Stories & experiences

themrsbeardsley01
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Stories
21/05/2017
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VERY LONG POST about reflection, looking for answers

Posted in Getting started 11 Aug 2019
8 Comments

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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8 Comments

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  • Catherine anne, Western NSW August 11, 2019 | 17:13
    Hi, I know exactly how you feel. I have also had the same struggle deciding wether to give up or not in my head then I noticed i was feeling out of breath as I would walk quickly down the corridor at work so I went straight to the chemist brought some nrt, chose a date which was the following Wednesday, that was that I started to be a non smoker. I have just gone in my 3rd week. 1st week hardest plus this morning. I am refusing to give in. It is hard to do but let me tell you i can feel the difference in my breathing already so that cigarette we smoke definitely does damage. You can do this. You are strong. I’ll be thinking of you and cheering you on well at least from a distance lol
  • Catherine anne, Western NSW August 11, 2019 | 17:16
    Oh and keep your hands busy by playing with your phone or do what I did pulled the kitchen apart and scrubbed it spotless lol ❤️💋❤️
  • softly40, Mid North Coast August 11, 2019 | 18:16
    Thanks for taking the time out to fill us in themrsbear, you really have analysed your own history of reasons to smoke, now you need to do more research and analyse the reasons to stop smoking.

    You obviously think quite deeply and there is one video you need to watch in order to prepare yourself emotionally. We are emotional human beings and this will help you to understand some of your own pleasure or pain associated with smoking. Write out what stands out for you.

    Some extra reading of either other posts or further literature could help too. I am sure you are capable of this.

    Your aim is to arm yourself with your own triggers from either the past or the present some of which you have already identified, along with strategies that you or others have tried. This is a NEW journey and a daily tally is necessary as soon as you are ready.

    Please take the time out to look at a video which has an emotional approach, analysis is important but so is the understanding of your own emotional makeup. This may clarify some things for you.

    The Video is from Utube, called "How to grow to be a happy non smoker." Presented by NASIA DAVOS via TEDxUniversityofPiraeus

    Let us know what you think
  • Robn August 11, 2019 | 22:03
    Hi, I read your post all the way to the end.......i feel that you are over thinking the quit journey. If you simply embrace your quit...be happy that you have not smoked each day....allow everything to unfold naturally. Simply take one day at a time. You cannot control everything. Just let it flow. Have your go to plan for keeping busy, going for walks, take up a new hobby etc.....allow yourself to feel how calming quitting is. It really does calm you more than smoking ever did.
    Relax your mind and stop worrying about the what if’s.......I smoked for 48 years..have been quit just over a year...never thought I could do it...but once I changed my mindset...to being happy about it instead of fearing it....it all fell into place. It will for you too....
    There is nothing to fear at all....except that you will quit smoking and then what are you going to do with all that extra money and the extra years you will have added to your life. You can do this and you want to do this.......it really is that simple...don’t complicate it.
  • Happiness August 12, 2019 | 6:19
    Hi Wendy. Robyn and the others are so right, and it can be as simple as just wanting it enough. If you watch the video advised, Nadia advised to replace the i want cigarette urge with I want.............(fill in the plank with something positive like "air") Perhaps you could fill it in with "make my own choices". You seem to really want to be smoke free, but at the same time in the past you saw it as the one rebellious action against your parents, society and then an abusive husband. You were strong enough to survive the past turmoil and challenges in your life, take strength from those lessons and successes to apply to this new one. Hopefully with your new found knowledge about nicotine, you want to quit smoking even more than when you first decided to try to.

    The government nor tobacco companies want you to succeed, and at this point in time your ex probably doesn't care. Take joy and pride in claiming your life back and snubbing your nose at them all in the process. Stop abusing yourself and playing into their hands. Love yourself and children enough to make the adjustments necessary. You hold the knowledge, tools and the power to complete this journey. We are here to support you every step of the way.
  • themrsbeardsley01 August 12, 2019 | 7:04
    (Heart emoji here)
    Look at me with my own little cheering section. You guys are awesome & really make it easier for me to believe I can do this. Even with my over thinking (Robn I do this with everything. I will analyze something until I am sick of being in my own head & then wind up winging it anyways LOL. I told you guys I was special haha.) Thank you all so much for the guidance & above all the kindness & support. Please stay close because I do not know when I will need you (smiley guy here)
  • Johnnie, South Eastern Sydney August 13, 2019 | 10:28
    Hi Themrsbeardsley01 , I been quit just over 3yrs now and did go through the same process and thoughts as you are doing now. I smoked for 53yrs. I will be upfront with you as you must face your fears as there will be many. First thing is you must commit yourself to the fact you WANT to quit........try nrt lozenges asi did 4mg and break into quarters and have a quarter when the craven hits.. read the package instructions regarding dosage. When you crave a smoke say to yourself "smoking is making me breathless no thanks" craven will eventually pass.......keep yourself busy sewing, reading books etc..
    The first 90days are the worst.....if you reach that time believe me you will start to come out of the woods. Being a non smoker is an amazing feeling. Good luck and keep in touch.. we are all h ere to help each other.
  • Happiness August 13, 2019 | 14:50
    Hi Wendy, i forget what day it is, and it really doesn't matter. The truth is that you will finish the journey step by step and it will take as much time as you need. Accept and give thanks that you are making those steps. Soon you will turn a corner and never look back. Once your destiny becons, you will release the past and the mental bars will fall away to allow access to freedom. You can do this and take back control of your life.

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