When the previous owners of my flat decided to sell it and move on, the bloke came in and fixed a few things (they allowed me to stay here despite having to do all these repairs, for which I'm grateful). Some of his 'repairs' were a bit dodgy though, and seemed more like a quick patch-up so the place could get sold. For example, there's a stubborn leak in the roof over where the toilet is, and despite trying to fix it time and again, the owner had never quite been able to isolate the problem. So when it came time to sell, he simply went into the bathroom, sanded down and plastered over the decaying, mouldy section of ceiling (due to damp from regular leakings), and gave it a fresh coat of paint. So, not fixed at all, rather just plastered over, and made so that it could not be noticed. But over time, the decay became visible again, and it looks even worse now than before.
Why I started smoking regularly, why I even allowed this to kick in as a habit, I suspect was a bit like that. I suspect I was doing it to distract
myself from certain powerful, uncomfortable, and sometimes painful emotions. And so long as I kept drip drip dripping a little bit of the nicotine in, the emotions were kept at bay. Now that I've stopped totally, they are back with a vengeance. I've felt more in the last three days, than I would normally feel in a month.
Taking any drug, even an 'allowable' one like nicotine, is like plastering over our feelings / emotions, imo. I notice such a difference in how I feel, now I'm getting free of it. Emotions are deeper, I can feel them more in my body again, I can feel the connection with my surroundings more fully, it's a subtle thing but life is just that bit more real, vibrant, alive. But the cost is, emotional honesty. I can't hide so well, whatever comes up is 'right here' and wants to be dealt with right now. So when emotional pain comes up, it can cut like a knife. But that is the price we pay, for being truly alive, to truly live.
I admit that, last night I was in such despair, that I didn't care about anything anymore. I searched around just for one more half-finished smoke from the past, surely I dropped one somewhere? Finally I found a bit, about six puffs worth left on it. I smoked it, savouring the mild rush...for a few minutes the emotions subsided...but soon, I just felt bad. Kind of a sick, dull feeling. The vibrancy of life had been tarnished again, just that little. And I thought, no, I won't go back...keep on with this course. You are making progress. You are halfway through the worst of it. Stay the course. You can do this.
I've decided that, I would rather feel life fully, deeply and truly, even if the price of that is, sometimes it will really hurt. But I still prefer that, to just trying to plaster over things, distract myself from them, by using a substance. I want to be fully present with Life.