on saturday night, after a few too many wines, i had the all consuming desire to have a cigarette.
i haven’t smoked regularly for about three years and it was interesting to me to notice how much this desire still had control over my consciousness. it was almost midnight, there are no 24 hour supermarkets/stores nearby (i know, because i got online and checked!) and i don’t keep cigarettes in the house.
the desire to have a cigarette was so strong, i put on some shoes & went downstairs to ask the porter for a cigarette. i even considered knocking on the door of the guys who live downstairs to ask for one, as i know at least one of them smokes…
then, i thought i would either try my luck at the shop down the road (just in case they DID happen to be open) or, failing that, hail a cab and ask them to take me to the closest gas station/24 hour to buy a pack. so, out the door i went dressed in a hoodie and track pants, wandering down the road to check if the shop was open – at midnight!
at this point, logic wasn’t present. all i wanted was a cigarette, i wanted it now and i was prepared to do crazy things to get one.
i walked for a couple of minutes, got around the corner to see that the store (that the logical part of me already knew was closed) was closed. and i stopped. somehow the logic had caught up to the rest of my crazy-person self and was giving me a good talking to.
firstly i realised that anything could happen to me out there (this is london after all). i had no ID on me and wasn’t carrying my phone. all i had in my pocket was £40.
secondly i realised that, even if i did find cigarettes, i would probably buy a whole packet only to light one cigarette, take one good inhale, feel ill and realise i didn’t really want them after all.
with both those realisations, i turned around and came home. i talked to nic about the crazy person that i am still capable of becoming as i let this desire consume me, as logic gets pushed aside. he suggested to me that we buy a pack of cigarettes and keep them in the house for next time this happens.
after thinking about it, i disagreed with his suggestion as it would then make it too easy for my desire to be satisfied, which isn’t necessarily the best thing for me. perhaps next time, the desire will not be so strong, or so all consuming, or there will be another lesson for me to learn from this.
because when i listen…
to myself i understand that sometimes that which i desire, is not at all what i need.
i wonder how different my story might be had i not turned around and come home.
5 thoughts on “desire vs. logic”
What a beautiful lesson. Thank you so much for sharing it.
don’t you think you are a bit too hard on yourself?
Well written post…and I think you have an angel living with you..i think his name is nic? teehee xx
I’m not sure that the desire ever completely goes away for those of us who have experienced addictions. Smoking is a big issue for me right now, as you know :-) But I know, like yourself, after I do finally quit I will still have those desires and urges.
BUT your post gives me strength in knowing that the desire can be overcome!
its been 5 years since i quit and i still have the desire once in a while but then remember that one time while camping when i dragged off of someone’s and nearly choked, fire down my throat and realized what i had forgotten, it is no good to give in to that particular desire :-)
now if only i could stay away from the chocolate, tee hee
well done – this process needs to be followed by all of us with lots of different things – not just cigarettes but food too. I sometimes catch myself too – not with cigarettes but eating chips or just eating because someone else is because I want to feel better or fit in and feel part of something when really I don’t feel hungry just angry or bored or outside of the group.
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