I was reading a bit of pop psychology about coming up with visualizations “letting thoughts float away” while my son happened to be watching an educational video where animated balloons in primary colors drifted in a sequence while a chorus of child narrators announced each number in a countdown.
The image resonated with me, though the balloons in my imagination are in full photographic resolution. Filled with breath and not helium, they never stray very far, are very clear they are a novelty meaning no harm.
I saw a smoking cessation specialist who told me how the brain creates a feedback loop of thoughts that will be rewarded by nicotine. She’s told me to be relentless in feeding the absence of nicotine with medicated lozenges, and hopefully the triggers will stop seeking rewards.
She emphasized the discretion of lozenges. “You can pop one in your mouth and no one would know they were anything other than candy.” I wish they did know, because of course I didn’t care if people saw me smoking so it stood to reason I would not care if everyone saw me marbling nicotine mints in my mouth. They are a novelty and I mean you to see me enjoying them.