The Ritual

4 months ago

It's all about the puff

The routine

The celebration

The ritual

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At any given time of the day I may feel the need, the desire to walk downstairs and sit down.

Relax.

It's almost procedural.

I grab a chair, cross my legs or pull my legs up, and get one out of the pack.

Sometimes I just take two with me when going downstairs and leave the pack upstairs.

Three times.

Three times do I tap it on my lighter before I light it up.

That first puff.

Next, when it hits the throat.

I relax, I enjoy.

Which in itself is contradictory, because nicotine is a stimulant.

Let's get it out of the way.

I'm a smoker.

I love smoking.

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It's an integral and much beloved part of my day, of my life even.

I love the kick it gives.

I love the relaxation it offers.

I love the routine.

I love the ritual.

I inhale.

Opening my mouth slightly more to inhale deeper

Letting the smoke circulate in my mouth.

It coats my gums.

Once again, I inhale.

It kicks the back of the throat.

Bliss.

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Having started at a rather young age, over the more than 2.5 decades I have smoked, I have wanted to stop. I've stopped several times. But in vain each time.

Smoking breaks range from anywhere from some days to several months.

All have one central theme, all inevitably end with taxing cigarettes from others, until eventually the humility required to do so, or embarrassment when refused, gets to me and I buy a new pack.

Luckies.

Lucky Strike.

They’re my drug.

They’re toasted.

Lucky Strike Red.

Camels.

Camel Blue on occasion.

Regular camels back then.

Lucky Strike Silver sometimes.

I used to be a much heavier smoker.

Gauloises.

Not the filter cigarettes.

The filterless ones.

Close to two packs a day.

I was travelling France, mostly hitchhiking my way through the country.

I was only 19 and smoked one of the strongest available cigarettes in the country.

Filterless cigarettes.

Gauloises sans filtre.

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I love a hand-rolled cigarette.

The ritual is even more enjoyable and longer too.

I roll them rather thinly.

Thus I inhale even harder.

It relaxes more, I think.

Drum, Ajja17 Red, Golden Virginia.

I love their taste.

The flavor is different.

Not merely stronger, different.

Fuller.

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The taste.

It's not really what I like about cigarettes, I probably can't think about one specific dominating flavor about their taste I truly enjoy.

Thinking hard about it, no, it isn't the taste I love.

It's the ritual.

The kick.

The stimulation.

The relaxation.

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Some day I will stop again.

But not yet.

Not right now.

Smoking helps me through the day.

Smoking helps me through life right now.

I barely drink anymore. I have absolutely no problem saying ““no”” to the frequent drinking sessions in the area.

More often than not when shouted at "Let's drink" I answer that I still have to work.

People here have learned.

The usual "Let's drink" invite has now become “Hey, want a drink?”

A more subtle invite I sometimes accept with "Sure, a quick one".

I love a good drink. I like a nice beer, even a simple lager.

I'm Belgian after all.

I look forward to some day soon make a lovely, dry to extra dry Martini with Tanqueray again.

I miss the availablity of Cadenhead's whiskys.

I love enjoying life.

I love kicking back and relaxing.

I'm easygoing and laidback when given the opportunity.

I don't like to drink for the sake of drinking.

I don't like bingeing.

I love to smoke.

There's something different about smoking during at at those time.

Smoking during drinking sessions.

The ritual is lost.

Smoking becomes a habitual thing to do.

Driven by the flavor of the booze.

And, of course, by peers.

All it does is make me smoke more.

I don't enjoy smoking in those moments.

It kills the ritual.

There's no ritual involved whatsoever.

No relaxation.

No joy.

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I love smoking.

Smoking supersedes over quitting.

I know I will quit again.

And again and again and again.

Like anybody else, I loathe those health warnings on packs.

Yes, they do work.

Not immediately and they are easily replaced with a cigarette box holder.

Creating additional ritual even.

But they do work.

Enough to make me quit?

Probably not.

As one of many elements?

Undoubtedly.

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I've tried it all.

Cold Turkey.

Gradually downscaling.

Limiting available cash.

Nicotine patches.

Cold Turkey with the last one of the day being the last one.

Just saving one, the first one of the day and then none anymore, cold turkey.

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"Mate, got a smoke?"

"Hey, mate! Mind if I tax you a fag? I'm trying to quit and restricting availability."

"Can I have a smoke again, mate? I will soon get you a pack for all those I taxed."

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There's no variant of asking somebody for a smoke I haven't tried over the years.

I've waanted to quit.

I've tried to quit tens of times.

Inevitably, any of those is the outcome of all.

One cigarette to rule them all.

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The nicotine patches worked best.

I quit for, I think, a good eight months.

A night out, clubbing, killed it all.

Pack in the pocket, I returned home.

Enough cigarettes on me to start the morning and survive until I had time to go buy another pack.

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"Sorry man, my last one."

The show of the open box with only two or three cigarettes in anymore.

Both often accompanied by a patronizing look, and at times even condescending an air.

The right motivation to hit the news agent, or locally the sari-sari store, and get a new pack.

I want to quit.

I mean it when I say that.

But not yet.

And not right now.

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I love smoking.

It's relaxing.

It helps me get through the day.

It helps me through life even.

Some day I will quit and I won't smoke whatever the stranger I just asked smokes.

I won't end up getting myself another pack.

But not yet.

Right now, right now my life needs the ritual.

Not yet.

I love the ritual


This is an edited, improved, version of a #creative-writing attempt by @unnamed and has previously been published on Steem in a “moar raw format”.

He’s a #smoker.

Luckies Red


Images via Unsplash.



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I had a similar problem. With me it was more the addiction of holding someonething in my hand like a cigarette or joint. If I couldn't smoke weed It had to be cigarettes. It had to be. My friends told me to switch to vape but I couldn't. I didn't like the taste of those vapes fruits and dint want to vape with nicotine. If I was going to poison myself oldschool way. With a hand rolled cigarette. Then I found a shop near me that sells CBD. They had CBD vape liquid. So I decided to switch to that. I'm currently smoking cbd with lemon haze teste. It's good. And I feel like I'm smoking a joint rather then cigarette. If I don't have weed and someone doesn't mention it that they want to smoke I don't even think about it at all or cigarette for that matter. So I reccomend that alternative. It works for me.

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It’s the “thing in between my fingers”, indeed. It’s a chemicals fuelled tick. Nicotine is known to have a very brief detox period, for some people as short as 6-8 hours even. But that’s not all that is in those cigs.

I have the same sentiment about vaping. I don’t want to be the person who makes everyone’s house in the hood smell like a rotten pot-pouring. No beans here for other vapes, only chemicals vaping. And with the president they have here even CBD is good for 20 years, if caught by “good cops” and not an extra-judicial death squad.

If I were to try to stop again I would order nicotine patches online. They help get rid of that “thing inbetween your fingers” tick because you are infused your daily dose of nicotine. Once don’t think about it anymore... a good sleep, for some maybe some headaches in first two to three weeks and done. Worked for me that time and when my ex tried it, worked for her upon first attempt after 15 years smoking.

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There is something you could try. They are called electric cigarette filter. They filter the cigarette completly. Atleast this ones they sell here do. A college from wrom uses them. I heard and he confirmed that after a while. Of smoking with that you can't smoke a normal cigarette anymore. It doesn't get rid of the thing between you fingers feeling but atleast it helps. But then it's a waste in money. You could try weaker vapes. My cape for instance is a cheap one but it doesn't make a lot of Smoke. I hold enough for a puff or two out of it with little smoke. Inside the vape smoke is berely visible. The high quality vapes you can adjust to your quantity of vape burning.

Then sweating is your solution. Sweatinh gets rid of the nicotine faster.

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I’ll just continue smoking. It leads to creative writing. :D

This attempt at creative writing was not reaching out to self help groups. 😂

Fun fact addendum: my ex is an (online) writer and she must have written at least 300 paid links posts for e-cigs in her career LOL

When I quit smoking for the second time in 2016, I used an e-cig. It was the motion of having something in my hand moving towards my mouth. I forget what psychologists call it.. but yeah... once I got over the routine, desire and motion of it, I was good. I still have my original e-cig I used to quit... I just changed the cartridge to a THC filled one.

It's almost procedural.

You do it so absent-mindedly that you don't realize it.

When I smoked the e-cig at first I did have nicotine added to the mixture... over time I dropped the percentage of nicotine to zero and just had the e-cig juice, and realized it really wasn't the nicotine I was craving; more so the need to keep my hands busy.

I stopped cigarettes by vaping nicotine instead. Cigarettes with-in a few months tasted gross and I haven't had any desire to start back up. Now I just sick to smoking my cannabis. I will never stop using cannabis till the day I die.

Smoking is almost unstoppable, you have to do it with huge will. I started smoking as a teenie and with five brothers.... oh well! I worked during the day and went at night school to finish a degree. It was very stressful working whole day as an auditor and then striving hard for night school. During the course of my work, I smoked a pack a day. But then somehow, I managed to quit smoking slowly, lessened the daily consumption. Sometimes it also depends on who you go with... I had a circle of friends who smoke.

My brother and my dad passed-away because of lung cancer, they smoked and smoked not knowing they already have the illness in them until it was already late at stage 4. Nowadays, I seldom smoke and when my back pain and eye problem attack me, I puff a bit which is normally in the late afternoon and then slumber in the evening when the weed effect is slowly fading out.

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Talk about a creative writing attempt gone wrong.

This post is NOT a cry for help bout wanting to stop. 🤦‍♂️

You sound like you have a bit of an internal conflict going on bro. You say you love it, but you keep trying to quit! When I love something I don't want to get it out of my life I want to keep it. I too had this internal conflict, I smoked for about 15 years and I used to say I loved smoking too all the time. When I finally quit the habit I was happy to see the back of it and not a day goes by that I feel any loss. Interesting post my friend, thanks for sharing, bong on bro. :-)

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It’s that health thing. But it isn’t on my mind in the sense that it’s an internal conflict.

As I occasionally try my hand at more creative writing, I regularly explore the “opposites attract”. #n00batwork

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Cool, It's not just the health thing. I found when I quit for good everything I ate tasted much better, and the smell OMG you don't notice how bad tobacco smells when your smoking. Now I can be walking down the street and smell someone smoking 20 metres away. What's the link, when I click on it a message comes up not found? Bong on bro. :-)

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My mom lost all her taste when she quit after 30 years of smoking ! It's rare, most people get it back. She went the other way and lost almost all taste, it's crazy

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That would be terrible not being able taste food, eating is one of life's great pleasures, she has my sympathy mate. Bong on bro. :-)

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An addiction is an hard thing to get rid of. I know it from personal experience. Specially nicotine which is an addictive substance. You want to stop butnyour system doesn't want to let you. An internat conflict of your soul and mind.