Rediscovery of a sense of smell

May 14th

Magnolia in my garden

If the size of this protuberance on my face could quantify my sense of smell, I would be a champion of the world. I have a HUGE nose, and it was for many years a problem, a shame, insecurity, and (in my mind only) a liability for me and my looks and presence. It no longer is. I embrace it as something that distinguishes me from others and gives me a special appearance. And that change started when I stopped drinking and actually started liking myself. Imagine that.

Also, for many years I smoked, and I still do — but in a different way. I knew from the beginning that smoking was bad for me and for my health. My stamina worsened, my teeth got yellow, and I wouldn’t even dare to try to calculate how much money I wasted on that habit/addiction. For the last several months, I have been trying to get to the point of another attempt at quitting. Not much success, but a week ago I decided to make a change, any change. I tried a tobacco heater with some different smelling refills, and it seemed that it was very close to the sensation of smoking without smoking cigarettes itself. And now it’s been a week since my last cigarette. I use this tobacco heater still, but even here I only smoke about 10 times a day — down from a pack of regular cigarettes per day previously. It looks for sure that I can use it less and less and finally get to quit smoking and any variation of it soon!

It’s been only a week, and I already started to notice some positive signs. Using less tobacco, as I mentioned above, no cough in the morning, no dryness and unpleasantness in the mouth after smoking. And suddenly my sense of smell is getting better as well! Of course, I knew that smoking cigarettes dulls the sense of smell, but since I was constantly smoking, it was only theoretical knowledge. Now — I experience it firsthand, or a first-nose. The smell of flowers is sweeter, the smell of the soil after the rain is more pronounced, and the smell of perfume heightens my attention more now. It seems like I get to experience something so mundane as everyday smells again anew. That wasn’t my intention in trying to quit smoking, my health was and still is the main reason, with a fatter wallet second. But wow, I knew how magnolia smells while in bloom in the spring, but had no idea that it is so potent that I can smell it from 5 meters away. I have two small magnolia trees in my garden to enjoy now in a completely new olfactory way.

And every one of those small changes and small differences I see in my life is a victory for me. I get to experience something ordinary as something new. And it never feels small. And the smells in my garden make my head spin from sweetness and variety this blooming spring.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
footsteps of the Furies

footsteps of the Furies

“for they knew what sort of noise it was; they recognize, by now, the footsteps of the Furies”. Enjoying life on the road to recovery. Observing and writing.