Five Years After Quitting Smoking – I Went To Problogger

I went to Problogger this week, so much more on that later – but for now, there is something weighing heavy on my mind and my lungs – and I thought I’d share as a matter of public health. After 17 years’ as a pack a day smoker, I quit.  Five years after quitting smoking I still felt cheated that I never really had that “wow I feel sooooo much better” moment.   I don’t recall ever feeling magically better and I think that this stopped me having “closure”with smoking.  I still see not smoking as a sacrifice. I love smoking. I love it sooooo hard. This will not be a preachy blog that offends smokers, I am so jealous of you guys I just want to come stand next to you and breathe in your aroma. I love it so much, this week, I surrendered and after five and a half years, took up temporary membership to the smokers’ club.

Five Years After Quitting Smoking I went to Problogger and Learned a Life Lesson

I <3 Smoking

Problogger was heaps of fun and I bought a pack of smokes and became a 1/3 of a pack a day smoker. How I found the time to smoke a pack a day (or more when I lived in Japan) I’ll never know. I loved every one of those cigarettes as much as I did 5.5 years ago – in the moment before the second blue line appeared and gestation brought my much loved habit to a grinding halt.
I loved every cigarette that let me develop new “smoking buddies”. I loved every cigarette that gave me an excuse for a ten minute time out from the social tidal wave that is Problogger. I loved every cigarette that calmed my nerves after meeting a cool blogger or speaker or saw someone I didn’t want to see. And I loved every cigarette accompanied by a glass of bubbly, following a meal or watching the sun rise over a literal Surfer’s Paradise.
What I love most of all though, is that I finally got my “wow I feel so much better” moment – even if it came in the form of “wow I feel so much worse”.
I’m not going to lie, Problogger featured such drinks as $15 jugs of rum and sangria, drinks with bubbles, drinks with lime wedges…and a whole lot of mildly suggestive swizzle sticks. I hereby acknowledge that alcohol played a major part in my ongoing “hungover” status.

The Special Ciggie Hangover

The thing is, the hangovers were different. I couldn’t figure it out at first. They seemed to be all body, not just head. They seemed to turn “tired” up to 11 despite being relatively early nights (so un-pissfit) and they had that “maybe I’m getting a cold” feeling to them. This was new. Something I didn’t usually experience, even after mixing drinks.
Today, I’m back at the desk after an early night in my own bed, no booze, back to being an early-to-bed-early-to-rise mother to a four year old. And yet I still feel hungover – but not headachey, just tired and wheezy and ick.
And that right there is my “wow I feel so much better – usually” moment. I had my last cigarette at 3pm yesterday and today I woke with a cough and a wheeze and a general “yuck” feeling… in that moment, I was transported back to 5 years ago, January 8th, 2009 and how I felt ALL OF THE TIME. You don’t notice when you smoke, and it doesn’t disappear overnight when you stop – so I never noticed it was there.
Will I smoke again? I would LOVE to say no but frankly, I love it. I love it more than I hate this feeling because I know this feeling is temporary – so I can’t say I will never smoke again. Will I smoke again everyday? I am pretty sure the answer is no. But then, anything can happen…and as close as the Gold Coast feels to Vegas, what happens at Problogger, doesn’t always stay at Problogger.

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