The docks are invisible to Google Maps and other app location services, but they’re known to most students on campus. This is where I smoked my last cigarette, a few weeks ago, with my friend Zeerak. The moonlight splashed over the black waters and refracted off the nearby evergreen trees as the chill of the first autumn winds hit my bones.
This is not how to quit.
I smoked another cigarette the next night, confused at how I could betray the vow I made on those wooden docks. So, I quit again. This time, I was listening to a Frank Ocean song as sunlight bled down the stoic buildings around my apartment complex, the building wrapped in dark green vines. It didn’t work.
That’s when it hit me. Quitting can’t be this romantic, beautiful process, encapsulated in a beautiful moment and described with beautiful music or long adjectives. It doesn’t work, because relapsing then becomes romantic.
Quitting must be a boring, habitual process of simply not buying cigarettes.
Relapsing shouldn’t be a mortal failure, but a glitch in an otherwise standard process.
A C-minus on an important test. A text message that failed to send during a hurricane-induced power outage. For the last week, this approach has been effective.
I recommend quitting, telling no one and forgetting you did it.
This is the beginning of my story of quitting nicotine. It won’t be easy, but I promise to always be honest with you and share my bumps in the road with the hope of helping other students struggling with the same battle.
Good luck this week.