I have not smoked for two years now. I used to be a heavy smoker and I have also quit a number of times. I have also written about it before but wanted to talk about how it feels when I walk past smokers today.
Quitting smoking for two years is good and feels good, but the reality is that I am only one cigarette away from being a smoker again. One thing I have learned is to always treat yourself as a smoker. This in my opinion will help one not get started on smoking again. I say this from experience because I have always thought I could get away with a cigarette and I have found that I am not even as strong as a puff.
Now when I go for walks at work. I walk whenever I get 15 minutes free. One round around the few buildings takes me 10 minutes. I see people smoking. Sometimes close to the same pathway that I walk. Mostly a bit far away where there is a smoking area. I also see mostly Indian folks like me in the smoking area.
When I see that an old incident comes to my mind. Not one, but a few incidents. One was when I was a smoker standing and smoking with a few other friends and I saw someone walk that way and I moved to a side and the person said “don’t worry I used to be a smoker and even now I like the smell of it”. I have also seen hostile looks from people. Another incident is when I would get into a meeting after having a smoke and someone would show the uncomfort of having to smell cigarettes in the room.
A lot of things pass my mind which reminds me that I am still a smoker (in mind at least) and might remain one always. The only way is to overcome the temptations when they come. Now I find it easy to overcome the urge, but I know when I meet old friends and there are cigarettes, that is a time when I need a lot of willpower.
Some days I feel how much I loved to smoke and then immediately the thought comes to me that I feel so good not smoking. And I continue on with my walk.