As laws were passed to prevent smokers to pollute everyone else's fresh air, it almost left like I was an outlaw. Obviously, I am painting a much more dramatic picture here than what it really was, but this was the spirit of the situation, the pressure that I left at the time.
Today, It's been 8 months since my last cigarette. (In all fairness, I have had a couple of smokes since, in a few social situations, but that was it.) I feel liberated not to have to look for smoking coffee shops or where to buy my next pack, and this has been a very agreeable experience but on the other side, it brought me some weird feelings as well, something I wasn't prepared to face, the still-smoking-judgmental looks that would now be part of my new smoke free life. I don't quite understand why but it's like the still-smoking feel I am crying out loud that I succeeded where they failed, which I am not! But still, I feel I am guilty of something. When at a dinner party, people step outside to have a smoke and I decline the invite, I see those dark looks demanding that I mustn't show their better halves or their families, kids, that quitting is possible. It is quite a weight to bear to have quit smoking as my friends put all their I-can't-quit-smoking guilt on me. I sometimes just feel that maybe I used to be too harsh on the non-smokers and the new laws they keep finding to prevent smokers from polluting the environment.
So to avoid all this, I just accept all invites to step outside and have a smoke: no one realizes I am not smoking and I get to socialize with my dear friends; only down side is that I must find a way not to catch every single cold or virus the precious wind and air brings to me, but I'll manage.