Like the month of my birth, Christmas, and new year, the moth of August is also very significant to me. It is significant not only because it is the height of the summer, but also because it is the moth when I stopped smoking. I smoked my last cigarette – at least the last so far and hoping to be the last – on the 4th of August 2017.
I have already given-up the possibility to be a non-smoker and accepted that I smoking will be a part of my like, that I will smoke all my life. And yet here I am, after smoking my last cigarette for almost a year now, an ex-smoker blogging about being an ex-smoker or at least being able not to smoke.
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.
Since last weekend, I have not smoked a cigarette for one whole year. It was on the 4th of August last year at exactly 14:00 when I smoked my last cigarette. I must say that I am proud of myself for this achievement. I think only smokers and ex-smokers can fully appreciate how rewarding and gratifying it is being able to stop smoking and continue to stop smoking for a year and – hopefully – beyond. I deserve to give myself a one year chip for not smoking.
Indeed, I am very proud of myself for being able not to smoke for one whole year since last weekend. I was a smoker and now I am liberated from the nasty addiction that has enslaved me for many years in the past. I thought I will never free from it. Somehow, I have accepted that I will be addicted to cigarette smoking for the rest of my life and that I would never be free from it. And yet here I am, an ex-smoker blogging about being an ex-smoker. I am not a smoker anymore. I find the ‘not smoker’ version of myself more pleasing than the one who was a smoker.
Mad Men is one of my favourite drama series. When it has become available on Netflix, I have watched the whole series that were available as fast and as much as I could. I could not stop watching it the first time and watched the whole series couple of times more.
For obvious reasons, I smoked more that I usually did while watching the programme. I was still a smoker back then. The plot of the story is after all premised within the time where smoking was not yet frowned upon.
In that programme, smoking is associated with strength and smokers are presented in the light of success. The underlying message is: smoking cigarettes makes us strong and courageous. It helps us not only to get through our difficult life but also to thrive in it.
It is noteworthy to mention that yesterday was the fifth month since I have stopped smoking. When I have decided to smoke my last cigarette on the 4th of August 2017 at exactly 14:00, I have been smoke free. I feel quite liberated.
On the contrary to what most people might say, smokers and non-smokers alike, to stop smoking is not difficult at all. It is a lot more easier and simpler that most of us make it. To stop smoking is easy. All you need to do is to stop and no matter what happen, keep stopping. It has been very easy for me, but I guess I have a lot of practice.
I can still remember the first time I have smoked. When I have first inhaled the smoke, I coughed really hard as if I was Allergic to it. One of the greatest regret I have in my life is that I did not listen to my body that day. I was young and stupid that even though my body is telling me not to smoke, I did it anyway, so that I may look ‘cool’.
In the previous blog entry, I have expressed my commitment to write more about my nicotine addiction and the challenge I embrace to liberate myself from it. So far, I am able to restrain myself from lightning-up and smoking a cigarette for four months now. As far as my self-restraint is concerned, I have been Saintly so far. Although, in the whole grand scheme of things, abstaining from one’s addiction for four months is not that long, it is nonetheless not nothing. Four months of not smoking is an achievement I can be proud of. Smokers and ex-smokers alike would understand that sense of achievement.
Aside from not smoking anymore, another huge change that has taken place in my life this year is my dietary restrictions. For about a month or two, I have started to live on plant-based diet. I do not consume animal meat anymore and any other products that have been produced from the exploitation of non-human animals. Like ‘smoking and not smoking’, my conversion to not eating animals is also a theme I would like to reflect upon here in this blog. From hence forward, my reflections on this fundamentally different ways of living my life will be categorized as the ‘The Vegan Ideal’.