I used to be like that.

I used to be like that.

Joined: 09 Jan 2009, 23:33

09 Feb 2005, 11:54 #1

A first since I quit, I got to spend quality time with a friend who is a smoker. We were together for about 3 hours and I feel compelled to share with you what happened in those few moments.

After the initial welcome and catching up, about 20 minutes, he had to step outside for a smoke. We had made plans to go hiking in the forest with my dogs, so I just got ready to do that while he was outside. When I was ready to go and he was finished with his cigarette, we all piled into my car for a short drive to the trailhead. When he got into my car, I was overwhelmed with this stench...a purely chemical smell that I really found quite nauseating. It wasn't like wood smoke and campfire smoke...this smell was rancid. I had to roll down my window so that some fresh air would move around inside the car. I thought to myself, "That's what you used to smell like. Just think, (insert partners/friends/strangers name here) had to put up with your stench for how many years?"

We got to the trailhead and proceeded up the path. The first 500 feet or so of it was a mild incline. When we reached the top, my smoking friend was quite short of breath and asked if we could stop for a moment. He was breathing heavily and I decided that maybe I was walking a bit too fast for him, so I better slow up. We continued on and began to talk about what a beautiful day it was, what a beautiful place we were walking in. I began to remark about the wonderful smell of pine and fresh morning dew that seemed to hang in the air. At this point, my smoking friend pulled out a cigarette and lit it while we were walking. The air was filled with this smelly, unnatural smoke. I thought to myself, "wow, if you were still a smoker, you would have lit up too. You also would have had no idea that your stinky pollution was covering up the sweet smell of the creek, the moss....the beauty that you came here to be in."

We were hiking for about an hour and a half. My smoking friend had 5 cigarettes in that time. It seemed that everything was marked by a cigarette. When we stopped to view the waterfall, he smoked. When we saw the map and were looking at where we are, he lit up. Before we made our descent, he pulled another cigarette out. Through all of this, I saw who I used to be. Through all of this, I came to be glad of who I am now.

Not a single time did I want to have a cigarette. Not once did I feel a crave. I felt sad. I felt sad for all the people in my life that lived with my smoking. I felt sad for my dogs that had no choice but to inhale my smoke. I felt sad for the strangers that just happened to be there while I smoked. I felt sad for my friend, who said he wanted to quit, but it was just too hard for him.

I also felt very, very, very glad. I am so happy that I no longer smoke cigarettes. I am ecstatic about my strength and courage that allows me to make it through everyday without cigarettes. I am glad that cigarettes don't mark every hour of my day. I am so glad that I am no longer endangering myself, my loved ones and even people I don't know. I can't take away the damage I have already done. But I can make a difference in my future. I do that everyday that I never take another puff.


Free and healing for 1 month, 26 days, 11 hours, 48 minutes, 56 seconds. 1422 cigarettes NOT smoked, saving me an unheard of $259.51! 4 days, 22 hours, 33 minutes, 37 seconds of my life returned to me. I feel good, I smell good...life is better being normal.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:01

09 Feb 2005, 12:39 #2

Wow! Great post Ang. I used to be like that too....any little stop in the action, there I was, lighting another cigarette. I'm so gratefull to be quit of this horrible addiction. Perhaps you'll inspire your friend to quit sometime. Anyway, thanks for the great story. Steve 8 months, 27 days.

gold osomashi
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

09 Feb 2005, 14:40 #3

hey ang, great post. very insightful. it hit close to home. I used to be your friend: 1) using every opportunity as a chance to smoke (before X, after Y) and 2) smoking cigarettes all over nature; smoking in the desert, on the beach and in the Redwood Forest! I bet your dogs are happy now. Congratulations on an awesome quit...you are almost DOUBLE GREEN!
best wishes, mari, 5 months and 5 1/2 hours
Last edited by gold osomashi on 25 Jun 2009, 14:24, edited 1 time in total.

richard This is It GOLD
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

09 Feb 2005, 15:12 #4

Hi Ang.....

Great post.... I used to be like that also.... hiking, biking, skiing.... were all interrupted by regular "smoke breaks".

Your post also reminded me of the need to spend more time "smelling the roses". Though a Brit, I am firtunate to be living in a most wonderful part of the world (the Pacific Norht West)..... there's no snow here this season worth a metion.... so time to dust off those walking boots I think :)

Starshinegrl Gold
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

09 Feb 2005, 20:02 #5

So did I!! I can remember doing a long distance walk here about 2 years ago ... a beautiful walk over 10 days and without fail, every hour or so, I just had to have my nicotine fix. I might have been whining about a long uphill stretch, but can you imagine that half way up, I just need nicotine to help me up further? As if ...

I can't wait for spring and summer to arrive ... so many walks planned in the beautiful Yorkshire & Derbyshire Dales, the Peak District, the Lakes and Scotland. (All these just mentioned for Richard ...Image). But seriously: I am so looking forward to all those walks without having to stop to feed my addiction ... might even dig my old "granny bike" out again.

Thanks, Ang, for giving me something this morning to look forward to. You are nearly double green ... congrats! Have a great nicotine free journey onwards!

75 days and a bit

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:25

10 Feb 2005, 01:27 #6

Wow Ang,
That is a remarkably insightful post. I can relate very well to what you wrote probably because I have spent much time doing the same thing . There are many local trails where I would walk with my dogs and friends and yes spots all along the way where I would stop to smoke.

Your post hightlights something about the habits I developed as a smoker and how I learned to associate nicotine with the beginning and end of everything I did. From the time I awoke and administered my first feeding to my last cigarette of the day before bed, every single activity was framed with cigarettes.

I too am glad to be free and yes the smells of the forest are amazing. One does not know what they are missing until having given oneself the chance to experience life free of the nicotine.

Thanks for your insights,
119 days -One day at a time.

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:12

10 Feb 2005, 02:03 #7

Angg...What a great post...I used to be that friend of yours...having to stop at every chance to light up during a pause...instead of really being able to enjoy the beauty and the smells....but brain was on the next cigarette...I was also the one who caused a slower pace....it was easy to become out of breath....What a joy it must of been to be the one smelling the smells and really enjoying the beauty....I smoked for 35 years....I quit so many times that I finally just gave up trying....thinking I would never br able to do it...and being so discussed with myself because it seemed like so many others could. ThenI was given a book about the easy way to quit smoking...so I decided to try again cold turkey...Thank God...6 days later I found freedom and why quit....it hasn't always been easy, but is has been simple (NTAP)...but with the knowledge and support I have found here....for the 1 st time...I feel like the non-smoker in your story....Encourage your friend to lurk on why quit and freedom.....Probably the reason he doean't quit is fear of failure or fear there is no life without smoking....what lies we tell ourselves....and I think but for the grace of God go I...Again...geat post Keep up the good worg and always remember NTAP Pam :) 41 days free and lovin it

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:10

10 Feb 2005, 02:40 #8


I very much enjoyed your post. It's not often that we have an opportunity to have an objective look at our own behavior, although in this case it's a look at what USED to be our behavior. If only we could have seen ourselves in this light when we were still smoking, we might have quit sooner.

I was talking with another ex-smoker recently and we both remarked that although the smell of a cigarette didn't bother us, the smell of cigarette smoke on a smoker did. Odd. When I think that I used to smell like that, and that I thought I was hiding it from people, I am mortified. Totally embarassed.

In any case, after reading your story I am even more grateful that I no longer need to interrupt my activities, or anyone else's to get a fix.

Thanks for relating this.


Joined: 09 Jan 2009, 23:33

10 Feb 2005, 05:26 #9

What a great post. And one to keep in mind when anyone has that "I'll just take a puff" thought It's never just a puff or one cigarette; It's "We were hiking for about an hour and a half. My smoking friend had 5 cigarettes in that time. It seemed that everything was marked by a cigarette. When we stopped to view the waterfall, he smoked. When we saw the map and were looking at where we are, he lit up. Before we made our descent, he pulled another cigarette out."

NTAP will keep us all from being right back in our addictions. This post helped me think about all the times in my life that what was driving me was the next hit of nicotine. Hurry through dinner.....go out and smoke. Hurrying family and friends to finish a conversation so I could go out and smoke. Wait....don't open any more Christmas presents until I get back in from smoking. It's incredible when I look back that something had THAT kind of control over my life. Every waking minute was OWNED by my addiction.

Now I own every one of my waking minutes!! :-) And have for One month, 16 hours, 28 minutes and 5 seconds. 792 cigarettes not smoked, saving $152.49. Life saved: 2 days, 18 hours, 0 minutes.

Joined: 09 Jan 2009, 23:33

10 Feb 2005, 06:52 #10

I guess I shouldn't be surprised at all of you who related to my little story. As smokers, we were all like my friend. I want to say that this experience was not negative for me at all. In fact, it affirmed my quit so much more than anything else has.

Hiking and walking have been part of my recovery and rehabilitation. Not only is it great for my Westies (those are my dogs), walking has given me a chance to get my tired cilia waving and shaking the tar from their little arms. It has allowed me to breathe deeper and for the first time in a long time I smell things! A leaf from a tree has such a sweet smell, the grandstand at the ball fields still carries a popped corn scent from the game a few days ago...the simple smell of fresh air delights me. I know many of you relate and are just as happy about it as I am.

I too, live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and there are so many trails to walk upon. I encourage all of you, no matter where you are, to get out there and take a walk. Use that sniffer of yours and discover something that you may have forgotten smelled so good. Maybe we will start a "wonderful smells" parade sometime.

Hug your quits tight, everyone. Everyday it just gets better and better and better....but only if we never take another puff.


Free and healing for 1 month and 27 days. YAY, I AM almost double GREEN! I love my new life.