Why did I smoke? (written after quitting smoking)

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May 13, 2015 by Cláudia

I am happy to say that I have successfully stopped smoking. In this last month I realized that some of the situations in which I smoked really had nothing to do with smoking itself or with wanting to smoke.

For example:

– Having a cigarette in order to do nothing for five minutes without feeling uncomfortable. Staring at the window for five minutes may be uncomfortable and you may start to feel nervous and go do something else. While smoking, I had na excuse to stop for five minutes and relax, and think and look at my street. In that case, smoking a cigarette was really the least important thing I was doing. It was all about the rest.

– Having a cigarette to feel comfortable with being alone. Sitting in a bench in college all by myself can be awkward and uncomfortable. I always felt people were thinking “Hmm well she is alone poor thing.”. But while smoking a cigarette, being alone is more okay, people won’t notice that I am really alone, just that I am sitting there having a cigarette.

– Routine. I noticed I had specific times to smoke and it was almost unconscious to do it. Like brushing my teeth after breakfast or washing my hands after using the toilet.

– Being around people who smoke, not because of any pressure of any kind, but because it was a common denominator.

– When feeling anxious. Smoking really didn’t help me at all to relax but it is that idea that it does that led me to smoke when feeling nervous.

– In that “fuck-the-world” mood. Annoyed at everything and everyone, I smoked harder, not caring about health or anything, in a sort of rebellion against everything (and specially myself).

The point I am trying to make is: smoking is not that good. I mean, sometimes it does feel good but really there are a million things that feel greater than smoking. Who can really say that tobacco tastes well?

Quitting smoking was a surprisingly easy process (and I don’t say I’m obsessed by it, I smoked a cigarette last week without feeling I relapsed or anything). It was all about replacing those situations with other things rather that a cigarette. Yoga helped. I gained more respect for my body and managed to stop the busy day for a few minutes just to do nothing or think.

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