Mental Health · Poetry


I go around and around with this one.
Nicotine patches, toothpicks, gum.
“May I please get a pack of Newports?”

Tell myself it’s better than
the alternatives.
As if I absolutely must be
smoking, drinking, or dead.

Smells revolting. Tastes disgusting.
But it grounds me.
I’m solid. I’m standing.
I’m safe. I’m free.

Logically I know it’s a rationalization for
doing something I want to do that’s
bad for me.

But standing in the rain,
cigarette between my fingertips,
I catch myself thinking at
least I found something to
make my mind peaceful.
Even momentarily.

Photo courtesy of Cameron Kirby.

9 thoughts on “Nicotine

  1. You can quit – but it won’t be easy. I did it after 26 years of smoking. But I had to give myself nicotine poisoning with the Patch when they first came out. I forgot that I didn’t smoke in my sleep or get up to smoke in the middle of the night – I wore the strongest patch 24/7. But it was enough. I haven’t smoked in the 23 years since. And the urges and dreams don’t come as often, either. (Down to once of year at most. And then they’re easy to dismiss – I don’t smoke any more.)


    1. That’s fantastic. I woke up with a nasty, scratchy throat this morning and thought, “Maybe it’s time to quit again.”


  2. I love the simple way you put it (though arriving at that particular combination of words was probably an arduous process). I too sometimes find myself at peace when I’m sitting alone and smoking my cigarette. Funny how that works- we find peace in the things that end up destroying us the most.


  3. I started Chantix , 2 years ago. I used to smoke two packs a day, now I smoke about 5 cigarettes a day.
    I tell myself this is better than I was , but now I suppose I am addicted to Chantix and smoking. HA

    I love the first one in the morning, my cup of coffee, sitting on my porch looking at the big dipper shining in the sky right above my head. It’s still dark and nobody can see me,it’s the only time of the day I can view the world, but it can’t view me or judge me for lighting one up.

    That one will be the hardest to say goodbye to.


  4. I’ve been smokeless for 15 years; the absolute toughest thing to do. Hubby & I did it together, we were our support system for each other. No one caved. Divorced? Nope. We are still happily married. . The only thing I miss about smoking is the initial smell when you light up, I find takes me back, but I won’t go there. It took a good 2 years till I forgot more about it than I remembered about it. If that makes sense. You CAN DO IT! YOU ARE A WARRIOR !!!



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