I Thought I Loved Smoking...But...

A list of Smoking Pros and Cons

rose2.jpg
Rose

Over time, physical addiction to nicotine links itself to just about everything in our lives, from smoking with the first cup of coffee to having one last puff before bed.  We learn to associate every emotion we have with our cigarettes, and when we quit, those faulty connections demand attention, trying to convince us  that we need to smoke in order to be happy and fulfilled. 

When she quit smoking, About.com Smoking Cessation support forum member  Rose created a list of smoking pros and cons that highlight the junkie thinking that comes with nicotine addiction and the mental corrections she is proactively putting in place to break those faulty links.

Thanks for sharing, Rose.  You're doing great! 

From Rose:

I've set up my pros and cons list my own way... I like seeing the contrast between faulty reasoning and logical thought; it leaves no room for junkie rationalization.

I love smoking,
...but...
I hate what smoking does to my mouth and gums.

I love the feeling of relief cigarettes give me when I am stressed,
...but...
I hate the fact that cigarettes are a coping mechanism for everything and anything under the sun, and the fact that my health worsens every time I smoke a cigarette.

I love that smoking a cigarette gives me something to do when I'm nervous,
...but...
I hate that I depend on cigarettes to help me cope instead of actually facing what I am scared of.

I love smoking a cigarette after I make love,
...but...
I hate that the effects of smoking cigarettes make me less attractive.

I love smoking a cigarette with a cup of coffee in the morning to wake up,
...but...


I hate that I can't ever fully appreciate how good the coffee is.

I love lighting up after a meal,
...but...
I hate it when I eat out and need to go smoke a cigarette immediately.  I excuse myself, when I could sit, stay, drink more coffee and continue conversation.

I love smoking cigarettes when I have the occasional drink,
...but...


I hate that I smoke so much that I get a sore throat and hacking cough in the morning.

I love the act of 'sharing' a cigarette with my husband,
...but...
I hate that we are sharing poison, and we have romanticized it.

I love smoking in the evenings,
...but...
I hate sacrificing time with my kittens who come to see me and run away when I light up.

I love the feeling that I am doing something rebellious by smoking a cigarette,
...but...
I hate that I have in fact, been duped by a corporation, along with millions of others,  into volunteering to kill myself by buying their product... Not so independent or rebellious after all.

I love the singing voice that smoking gives me for jazz songs,
...but...
I hate that the only songs I can sing are jazz, because smoking has made me an alto, when I used to be able to sing as a high soprano, soprano, or an alto. I had a choice!

I love going to the store to get cigarettes, I feel like the clerk really knows me because she remembers the brands I like,
...but...
I hate that with or without the cigarettes, she would still remember me.

  It's a very small town.

I love relaxing with a cigarette,
...but...
I hate that in all actuality, I am making my body work overtime to deal with counteracting all the harm I cause by smoking in the first place.

I love taking a break from working to smoke,
...but...
I hate that I'm not actually doing anything to break or rest, I am stressing my body and mind by feeding the addiction.

I love the connection I get with fellow smokers, that instant commonality,
...but...
I hate that I fail to recognize other connections that aren't superficial. 

I love having a cigarette to stop emotions, as a sort of emotional 'block',
...but...
I hate that it has become a block for emotions I need to feel and work through.

I love smoking a cigarette as a way to deal with chronic pain,
...but...
I hate that smoking does me no favors when I am in the hospital; the desire to smoke makes me only more uncomfortable and anxious.

I love closing my eyes and taking a deep drag off of a cigarette,
...but...
I hate getting ashes all over my bedspread, on my clothes, in my drink, or most embarrassingly, on my face without realizing it.

I love the oral fixation a cigarette provides,
...but...
I hate how my hands are stained with nicotine resin from constantly holding cigarettes.

I love the 'raw art' element cigarettes provide in black and white photography,
...but...
I hate how nicotine junkie thinking has made me romanticize cigarettes.

I love how brands of expensive cigarettes provide the feeling of superiority, 
...but...
I hate how cigarettes waste hundreds of dollars a month with nothing to show but gross, stinky cigarette butts, loose tobacco, and empty packs everywhere... In pockets, in purses, in backpacks, in wallets, on the floor, on top of a shelf... everywhere.

I love smoking in bed,
...but...
I hate knocking the ashtray over on the bedspread, sleeping in ashes, and burning holes in my comforter.

I hate that perfume was only a cover up for the smell of cigarette smoke.

I hate that smoking ruined some of my favorite outfits.

I hate the burn holes in the car.

I hate accidentally lighting a strand of hair on fire.

I hate the taste tobacco left in my mouth.

I hate the habit smoking became.

I hate the escape smoking provided.

I hate the junkie thinking that comes with nicotine addiction.

I hate how NRT patches have the potential to harm small animals and children because nicotine is a poison.

I hate the shame mentality smoking added to my life. 

I hate the false security it provided.

In summation:

I thought I really loved smoking...

...but...

I truly hate how willing I am as a nicotine addict to skew reality, rationalize away hurting myself, and possibly killing myself by continuing to smoke.

No matter how bad I want to smoke, I'm going to say NOPE, because for every pro I come up with, there always will be a superior con.  I won't give up my quit because of junkie thinking.  It is faulty logic.  I am not better than anyone addicted to any other drug, because I have fallen into the same thought cycle, and the same form of physical and mental enslavement.  Well, no more.  

I'm mad as hell, and I'm going to do something about it!

(And I am doing something about it, every second I don't smoke!)

~Rose

Put your own list of pros and cons together if you're so inclined.  It is a great way to break the cycle of unhealthy smoking thoughts that often come with early cessation.

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