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“The horror! The horror”!

So said  Kurtz in the “Heart Of Darkness”. But it easily describes me when I smoked, and the way I felt about actually stopping. It was sheer fear, a kind of irrational terror. In my more Poe like, Gothic moments, I actually imagined that I was a man made of smoke. By inhaling it, I re-created myself, ethereal, elusive, untouchable in the fog.  

I must never cease.  

Of course, I now know that was the Nicotine Brigade playing their old tricks again. They created the fear. They only needed me to keep them alive. As I breathed them in, they prospered. As my habit deepened, they grew. As they messed with my glutamate levels, they took snapshots of me, happy and smiling in the mist, and spread them around the corridors of my mind, like so many reminders of their importance. 

Now I’ve stopped, I rarely glimpse those photographs, but when I do, they spin away from me easily, like tumbleweed in the West wind. 

And I remember what I learned when it came to the secret art of stopping:

“There is nothing to fear but fear itself……”


About Stephen Ross

Writer, entertainer, smiler!

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