Joel and I smoked our last cigarettes. Both of us were lifelong smokers and both had tried (and failed) to quit many times before.
I don’t know why it was different this time. Perhaps because we did it together?
That last night was a frenzy of smoking, both knowing that the next day neither could have a cigarette. We drew every last puff out of each cigarette before reluctantly stubbing it out. When we (nervously) went to bed that night, we cleaned and put away the ash trays, the lighters, the smoking paraphernalia that had been an inordinately important part of our days and that we thought defined us.
The next morning, as I remember it, was a titch tense. But we survived it by being VERY careful around each other, neither wanting to be responsible for somehow driving the other back into the smoky embrace of a cigarette. It was tough. It was tense. Today, five years later, there are still times when one or the other of us will think ‘gee, I could use a cigarette now’. But, like any other addiction, there can never be “just one”. It’s over. And, like addicts of other substances, we will always be smokers – just not today.
Happily we have had five successful smoke free years. Hopefully, we’ll have many more.