I held the white and yellow stick elegantly between my fingers and gingerly placed it on my parted lips. Within moments a wave of relief swept over me even as people around eyed me with a hint of fake derision. “I’ll never smoke in my life!” had been my adamant stand. What made me change my mind now?
Crazy as it may sound, I was merely acting. 😉 Buying cigarette key-chains and pretending to smoke them isn’t an entirely novel idea, right? I bought one way back in college, just for fun, and the amusing thing is that I still have it. For the record, I’ve never touched any other cigarette in my life.
Seeking medical intervention for dealing with stress and depression taught me few things early on.
- No way is right or wrong as long as it works for you without causing any further damage.
- Therapies can be customised but without self-control their intent is moot.
- Also, never forget that the counselling and treatment will end someday but you’ll still have your life to look after.
Severe palpitation, chest getting crushed under heavy weight or a rope being tightened around my neck were some of my chilling stress symptoms. The trigger too was evasive sometimes. The shrink suggested everything from meditation to medication but none of them helped me beyond a limit. I reckoned that I had to devise something myself.
Do you remember the old advertisement for Anti-smoking campaign, “A cigarette in my hand, I felt like a man”? It spooked me enough to not try my hand at it but I realised that subconsciously (and occasionally) I smoked in my mind. Releasing invisible puffs of smoke helped me de-stress and calmed me down like nothing else. What more, it was a win-win situation since I wasn’t putting myself or others in harm’s way.
I agree this might not be the best solution but it works like a charm for me. Over the years I’ve argued, fought and broken away from friends who’ve been in the company of this consuming monster. I now understand that getting rid of any addiction is an individual’s choice and preference; we can only encourage or motivate. Petting a vice for some greater good is the biggest irony, isn’t it?
As far as my cigarette key-chain is concerned, for A Jr’s sake it shall remain hidden. He can make his own discoveries as and when his time comes. My invisible pack of Marlboros is unseen and undetected till then. 😉 🙂