Edit: I’m very proud of this accomplishment, so I’m republishing. Everything is the same, except that the ex-smoker’s cough has finally gone away, and it’s now been five years since I quit. And I still rock. 🙂
Edit edit: This post was first published when I was on another site, which I imported in whole to WordPress. Like water glasses and parts to the coffee press, the formatting did not survive the move. When I try to fix it, it just bolluxes up worse. I apologize. But I still like this post. 🙂
I smoked my last cigarette two years ago today.
[break for applause]
1. Yes, I still miss it.
2. No, I’m not happy to be rid of my smoker’s cough. That’s because I didn’t have a smoker’s cough before I quit, but I have one now. I’m told it’s because the cilia something-or-other thingies in my lungs, or maybe it’s my bronchial passages, I can’t remember which and I’m too lazy to look it up, are healing. I was also told this healing cough would last six months tops, but two years later, I’m hacking away like a three-pack-a-dayer. I believe that belongs in the negative accomplishment column.
3. Yes, I miss it. I’m walking down the street and I catch somebody’s smoke and I’m all, gaaaaaaahhhh, please let me stand next to you! I am one of those weirdos who likes the smell of fresh cigarette smoke.
4. I have not been able to take a month on a yacht touring the Mediterranean with the money I used to spend on cigarettes. Somebody owes me, because I had a lot riding on that.
|This is what I look like not smoking on a yacht. See? Righteous.
5. OK, I’ll admit I don’t miss it when I’m enjoying a play or a concert and I’m no longer one of the poor addicts outside freezing my butt off for a butt and missing what turns out to be the best part of the show.
6. It’s true what they say (whoever “they” are, although I seem to be one of them right now) that unless a smoker really wants to quit, she won’t quit. I tried to quit I don’t know how many times before I finally succeeded. Those other times were because I wanted that anti-smoking guy to ask me out (who wasn’t worth the effort I went to picking out what to wear), or because my parents disapproved (even though said disapproval was one of the reasons I took up cigarettes in the first place), or because public service announcements were making me feel guilty (but not much – who really listens to those things?). Those things don’t cut to the bone like just being over it does. You can gasp and wheeze and nag and lecture and show nasty pictures of diseased lungs all you want to. A smoker is not going to become a non-smoker until that’s what she wants to be, plain and simple.
7. I especially miss it when I have to buy clothes and am reminded how much weight I gained after quitting. I really should have done this when I was younger and could lose ten pounds just by not eating Snickers for two weeks.
8. Now I have this weight to get rid of. I miss Snickers, too.
9. I don’t miss being owned by Corporate America, because I’m all about not being owned by Corporate America or Madison Avenue or pop culture hype. So there, Big Tobacco! I’ll see your billions of dollars in advertising and your added addictive poisons, and I’ll raise you gritty tobacco grains in the bottoms of all my handbags and always running out of cigs in the middle of the night! Read ‘em and weep! I win!
10. I miss breathing fire when I was angry.
11. I used to smoke cigarettes and drink coffee. Now I don’t smoke and I drink tea. I don’t care if it’s better for me. I like the tea all right, and I have my little tea ritual, nothing like a full-on Japanese ceremony so don’t get impressed, but it’s not the same. Black coffee and cigarettes: one of the most satisfying clichés ever.
12. Dream Girl just peeked at what I’m writing and high-fived me. Now I remember.
13. I was so happy the Christmas I was able to give my kids what they’d wanted – for me to quit smoking.
Why, no. I don’t miss cigarettes at all. And yes, I’d love a cup of tea.