I am going to talk today about smoking cessation for what might be the millionth, and probably not the last, time. It is all that is in my head and it is totally and completely consuming me. If I don’t get it out here, I can’t work through it, and if I can’t work through it, I might start smoking again. And I don’t want to do that. I mean I really, REALLY don’t want to do that.
The last time I tried to quit, I had the support of a “quit coach” through my employer. It was a great resource and I completely wasted it. You could call almost 24/7/365 and someone would be there to answer your question, make suggestions, and sometimes just talk you out of taking that first puff. I so wish I had that now, and kick myself for not using it properly when I had the chance. I just wasn’t at a point in my life at that time that I was ready to quit.
It isn’t that my immediate family isn’t supportive, because they mostly are, but in some ways they are really not helping me. Because quitting smoking often takes many attempts, there are members of my family who are not actively supporting and encouraging me because they think this is just another dry run. You know, I get that, but how many times did I get behind you when you wanted to quit or start doing something that was hard? How many times did you get my unequivocal support? I really feel like saying, “Fuck you,” and running off screaming into the woods.
And there are my blog friends, who are probably more supportive than anyone except maybe my mom and DSB, who stop by to wish me well and tell me their stories of loved ones who have died from smoking and how happy they are I am quitting and how hard they are rooting for me. Why can’t I get that from the people who know me?
And, as my friend Kim asks, “Why do you care?” I really don’t know. I wish I could just throw caution to the wind and not care at all, but the truth is I have always cared WAY too much about what anyone else thinks of me. I have a constant fear of criticism, of judgment. I am always worried that what I am doing is not good enough and I am going to be exposed for the fraud that I truly am, for all the world to see.
It comes down to the fact that I am far too judgmental of myself. I can’t see these little slips and slides in my path toward quitting smoking as normal, as ordinary, as plain-Jane as it gets. I let it build up until I believe it is pathological and obscene and so out-of-the-ordinary that not even my own mother would claim me. And it really does get that bad. And, you know, if I think that about MYSELF, I shudder to think what OTHER people think of me. I’m sure it is ten times as bad!
And when I sit down and type this all out, I can see how silly and irrational I am being, but unfortunately, I can’t sit and type 24/7. I have to go out there and live life and do laundry and buy groceries and socialize and fill my med box. There are a lot of things I need to get out there and do, and I really am finding it difficult to do those things without this immense fear of judgment, especially while testing out my new wings of not smoking.
And I just realized that I am fearing judgment from anyone who reads this blog, as well, because I am worried that I am talking too much about quitting smoking. Someone please slap me now, or my head is going to explode.