I’ve smoked cigarettes for far too long. It started as a thing to do when I was playing music in bands and I’m sure we thought we were pretty cool. It continued when I began film school and had hours of time to kill while processing movies or standing on a film set. It didn’t help that everybody else in film school was dealing with these “down periods” in the same way. By that I mean standing around, smoking, and shooting the shit.
Let me be clear on one thing: I love the sensations that come with smoking. I love the smoke, I love the burning sound it makes, I love the occupation of my hands that it provides, I love how it keeps me company as I ponder life late at night, and I certainly love the calming properties it provides.
Well that chapter just ended four days ago and I couldn’t be happier
It hasn’t been easy, but it also hasn’t been nearly as hard as I thought it would be. Granted, I have a 21mg Nicotine patch stuck to my arm as I write this. The pangs still come calling and I deal with these. Usually I manage these by taking some deep breaths and rubbing the patch on my arm. I’ve quit in the past and luckily I retained the tools to deal with this. The thing that has changed is that I just want to stop. I don’t want this damn habit anymore. Recent events have shown me that it’s time. I want this. I want other things that don’t come easily with smoking. So it’s time.
I write this down, probably, as a coping method, but I also want others to know that you won’t see me smoking anymore. Something about writing this down makes it more permanent for me. I hope others will see this and will also consider doing the same. Most of us know we should stop but think it will be too hard to deal with. I’m here to tell you it’s manageable. Not easy, but manageable.
I’ll leave you with this positive experience from this morning. Walking to work today I noticed something very positive. I walked up the slope to UCSF and got to the top of the hill without once coughing or hacking. This hasn’t happened in literally years and it’s always been a point of bother to me as I knew where the irritation was coming from. Today, I can breathe a bit easier and that makes me very, very happy.