There are times when it’s difficult for me to stay away from cigarettes. Any stress, like from closing down a chain of bookstores, can trigger the desire to smoke. It’s like having an itch I can’t scratch, right between my shoulder blades, that just won’t go away. It’s an ever present tickle and though I can get close to scratching it, I always manage to miss the one spot that would really satisfy it.
It’s at times like those that I need to remember why I’m glad I quit as opposed to really, really wanting just to light up and breathe out smoke like a totally kick-ass dragon. So here are my reasons why I’m glad I quit (90% of the time).
1. My clothes don’t smell like the floor of an especially dingy bar anymore, a bar from before the smoking ban in bars I mean.
2. Likewise, my breath doesn’t smell like the floor of an especially dingy bar.
3. People who quit before the age of 30 reduce the risk of dying prematurely from tobacco related illnesses by 90% (from the NCI).
4. I no longer count the minutes until my next cigarette. More than anything, breaking my dependence on it is what makes me happy. Being bound to something, being made to need to have something, was extremely maddening. I hated the loss of control and now, to a large degree, I have that back.
5. I’m extremely proud of myself every time I want a cigarette, really need to have a cigarette, and I manage to keep from giving in. I have gone 407 days without a cigarette and 90% of the time, I’m damn glad of it.