My brother died today. It was quite unexpected and not smoking related as far as we know.
Actually it was yesterday he died but it is 4:30 AM and I haven't slept yet.
Yes, smoking. To occupy my mind I started watching a movie. It was a period drama about the American civil war. At one point the action lets up and the hero pulls a pipe from his pocket, loads it and inhales the smoke.
I could almost feel the blessed relief.
Surely I could smoke a pipe! After 16 years off the cigarettes a pipe would be an almost dignified accessory. I am a writer and I can just see myself contemplating the prose, the pipe in hand, its mouthpiece resting lightly on my lip . . .
Never before have I experienced such a need for something, some substance, comfort, outside of myself. The pain in my heart at losing my beloved brother is so great it is almost physical.
But I do have a strategy; even in the hard times there is a solution. I am reminding myself even as I type that if I light up nothing will change. My brother will still be dead. I will just have one more problem.
If I smoke I will be coping with the same grief except I will be trying to do it whilst feeling ill from the smoking.
I have always subscribed to the adage that the best way to deal with a problem is to help someone deal with theirs. This is how AA started. One drunk discovered that he could stay sober if he tried to help another drunk get sober. What happened was he got a little happiness from the transaction, enough to get him through the day without a drink.
85 years later there are 3 million sober AA members staying sober by helping another.
I hope my fellow quitters can take some strength from this post, that even in the tough times we can stay stopped.
I won't be smoking today.
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