Last night I had drinks with a couple of friends, one who still smokes occasionally. I know this, and I know she's a generous person and will share a cigarette with me. But I don't smoke anymore, not really anyway. The two cigarettes I had last night were the first I've had in about a month. And I had those couple about a month after I had smoked my last couple. That's how it is now. I don't "smoke" anymore, I just occasionally have a cigarette, mostly when I'm out drinking. And for the most part I don't really think it's a big deal. I mean, how much harm can two cigarettes a month (24 a year) really do me? I must get as much toxins in my system walking downtown next to all the city traffic, right? And as they say, everything in moderation. Now a lot of people reading this will be upset because they are the type of "smokers" who can't just have a couple and then not smoke again for a month or two. They are the "smokers" who if they smoke one, they smoke a pack. And so they look at my ability (if you can call it that) to only smoke a few cigarettes without running out and buying a pack with envy. They would LOVE to be able to smoke a couple and then be done with it. But really, it's not that great. I always feel icky the next day. Even if I have just one, I can feel it in my lungs, and taste it - no matter how many times I've brushed my teeth and rinsed with mouthwash. It truly is a dirty habit. Which makes is all the more annoying that I can't just quit for good. Why, when the idea strikes me that I should have a cigarette, that I can't just remember how I'll feel the next day. That there really isn't anything good about this other than a few minutes of silly pleasure (see yesterday's post for my thoughts on humans and pleasure). Even if I do manage to remember that I don't really want to, it usually only stops me for a little while. And then I conveniently forget. It's just like everything else though. I conveniently forget that I don't want to eat that cookie because I'm watching my diet. I conveniently forget that I told myself I would read more instead of watching TV.
Apparently what I need to do is not concentrate on quitting smoking, but concentrate on quitting forgetting.