyQuit.com. I have to say, it made me feel better to have SOMEONE acknowledge the very real grief I am feeling over the loss of my smokes (and not look at me like I’m a complete nutjob).
Polito explains that, “albeit chemical, dependency on nicotine may have been the most intense and dependable relationship in our entire life. Unless wet and it wouldn’t light, never once did puffing on a cigarette let me down.” I was guaranteed that “aaaah” relief sensation within seconds that cigarettes deliver every single time.
I smoke(d) a pack and a half to two packs a day. So let’s say that’s 30 cigarettes. And according to Polito’s example, if I average 8 drags per cigarette, that’s 240 a day. Who did I ever kiss 240 times a day? Depend on 240 times a day? Turn to for help 240 times a day? I’ve never even said my name (or anyone else’s) 240 times in one day. We are closer to our addiction than our own name.
So of course it stands to reason that suddenly losing that would stir up feelings of loss and emotional turmoil, in addition to the physical withdrawal symptoms. A relationship that was once a top-priority in my life is ending….and that realization can be overwhelming.
It is helpful for me to read/acknowledge these things because, as insane as I know this sounds (especially to a never-smoker), I still WANT to smoke. I miss it. I long for it. In the theme of breaking up, you might call me a stalker. I will follow a stranger with a lit cigarette just to smell it. I will leave my house and come back just to experience that stale smoke smell (that I hated coming home to a few weeks ago). I bump the AC on at home and stand under an air vent just for a whiff of old cigarette smoke.
With 11 miserable days and counting, I understand more and more that, despite my protests otherwise, it IS an addiction, I AM a nicotine junkie, and I CANNOT have “just one.”