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.

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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.