Why Right Now? The Here & Now of Smoking

Something different happened this morning. I awoke before my alarm went off. I got out of bed without dragging myself up as though I were 900 pounds and formless. I have not gotten out of bed with so little effort in months. It felt a little like a tide had turned.  Maybe that's why I want to smoke so badly today.

I stopped smoking for the umpteenth time on Nov. 7th.  It's been one month and one day since I had my last cigarette. Today I am experiencing the strongest craving for a cigarette in weeks. Why today?

What is it about smoking that fulfills the greatest need? I've asked myself that question time and again and I've finally got the answer.  It's about right now. Smoking is/was the only thing in my life that would bring me to 'right now'. 

A few years ago, I quit smoking for almost 3 years. I used the Quitter app to track how much money I saved over that time. It was a huge motivator for me in that quit attempt.

Being present and being me have been two very different things for the majority of my life. I have spent my life being hyper vigilant about my surroundings to the point of never being present within myself. I always need to know the escape route.  My mind is running through every scenario of escape almost all the time.  Smoking could be an escape route, or at least an excuse for escape.

Smoking brings me to a state of being present. I can tell by about the 5th drag on a cigarette when the nicotine really hits my brain. There is a wave that washes over my body. It always starts just below the knees and washes down to my feet, reverses, and goes up to my head and down my arms. About the time the washing feeling makes it to my feet, magic happens. All of a sudden, my mind and body seem to become one and the same and I am fully aware of being present, physically and mentally, if only for a moment.  This is why I smoke, or at least why I did smoke.