I’ve probably posted on this at some point before, but my job circumstances have changed a bit and now that I teach adults it would be easier to be a regular smoker. It came up in class that I occasionally smoke, and one of my students said why?

Why indeed? Occasional smoking must seem pointless to the initiated everyday smoker. I’m going to outline a few of the reasons I still don’t smoke regularly, despite no longer being totally restricted by my job.

I like that I can take it or leave it. If only I could apply similar self-control to food. But I think that comes from practice, as well as not smoking everyday or sometimes even for months. Self-control lessens the more times/days in a row that I smoke. As with any smoker, the most I smoke, the more I crave it. Most of the time (minus the conference I went to last week) smoking is an isolated event followed by weeks and usually months of abstinence.  I’ve said ‘no’ to smoking numerous times. Cupcakes, on the other hand, I can’t recall the last time I turned one down.

2. I like feeling the desire, and not giving in
I like feeling the tension and anticipation of desire. Perhaps this feeling would be more uncomfortable if I didn’t have so much practice not giving in.

3. When I do give in, I appreciate it that much more.
Cigarette smoking more so mostly because it is harder for me to do so. None of my friends smoke cigarettes. I don’t buy them for a variety of reasons. But I still appreciate smoking more after a long break from it.

4.Cigarette smoking is more taboo in our house and let’s face in with our friends and society. My fiancee doesn’t like it when I do it, but I don’t feel like I have to hide it. In fact, I tell him when I smoke cigarettes, even when he is not around. I don’t want him to feel like I’m hiding something from him. My friends don’t smoke cigarettes, and when they smoke pipes or cigars it is very occasionally. I would be smoking alone the majority of the time and I have come to like the social aspect of smoking, despite my start as a closet smoker.

5. It would kill my fantasy of becoming a regular smoker.
This is a fantasy that I’ve had for a long time. I feel like I’ve imagined, fantasized about all the ways it could play out that reality would be disappointing.

6. My continued need to live up to my parents’ expectations.
I think it would kill my mother. My dad would probably think I am I hypocrite. My step-mom would think that I had lost it.

7. Health reasons.
This is actually my main reason. I prefer how I feel physically when I’m not smoking regularly. I like not being phelmgy as well as being able to smell and taste things.

8. Physical withdrawal.
I don’t like it. But really does anybody?  Wait…this actually would be an argument for smoking regularly. Or for making sure that I don’t smoke regularly enough to go through it.

Mostly I get in my own way. And I’m okay with that. I’m okay with my desire.I am ok with most people in my life knowing that smoking is something I occasionally do. I was going to write something about being okay with the fact that I would say yes to smoking the next time I had the opportunity, but I realized that I am surrounded by opportunity (giant jar of tobacco, pipes, an almost full tin of my favourite cigars) and 95% of the time choose not to smoke. I’m not sure I’m would be able to do that if I hadn’t come to terms with my desire.

I’ve come a long way from 18 year old me who bought a pack, and snuck off to remote location in a park to have a smoke.

I have even come a long way since starting this blog, where I was totally not ok with people knowing. When I did my experimentation, I would drive to different neighborhoods, put on a separate jacket to reduce the chance of being seen or given away by my smell.

I remember when I started this, that part of me wished I had never tried smoking. But at the same time, I’m not sure my decision was completely that of an impulsive teenager trying to fit in. I didn’t have any social pressure to smoke, even the first uninhaled puff at 15 I could have gotten away with not taking as on the whole the group was actually against smoking. Again, at 17 when I first inhaled, there was no social pressure to smoke. I smoked with my only friend who smoked. Most of my other friends would have probably given me a hard time. In fact, I think there was more social pressure not to smoke. I think that if I had had a different group of friends as a teen, I’d be a smoker right now.

For me, it is clear that I’m more comfortable only smoking occasionally and I realize that isn’t something everyone can do, nor would I recommend someone trying. Until next time…