“Boy, do I miss smoking!”
If you say it often enough you really start to believe it. But would life be different if you smoked again? You bet it would. From the moment you awake to the time you go to sleep, life would never again be the same.
Once again you have to smoke as soon as you wake up just to have the strength and energy to drag yourself out of bed. You cough up some of that phlegm in your lungs and get a drink of water for that horribly dry throat. You have a lousy taste in your mouth and a slight headache. But none of this concerns you since you feel this way every morning. Funny though, if you think back to your ex-smoking days, you used to wake up feeling clean, healthy and refreshed.
You start to dress and get ready for work. Fifteen minutes go by so you smoke a cigarette or two. At breakfast the food sure tastes bland. Better add some salt and pepper to those eggs. Coffee sure seems weak today, no smell or taste to it. Better brew it longer next time. When you were an ex-smoker things smelled and tasted so good.
You realize you had better start moving faster since you are already behind schedule. Where does the time go? When you were not smoking you seemed to have so much more time in the morning. Better hurry or you will be late for work again.
The inside windshield sure seems dirty. It is kind of surprising since you just cleaned it three weeks ago. Better try to scrape that brown film off over the weekend. No wonder the kids are always complaining about the smell in the car. Remember when you were an ex-smoker and you cleaned your inside windshield about every six months.
You just hate driving during rush hours. Its forty-five minutes of pure frustration. Three or four cigarettes between home and work. But it sure is better than taking that train where you can’t smoke at all. Near the end of these trips you sit with an unlit cigarette hanging out of your mouth, a lighter in your hand. When the train finally stops you push your way out to light the cigarette as fast as you can. When you were an ex-smoker and you drove or took the train you didn’t even think of a cigarette.
You are really late now. You run half a block from the parking lot to your office. You start wheezing and coughing. You can’t catch your breath and your heart feels like it is going to explode out of your chest. Funny, when you were an ex-smoker a little run like that wouldn’t even make you perspire.
At work the phone just doesn’t stop ringing. You almost don’t have time to smoke. But you know you will make time to smoke at least three an hour. In fact, with that hour-long staff meeting where you are not allowed to smoke coming up, you had better smoke a few extra. You don’t want another episode like last week where the boss asked you some difficult questions and all you could think about was when could you get a cigarette. Sure was simpler when you were an ex-smoker.
Rush hour going home is just as bad as going to work. You should stop and get cigarettes, you might not have enough to get through until tomorrow. Another couple of dollars down the drain.
Well, you are finally home. You had better smoke while getting ready for dinner since your kids won’t let you smoke at the table. Another half a pack or so before going to bed. You sure are tired. I bet you feel like you smoked too much today. As you doze off your last thought for the day is, “Boy, do I miss not smoking.” Consider what life was really like as a smoker. Remember all this and NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
© Joel Spitzer 1985
Additional commentary I wrote back in 2001 on the Freedom from Nicotine board: