I have ‘quit’ at least ten times in the past few years, each effort just a little better than the last, and each wrought with the voice of the addiction: “One isn’t that bad. Everyone else can do it, why shouldn’t I?” or “I’ll just smoke with drinks.”
And every time I let the addiction talk me into it, I let the addiction win.
This time, though, I have come to a realization. Smoking sucks.
As it turns out, when I have successfully avoided cigarettes for a couple of days, the taste of them is puke-worthy. They give me a headache. I dodge the smoke coming off the burning butt, because it stinks. A lot.
All of these things have always been true. The difference is, I’ve tuned in. I finally stay present enough in a moment to really feel the impact of smoking on my body. And honestly? It sucks. I really don’t like it. Neither does my body.
You know what got me the other day? A picture of healthy lungs next to a picture of smoker’s lungs. It broke my heart that I was doing that to my bdoy every day. This body that had gotten me through skiing accidents, motorcycle accidents, and high school. This body that made it possible for me to feel the pleasure of the sun on my skin, or the smell of lilacs in the spring. This body that let me know how it felt to be held, and kissedj, this body that contained a soul that could know love, know life. And I was destroying it. And for what? I didn’t even like it, not unless I was numbed by coffee or alcohol.
Now, when the voice of addiction comes creeping in, I remind myself how terrible it will taste, how awful it will smell, how much I will hate the fog in my head, and I will remember that I love my lungs, my body, and how even despite the struggles, I love to live. And I’d much rather do so in a vessel that feels good.
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.