When I first quit, I was determined not to become an evangelist, one of those people that I had (until the day before) always hated. You know, "the worst ones are the ex-smokers", people who stuck their aggressive new-found purity right in your face. And I also used to feel that to preach quitting to others was hypocritical.
So when I quit, I told no-one , and inevitably I couldn't avoid friends or work colleagues who were smokers. In fact, I never regretted that because being with smokers, watching them smoke, and smelling smoke never had any effect on me
. It was entirely neutral. I didn't like or dislike it. It certainly never made me want to smoke, and often I hardly noticed it was happening.
About a month into my quit, after I told people I had quit, many people would then ask me if I minded them smoking. I have to admit that I got a kick out of casually telling them it was no problem for me
. After 3 months (when I started to get an education here
) I then used to add "but it sure is a problem for you".
If they asked why, I quietly turned into the once-hated evangelist
The biggest change took place at 4 months. I remember it started when I experienced an extraordinary 24 hours when all the benefits of my quit came together and hit me in the face. I made a post about it here. Since that day, I have started to worry about people I see smoking, worry about their health and their sanity. I have big-time
problems seeing young people and friends smoke. Now, for the first time since I quit, I tell people I'd rather they didn't smoke. I've always been squeamish (I cannot watch TV programs showing operations and so on) and I am now squeamish about smoking
. I get mental pictures of their lungs, I get a vision of the person looking like Bryan Adams, and so on.
None of this threatens my quit. That is mine alone to have and to hold. But it has created a whole new feeling of discomfort, and sometimes agony, that I will now have to learn to live with.