You remember smoking...
You remember how you thought it was the best after meal dessert...ever.
You remember how you thought it was the best thing to have just after sex...you just don't know why.
You remember how, when you felt angry or stressed, you "needed" a smoke to calm your nerves.
You remember how just getting a whiff of cigarette smoke made you want one sooo bad.
You remember the Surgeon General's warning about the hazards of cigarette smoking and thinking "Screw you buddy. I'll never quit!"
You remember how cool you looked holding that cigarette in your hand that certain, cool way...taking a drag from it in that way that made you close one eye, looking cool...blowing the smoke out of your mouth slowly, making that beautiful smoke cloud or those perfect smoke rings...and flicking that spent butt in just the perfect way that made you look so cool.
You remember how all the cool people smoked, and how you wanted to be one of the cool people.
You remember how it seemed that all smokers shared a certain comradery, and you loved it when you all took your "smoke breaks" together.
You remember loving others that smoked, thinking they were easier to get along with than those stuck-up non-smokers.
You remember smoking...
You remember the pain in your chest whenever you take a deep breath.
You remember how your throat hurts whenever you swallow.
You remember that uncontrollable cough that always comes upon you…suddenly, and violently.
You remember not being able to laugh hard without coughing...and you love to laugh.
You remember how much you love playing sports, and how much smoking has impacted your endurance, making you look bad...and you never want to look bad in sports.
You remember having to stop often to catch your breath, just walking up a flight of stairs or walking across the parking lot to your car.
You remember one day coughing up some brown crap… no, not one day… several.
You remember how nasty your car gets...ashes all over everything, the smell of smoke in your interior that you can’t get out, and the air fresheners just making it worse.
You remember kissing others that smoke, and how it reminds you of how a wet ashtray smells, and it gives you an idea of what one probably tastes like.
You remember seeing a picture of what smoking is doing to your lungs, and being horrified.
You remember noticing the change in your eyes, skin, and teeth as a result of smoking.
You remember feeling like crap ALL the time.
You remember trying to quit smoking...
You remember how it is the hardest thing you've ever done in your life.
You remember how you “quit” after every smoke, destroying a brand new pack because "This time I'm serious...", only to surrender to the literal and physical attack your body launches on you to give it what it wants...NOW!
You remember how your "so-called" friends constantly try to discourage you from quitting, telling you "You're gonna die from something anyway...".
You remember trying everything from chewing gum to hypnosis to quit, but frequently falling short in your endeavor and picking up another one…the last one, again.
You remember losing the opportunity to be with someone that you desired very badly, because they won’t date someone who smokes.
You remember losing a dear friend or relative to lung cancer.
You remember losing a dear friend or relative to esophageal cancer.
You remember quitting smoking...
You remember making the decision, and telling yourself, "Dammit, this time, I AM serious."
You remember crying from the anger of wanting a smoke so badly, but wanting to not want one so badly.
You remember telling yourself, "I just have to take it minute by minute, day by day. Every day I don't smoke is one day I’m closer to quitting."
You remember how it really, truly got easier when you exercised mind over matter and endured the pain.
You remember how, every time you felt weak and knew you were about to smoke, you told yourself to wait a few minutes. Somehow, minutes turned into hours...
You remember how hours turned into days, days into weeks, weeks into years...
You remember no longer having the desire to smoke.
You remember how good it feels to not walk, but run up a flight of stairs. Yes, you still get a little winded, but only because you need to exercise more...not because of smoking. Perhaps hitting the gym is in order.
You remember not feeling this good since you were 17.
You remember the doctor telling you that you are now cancer-free.