4th of August 2017: Smoked The Last Cigarette… So far…

Like what I have already mentioned in my previous blog, it has been a year since the last time I smoked. Indeed, I am very happy and proud of myself that I was able to stop smoking for a year now. While I acknowledge that I am weak in relation to my addiction  and the temptations will always be present, I certainly hope that I will continue to be a non-smoker for many years to come. In my experience, I have come to realize that the success of the latter depends upon the recognition of the former: in order to deal with addiction, one has to recognize the power the addiction holds to the one being addicted.

In the past, I have already made two attempts to quit the nasty habit of smoking and sadly enough, also twice I have failed. The first lasted for six months while the second a year and a half. In those two previous attempts, I made promises to stop smoking and that the cigarettes I was smoking when the promises were made were the last ones I would ever smoke. And yet, I would find myself too weak to resist the strong urge to smoke.

I would make myself believe that ‘one cigarette will do no harm.’ Then, I would find myself giving into my urges and smoke that cigarette. But that is not just one cigarette. One cigarette is enough to relapse and to undo all the efforts that have been done. I have certainly learned from my experiences and failures in the past. I can fairly say that with a benefit of hindsight, our failures are most valuable of all of our possessions. Failures gain value when we learn and gain perspectives from them.

This third time around is, however, quite different. I made the promise to stop smoking and that the cigarette I was smoking last August 4, 2017 at 14:00 is the last cigarette I would smoke. It is indeed the last cigarette so far. I have had many practices in the past.

The dark passenger still visits me from time to time now that I have stopped smoking for more than a year now and I am fully aware that it will continue to visit me from time to time in the future over which I have no control. But despite the urges to smoke, smoking was totally out of the question. I did not even try to negotiate with myself like in my previous attempts. I did not even negotiate with myself unlike in the previous attempt. I was fully aware, that just one cigarette is the difference between smoking and not smoking, between being a smoker and a non-smoker.

The dark passenger, that urge to smoke a cigarette, that used to be so overwhelming and powerful, has turned into a nuisance that, combined with patience, can be easily rebuked. Also, running also helped. That day, when I smoked the last cigarette, I bought myself a running shoes. Running is a motivation to stop smoking (so I thought it was) but also, running made me more equipped dealing with the dark passenger.