I was just reflecting how strange my relationship with smoking, and the image of smoking, is these days.
If I get engrossed in a drama in which people smoke (these days often period dramas like The Hour, or Dancing on the Edge where they all puff away like steam engines), and the characters are agitated, or emotional, or post-coital, and they light up a cigarette and take a deep drag I can still be hit with a pang of nostalgia. Oooh, I think, I know how that feels, that does look nice. Occasionally, fleetingly, it can make me think about lighting one up myself.
But after two years quit my relationship with cigarettes in the real world has changed drastically. I don't miss anything about my smoking self. I really can't bear the smell of smoke on someone who's just had one, and the staler it is the worse it makes me feel. I don't like accidentally inhaling someone else's smoke when I pass them in the street. When I see smokers huddled in doorways on their fag breaks I don't feel nostalgic or envious or regretful, I feel genuinely sorry for them. I wouldn't go back to that for anything.
So if one of those 'oooh, that looks nice' moments crops up, I just imagine having a cigarette. Really try to imagine it. And the thought of inhaling smoke now ... Ewwww, no!! Quite apart from the misery I would feel if I broke the quit, I know I would cough, and choke, and feel sick, and I know the taste would be horrible and my mouth would be dry and my breath would reek of it. Yuck. The nostalgic spell is easily broken.
I suppose the reason I'm saying all this is that even some way into a quit, it's possible for false memories of smoking as a pleasurable thing to come into your mind. Especially memories of 'happy' cigarettes - on holiday, for example. And it's easy to be tempted. Be ready for those moments, be ready to remind yourself of what the truth of smoking really is, and don't be fooled by the nostalgia. Those feelings, like every other crave you've dealt with, will come and go - but they will be easier, and more manageable over time.
Never lose sight of how far you've come, and what this quitting journey means to us all.