I smoked my last cigarette a week ago tonight, which was also the last night I spent in Chapel Hill before driving home on Friday morning.
I hadn’t actually intended to quit. Its not like I was a heavy smoker. But there was no good reason to continue smoking either. Besides the obvious health issues, it’s a huge waste of money, it makes you and your clothes smell like cigarettes (I HATED being told my clothes or my car smelled), and (if you smoke in your house — I tried not to, but sometimes cheated) turns everything in your house an ugly shade of yellowish brown after awhile.
Smoking is also no longer really socially acceptable. Hardly anyone smokes anymore, and those who do are treated like lepers in most places now.
When I arrived at the Aqueduct in Chapel Hill last Monday night, I realized it was going to be a real challenge obtaining smokes. The camp-like setting is in a rural area, nowhere near any stores, and I didn’t know the area at all. If I were to go try to find a store that sold cigarettes, it would have meant driving in an unfamiliar area after dark, which is something I can’t do because I have such terrible night vision.
During my stay in Chapel Hill, I had one pack of cigarettes I had bought on Sunday, the day I left for the retreat, and that pack lasted me for the better part of the week, until Thursday. I was probably the only smoker there, and it was embarrassing having to go down to the parking lot at night and try to hide the fact I was smoking. I felt ashamed!
I simply saw no need to buy any more on Friday morning even though I was returning home. What the heck for? I’d already tapered down to only 2 -3 cigarettes a day with no cravings or ill effects, so I knew the next step would be to just not buy anymore. Why put off the inevitable?
So tonight, it’s been a week. I’ve had a few cravings, but they haven’t been bad, not like I expected. I’m seeing a difference already: I can breathe more easily and am smelling and tasting things more (I’m not sure how I feel about that, since I don’t exactly WANT food to taste or smell better). I also think my skin already has a healthier, pinker, more youthful tone.
I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to enjoy a cup of coffee anymore, since I usually drink a cup with my first cigarette of the day, but so far, I’ve enjoyed my joe just fine without the unnecessary “accessory.”
And all that money I was spending on cigarettes? It’s going into a vacation fund instead. I can think of so many things I’d rather do with that money than see it all go up in smoke.