So, tonight shortly after midnight, I will celebrate six weeks as an ex-smoker/nicotine addict. Cold turkey has worked for me. The biggest surprise is that the cravings really haven't been that bad. A few times a day, former smoking triggers will make me think of a smoke, but these thoughts are easily dismissed, lasting a few seconds. I can deal with the waking urges.
Then, out of the blue last night, I woke up from a nightmare. In my dream, I had thrown away my quit (and the six weeks of which I am so proud) by smoking a cigarette. Even in my dream, it wasn't a conscious urge. I must have come across a half-full pack of smokes lying on a window sill. It was one of those inadvertant non-conscious smokes (you know, where you light up and smoke without even thinking about it). I was half-way done with the cigarette in my dream when I realized I was smoking!
At least my dream reaction was right. I immediately snuffed it out and was furious that I had inadvertantly thrown away my quit through carelessness. I took the pack of cigarettes straight to the kitchen sink and doused them under running water. Then, I woke up in a cold sweat, hours before the alarm. The smoking dream had really rattled me.
Moral of the story? I don't know. Joel writes that these dreams are common. For me, it just confirms that I did the right thing six weeks ago when I went around the house and tossed all the cigarettes, just to avoid the temptation or the possibility of an inadvertant smoke. That way I know that any craving or urge would have to be so strong that I would actually have to drive to the store and hand the man five bucks to throw away my hard-earned quit.
Today, I'm just thankful that my "relapse" was only in a dream and that I woke up from the nightmare with six weeks as a former smoker still under my belt, still going strong.