I'm going to be honest. As much as I hated smoking, there was a part of me that enjoyed it. Believe it or not, even after a 5 year quit, from time to time I actually do still think about smoking. And when I say think about smoking I mean in that longing, wish I could do it kind of way. Which is not often mind you. I'd say about 5 seconds every month or so if that. Give or take.
Don't get me wrong. I don't crave cigarettes, nor are these thoughts unpleasant in any way. Being the educated quitter that I am, I smile in these moments, quickly dismissing any notion of ever lighting up again. That choice is always of there of course but I never want to be hooked on nicotine again, nor do I want all of the problems that would go along with it. No way! Not smoking is a choice and a darn good one if you ask me.
So if you're an ex-smoker who still thinks about smoking from time to time, do yourself a huge favor. Add up the time you actually spend thinking about it. Before finding Freedom I once blew a two month quit simply because I had the wrong mindset. I had an urge to smoke one day and said to myself, "If the desire to smoke doesn't go away after all this time then it will never go away," totally ignoring all the time I had not thought about smoking up to that point and all the time I would have continued to enjoy not thinking about it had I not taken that first puff.
Thoughts, cravings, urges, etc are all temporary and really don't occupy much of your time at all. Do the math!
There are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, and 365.25 days in each year. 60 x 60 x 24 x 365.25 = 31,557,600 total seconds in a year. For the 5 seconds a month or so that I miss smoking there's approximately 31,557,540 seconds that I either don't think about it at all or am thinking about not smoking in a positive, appreciative, not missing it at all sort of way.
I spend 0.00019% of my current time thinking about smoking. Um, that's less than a second a day. Lol!
But how often did we think about them as smokers? My addiction forced me to think about them at least every 20 minutes or so. And if I didn't obey those cravings, the alarm bells going off in my head got worse forcing me to think about them even more, often to the exclusion of everything and everyone else around me.
My advice? Go ahead and think about them. Remember them fondly. Remember all of the negative aspects of being a smoker. But whatever you do think about them honestly. Smoking was enjoyable. Being addicted and HAVING to smoke even when you didn't want to however was not. When I honestly recall what life in bondage to a chemical was like, even if a puff on a cigarette was the most enjoyable thing in the world, would it really be worth living the addict's lifestyle again? Not to me. I'd rather move on with my life, keeping a few fond smoking memories amongst the many thoughts, reasons, and appreciations of letting cigarettes and therefore my addiction to nicotine go for good.
Don't be afraid. Have a few fond thoughts here and there alongside the memories of all the trouble this addiction has likely caused you. Why not? Thoughts good or bad have no power over your quit as long as you don't ingest nicotine. Just don't obsess about it. I wish I could tell you loathing your addiction, nicotine, or cigarettes is required but honestly its not. You don't have to be an activist to quit smoking. Once you've quit you just have to be smart enough to realize that ingesting any nicotine will likely re-addict you, and by never using nicotine in any of its various forms again you can move on with your life like I did spending 99.99981% of your time focusing on other things like collecting Ouija Boards.