For those of you embarking on a smoke-free existence, you will learn a few things about yourself in the process that you may not have noticed previously. In my own experience, I have learned some interesting things that I honestly would not have noticed if I had not quit smoking. A few of these include:
- My ability to deal with stress in a healthy way is truly abysmal.
- I have been killing my taste buds gradually over a number of years and cannot believe what I have been missing.
- You can tell yourself that you are more understanding of smokers, having been one yourself, but when you have quit and no longer crave that cigarette you will turn a corner. You will become THAT annoying ex-smoker that listens to the excuses of others that are “going to quit” and you just cringe with annoyance instead of recalling your own struggles.
Another not an option situation is the death of my taste buds. I have never been a truly heavy smoker so I always assumed that my taste buds would always remain unharmed. I, of course, never looked to deeply into that because I did not want to know the truth. I did not want to give it up, but since I have, I can tell you first hand that it is glorious.
My appetite has decreased since I have quit if you can believe it, but my taste buds must be regrowing themselves because I have discovered an amazing array of flavours that I previously had found unappealing. The simplest and oddest one of these is tropical fruit. For some reason I have never been a fan of pineapples, mangoes, papayas, etc. but NOW I cannot get enough. The same flavours that used to make me gag have now recreated themselves as a fine treat for my palate. Who knew?! So if you are trying to quit smoking, think about how much you will enjoy your food when all is said and done.
Being THAT relentless ex-smoker is not something that I saw coming. My first week of quitting was difficult and every faint scent of a cigarette sent me into at least fifteen minutes of silent reflection and willpower tugging back and forth to make the decision not to buy a pack and light up myself. Now, I am that girl who when confronted with another person smoking that knows about my having quit, gives me a list of reasons why they cannot do it, will simply cringe at the notion of their weakness.
This is not to say that I chime in with a sermon of why they can quit and how “if I can do it, anyone can.” I rarely open my big mouth to say anything of the sort, but I am ashamed to say that I do pass judgement. It may be fleeting and it may be silent, but I still judge. I cannot tell you how unbelievably sad that makes me. I never wanted to be the sort of person that would judge rather than inspire someone else.
There are a million reasons why someone starts to smoke and a million more reasons why they should quit. But the harsh reality of life; one of the hardest lessons I have had to learn, is that NO ONE can make it on their own. Everyone needs someONE or someTHING to help them through. If you are an ex-smoker, keep that in mind. Actually putting down that last cigarette is easy in comparison to never lighting up again. Do not try to force someone to make the change, try inspiring them by helping them find the someone or something that is going to see them through.