Two, er sorry, three decades of beautiful nicotine in my body, fantastic smokes after a pint, even sex, and wonderful experiences of just thinking over a cigarette.
Bonkers writer Ayn Rand once described that feeling as communing with our ancestors, the emotion similar to how a caveman, sorry caveperson, felt when holding fire. An overblown comparison maybe, but not too far off.
So it was pretty tough to give it up and it wasn’t until I went out drinking a month later and had a good time without a fag that I knew I was going to beat it. The result isn’t that impressive, I don’t feel amazingly better or fitter, but I don’t seem to get colds as I did before and I don’t stink like a rancid bonfire.
Twitter, however is a totally different kettle of ye olde proverbial fish. I stopped tweeting on December 23rd with a clear strategy of spending Christmas and the New Year without screens and distraction, and to enjoy the kind of relaxed thoughts I used to have when I had that caveperson-cigarette.
At first, the distractions of Christmas and kids and the open air, a completely different schedule as well as a disconnected mobile made Twitter an easy habit to kick. Indeed, my brain seemed to rewire itself and life took on a less manic perspective. I even read some ‘difficult’ books.
But when my son went back to school, the itching began in rather the same way cocaine addicts itch all over their body when they’re without their chemical. A spark of a thought there, an urge to be an online show-off and even share something bloody interesting, it all came back.
I started tweeting again this week. On the first day I sent out three tweets but now I’m back to my previous 10-a-day habit, eerily similar to my smoking fix. I’d like to think I can duck in and out of it now I’ve had a three-week break, but I fear it won’t be easy to give up completely.
Even my replacement therapy of using Google+ hasn’t worked, in some ways you could call Google+ a nicotine patch or even methadone in the way that it only helps you to prolong the habit, not beat it.
So, as I sit here, now drooling for one of those beloved cigarettes, I now realise that it took me 30 years to beat cigarettes and it will probably be as long to beat Twitter.