I have been chained to nicotine most of my life and as of Sunday, July 24, 2016, I have been free from nicotine in all forms. That's a little over a year and it's time to reflect…
Ashes to ashes
I smoked cigarettes most of my life and I was an official “pack-a-day” smoker since I was 12 years old. In most countries, this is far from shocking, but for most people that I have met in So. Calif, it's not common, to say the least.
Dust to dust
You know that scene from the movie Dead Again where Cozy Carlisle (played by Robin Williams) says “Someone is either a smoker or a nonsmoker. There's no in-between. The trick is to find out which one you are and be that. If you're a nonsmoker, you'll know.” I knew that in my heart I was a smoker! I never had to question it. I knew that I was a smoker with every fiber I have ever burned and/or ingested. Smoking was as much a part of my life as breathing and I did both as much as possible up until a year ago.
I hate not smoking! I really really do. I loved it! I really really did. But just like everything that I like, it's bad for me. Next, they will take away my half a gallon of ice cream that I have each night... What? That's unhealthy too? Well, what about the masturbation? Certainly, that is still healthy? (FYI: 5 Reasons You Should Masturbate Tonight) How many times each day? Dang it!!! You got me! I promise to cut back, I promise! The simple truth is that my wife asked me to start vaping about 4 years ago and she never asked me to stop a lot of things (to be fair, she has no clue how much I masturbate), but this is the one thing she preferred that I attempt to curb and I did.
I got the vapors (yo biz)
So I picked up VAPING and for nearly two years I was one of those guys you see outside of restaurants and driving on the freeway that you see blowing vapor like a choo-choo train!!! A very bitter Thomas the Train who had no intention of giving up nicotine. So, I kept on huffing and puffing until my old ideas about nicotine finally blew away.
I vaped on and vaped on. But! When I found myself in recovery nearly a year later, I was motivated to start tapering down and eventually found myself holding on to 3mg nicotine levels for those last few months. After going through the twelve steps of one of those anonymous programs (for my other addictions/alcoholism), I discovered a lot about my addictions and habits, in the end, I was surprised how well the twelve steps worked. When I worked the program on my nicotine habit along with tapering down, eventually I saw no reason why I had to continue vaping and one day “I just knew” I had become a non-smoker (non-vapor) and that inner-voice of my new “higher-self” spoke louder than I had ever heard it.
Smokers outside the hospital doors
Today I spend very little time considering smoking or vaping (or any nicotine), for any reason for that matter. I still prefer to hang with the smokers outside of course (like I said; “a smoker at heart”), but mostly we still end up talking about quitting smoking… the irony.