Well here I am, still not placing cigarettes in my lips and lighting them, still feeling that I am adrift in a smoke-free zone, lost in a space I don’t understand and don’t much like and still hoping that this exercise in purposive drift will lead somewhere positive.
However, for the moment, my feelings echo David Orland’s important insight:
“It is this absence, in the end — and not the well-known phenomenon of withdrawal — that’s the real problem with quitting. Anybody can get through withdrawal, if they want to. Few, however, expect or are prepared for what comes next. It’s only when you quit that you discover what your fascination with smoking has all along been about: the everyday development and maintenance of moral life. Through the filter of a cigarette, the smoker orients himself to the outside world. It’s his very personal way of relating the outside world, the world of events, to the inside one, that of desire. And it is for this reason that, when the cigarette is taken away, the smoker’s moral life seems impoverished. It might even be said that he has, in some vague way, become less human. At least for a while.”