I know this is hard to understand: But I still want a cigarette every time I smell one burning. Take tonight, for instance. I’m sitting on my screened-in back porch, enjoying the quiet night, my little white xmas lights are still up around the perimeter of the porch (4th time’s the charm?) (creating ambiance, doncha know) and the golf ball-size mosquitoes are asleep tonight.

What does all this have to do with cigarettes you ask? Well, nothing really, except that I just smelled my neighbor’s cigarette from 2 houses down. And it just smells so good.

I know, you’re about to gag, aren’t you.

It’s weird to me too, because every other time I’ve quit smoking, the smell has become absolutely repugnant. This time (5 years, 3 months and 3 weeks and 2 days, but who’s counting) it’s been different. I still want one whenever I smell one.

Actually, “want” might be too strong a word, since I am actually sometimes usually almost always satisfied by smelling it.

And I know it’s gross, and most people can’t even stand the smell of smoke. But it’s still appealing to me anyway.

Maybe this will help you understand me better: It’d be like deciding that for many reasons (health, cost, etc.) you decide to quit eating your <insert favorite food here>. You love this food, you have it whenever you can. You’re happier after you eat it. You can eat it any time, day or night. You can never have enough.

But you know you have to stop eating it because it is bad / will be bad / might be bad for you. And you know it’s the right choice and that you’ll be better off, blah blah blah. So you do stop.

Yet every time you smelled it, and you knew it was bad for you and that you wouldn’t have any (for today anyway, because you take it one day at a time because you know that “all or nothing” “I’ll never…” thinking is dangerous), even though all of that, it still made you salivate, it still held its power over you. It still attracted you.

Some days you’re tempted more than others. You think you can have it “just once” (you know better, though). Some days you’re okay with just smelling it, remembering how it used to taste. Some days you long for it, knowing that (for today anyway) you won’t have it. Some days other things, like stress or need for comfort make you want to run to it.

And some days you can just sit and smell and be okay with it. You remember all those things you loved about it, and know that it could all change tomorrow, but that for tonight at least, you’re okay with just smelling it…