Smoked out

CigarettesToday marks one solid year since I have had a cigarette. On this day one year ago, I quit smoking in solidarity with my friend Matthew, on his birthday, to support him. This may sound enormously altruistic, and you’re welcome to continue believing it so. But the reality is that, although I smoked for something like 18 years, for the last 15 of them I was at best a social smoker, a dilettante, a poseur, one of those while-I’m-drinking kind of smokers.

For me, smoking was never about the nicotine; it was always a social function. Alone, I would almost never crave one. I only smoked around smokers. In fact, in the last few years of my smoking career, I pretty much only smoked with Matthew.

He, on the other hand, was hardcore. So when he made the decision to quit — cold turkey no less — it was the least I could do not to blow smoke in his face while he suffered through weeks of nicotine withdrawal. He toughed it out, and even managed not to rip the heads off everyone within arm’s reach in the process. And so on this day, in celebration of his birthday and admiration of his undeniably difficult achievement, I raise a glass to him. After all, he didn’t give up drinking. Cuz that’s just crazy talk.

  • Congratulations, to both of you — especially to Matthew. Nicotine is one tough addiction to break. I remember with great satisfaction the first morning I woke up and my first thought was *not* of a cigarette. It’s one of the most liberating experienes I’ve ever had.

  • kirin

    Congrats to both of you,bully for you Matthew and for you Sean for supporting Matthew through what is effectly sheer hell and Dolores I remember that first morning too, I kept wondering how long is this going to last? So far it’s 18 months! Hang in there Matthew!

  • Sweet Sean,
    Congratulations to you and Matthew on a great achievement.
    You are a dedicated friend. You are ” smokin’ ” in soooooooo many other ways.
    Happy Birthday to Matthew!
    I raise my glass of the remaining 2002 Silver Oak Cabernet to you both.
    Anni 🙂

  • Kevin

    I’m thankful every day that I don’t smoke.
    I started at 15 (had my first puffs at 12), but was able to stop completely by 22, but not before I was a pack (or two) a day.
    My whole family smokes. I’m the only one who doesn’t, and all I can think, feel, or say is…I’m thankful.

  • Congrats! I just passed my own anniversary. Three years smoke-free. [Like you, I was more of a social puffer. But to be honest, I still miss it. Even after three years.]
    So, You Go, Darling!

  • Thanks, all, for the support and kind words. And Karina — I didn’t say I don’t miss it! 🙂 Most of the time it doesn’t even cross my mind, but sometimes when I’ve got a cocktail in hand, or am playing cards … my fingers feel empty.