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I recently decided to evaluate the history of my smoking. To break it down & analyze it. Why I started/How I fell into complacency/The reason I continued for so long while adamantly refusing to quit/Realizing my desire to be smoke free. I am hoping this helps break down some of my mental road blocks so here goes…
Why I started: It was the stupidest reason. My boyfriend at the time was a smoker & he was constantly blowing his smoke in my face (he was such a winner). And I hated it but I really liked him so my misguided teenage brain thought “Well, if I start smoking I won’t mind it when he does that.” So I started swiping cigarettes from my parents ashtrays. My stepdad only smoked a half of every cigarette so I lucked out. My sister caught me smoking & I was actually able to convince her to smoke with me instead of snitching me out to my mom. When we finally got busted (parents started noticing that stepdad’s butts were disappearing) we were told we couldn’t smoke in the house & had to buy our own cigarettes. Neither one of us had jobs so guess what that led to?...well it led to some regretful dishonesty on my part but at that time I was full of poor decisions. …back to the boyfriend…After a couple of weeks of my new found habit he noticed that I wasn’t repelled when he blew the smoke in my face (I hadn’t told him that I started smoking) so when I asked him for a cigarette he said “That’s why you’re not disgusted when I do that”. As an adult…I see so many things in this story that are just bad. Asinine. Against all logic. But as a 15-year-old girl I seen none of that. We wound up breaking up shortly after the end of that summer when he had sex with my best friend. And as I was beginning to analyze this mentally before I decided to put it to paper, I asked myself “And where is he now? What did you possibly gain from making this life changing idiotic decision for this boy?” Well, he was in prison for some very bad things the last I had heard of him & other than some hard-learned lessons & a smoking problem, I gained nothing.
How I fell into complacency: I knew nothing of nicotine, or addiction at that age. I also didn’t think about quitting. Ever. The whole ‘boyfriend slept with my best friend’ thing affected me really badly. This was the second time this happened to me (different boyfriends/best friends both times). I had taken it really hard. What can I say, besides being a melodramatic teenager in the early 90’s was so hard (teenage mindset here, I don’t really believe this LOL). I switched schools, made new friends & basically became a different, angrier more cynical person. And I kept right on smoking. I enjoyed how it disgusted & angered most of the adults in my life at that point. Smoking became part of my angry rebellious stage that me & all my friends were going through together. We were a team & dammit if we didn’t stick together.
Why I continued smoking into adulthood & refused to quit: the first time the thought of quitting smoking came into my mind I was in an abusive relationship with my children’s biological father. And he had said to me that I should quit. Immediately I thought “No way! You have taken so much from me already, I am not giving this up too” Of course I never said that to him, but my mindset at that time period in my life fully supported that logic. It was a few more years before I was able to break free from that relationship & when I did, I still refused to quit. At that point, I had been smoking for nearly a decade & I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction of doing something he wanted me to do for years. Again, my logic & mindset were very distorted, but I didn’t see it that way then. I saw it as “You can’t tell me what to do anymore.”
Realizing my desire to be smoke free: Over the past couple of years, I have really become obsessed with no longer being a smoker. One flight of stairs winds me (& I have to climb them every day at work). I recently noticed heart palpitations. I wake up in the middle of the night because one or both of my hands have gone numb. All of these things are side effects of smoking. I just want to live a healthy happy life & smoking does not make me feel healthy or happy. I have tried nearly every way you can think of to quit, yet I always fall back into this miserable cycle. I know that fear is also a side effect of the nicotine and man, does that sucker have a strong hold on me. I worry (fear) that I will be angry all the time. I don’t want to be angry all the time. I worry (fear) that I’m going to feel lost, like I won’t know what to do with myself. What will I do on break at work? What will I do when I get home from work before/after I cook dinner? Should I try an e-cigarette with no nicotine to fill the hand to mouth motion that I am so used to? These are just a few of the hundreds of questions that I don’t know the answers to that run through my mind on repeat. These fears/questions are the foundation of my hesitation in launching. They are what causes my internal arguments that exhaust me & finally break me (“I want a cigarette. No, I don’t, I don’t do that anymore. Yes, you do, you are not strong enough to break free”). I do not want to be at war with myself when quitting.
If you have read to this point, you have seen that my logic with my addiction hasn’t really been on point. So, let’s look at this logically. I mean really logically. I am already angry at myself all the time because I still smoke. I am already having the internal arguments with myself about smoking (Why are you doing this? This isn’t what you want. Etc.) I have been at war with myself for over a year with this constant back & forth on this. I am making myself crazy. And for what? To keep making myself crazy with this never-ending conflict? Conflict that I created & basically nurtured for nearly 30 years. There’s that distorted logic again. What an awful waste of precious time.
It’s time to launch. It’s past time actually, but we don’t get time back so there’s nothing to do about that. Just launch. Dive in, both feet, come what may. If I have to be angry temporarily to be happy in the long term, then so be it. If I have to come home from work & go straight to bed because I’ve exhausted myself mentally, well then my husband will have to fend for himself that night. I know deep in my soul I do not want to smoke any longer & the only reason I have failed to quit is fear of the unknown. So it’s time that I man up (so to speak) & not smoke any more. Deal with the days as they come & keep pushing forward with this quit.
I warned you this would be long. I’m almost done & if you stayed this far, thank you. Tomorrow is my “Day 4” & if you could keep me in your thoughts for the next few days at least, send some positive vibes & strength my way, I sure would appreciate it. It is after 1 a.m. here & I am very tired because it is very much past my bedtime so I am off to bed soon. I will check in regularly. Thanks again for listening to me ramble. Even if no one makes it to the end of this post, it has been very therapeutic so it’s going in the win column.
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