Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Breathe Deep

I think it has been about eight months since I quit smoking. I'm not one of those people who keep track of the exact date of things like that. It's something in the past and I seldom think about it anymore.

There have been a handful of time where I have dreamed about lighting up but that's the closest that anything red hot has come near my lips since I quit. I have been around other people smoking, such as at bars, parties and the entrances at work, but it doesn't bother me. The only time that could be considered even remotely tantalizing is when I am socializing and drinking. Fortunately, my mind has been reprogrammed not to allow me to even touch the tainted temptress.

The whole thing started years ago when a lesbian friend offered me one of her cigarettes. It was a Capri so it was closer to a candy cigarette than a real one. It was an insidious introduction to a habit. It didn't help that I was in two above average groups. Gay men and Hoosiers both smoke at rates that are higher than the national average.

Health concerns should have been the major reason for quitting but in truth it was concern for the potential effects on appearance. What's the point of always wearing the sunscreen if the damage is happening from the inside? The secondary reason was to stop stanking up the expensive clothes with smoke smell. Now the scent of "fresh rain" laundry detergent fills the air instead of fermented tobacco fumes.

For me it became clear that nicotine replacement was unnecessary. I never had a physical addiction. Instead it was always about satisfying my oral needs. Wanting to put something in my mouth only led to using nicotine gum and smoking at the same time. Work breaks became quite a buzz from the double whammy.

When I stopped I starting being considerably less concerned about what I ate. Now I'm a little above my fighting weight. It's all still part of the oral thing. It was either raid the snack machine or learn to self-satisfy. Unfortunately, it's easier to plop coins in the slot than wear your ankles around your neck.