Taking a Smoke Break

I've been a smoker for 15 years. I love most things about it. I love the ritual. The forced break time. The social aspect of it. I love the stress relief that it gives me. I love the punctuation mark it puts on most everything.

I love most everything about smoking except what it does to my lungs and to my body.

I've quit smoking at least 5 times and over the years I've learned a couple of things. First, I'm not addicted to the nicotine, so much a the ritual. Quitting for me is very easy. I just have to decide I want to do it and I'm done. I may have a slight headache for the first couple of days, but that's it. That is both a curse and a blessing. Knowing that you can quit at any time makes it a lot harder to actually stop. But when I actually decide that I want to stop, there are no problems.

Second, I really miss it when I stop. It is a habit that I have not found any replacement for. None. And don't bother suggesting something. I've, probably, already tried it.

Third my lungs really hate me when I smoke to much. I know it's time for me to quit when I start barking and hacking like a seal in heat.

And that is precisely what I was doing three weeks ago when I quit smoking again.

So what do I know for sure? I know that I won't be having a smoke today, or tomorrow, or next week, or even next month. Beyond that I'm not sure. I will always be a smoker, but I won't always smoke. This happens to be a period where I'm choosing not to smoke.

I'm not a militant anti-smoker. I get why people smoke and why they continue to smoke. I get why they stop smoking and I understand why they start.

So I don't say i'm done with smoking for good… I simply say I'm taking a smoke break.