Smoking Confession

I quit smoking almost two months ago.  Actually, exactly two months and ten hours ago.  And then, this past week, while struggling with every personal demon within myself, I smoked.  I didn’t smoke one cigarette, or take just one puff.  I spent two days, smoking two packs of cigarettes.  I don’t know what the fuck I was thinking, other than, “How am I going to conceal this from everyone?” and “What am I going to do next?” and then freaking out, “Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod, what did I do?!?”

I am so fucking disappointed in myself.  I lost a lot of ground in those two days.  You might be surprised to know this, but, after almost two months, I was getting my wind back pretty well, but two packs of cigarettes set me back almost a month.  If not more.  I’m coughing, hacking…again.  My nose is alternately stopped up and running.  And I just.can’t.breathe.  It is the worst feeling in the world, because I did this to myself.

I know what I need to do.  Part of it, I have already done.  I have hopped back on the no-smoking bandwagon.  I have a patch on.  I have lozenges available.  I am getting out and about with non-smoking people.  I am focused and determined.  I am going to approach quitting smoking like I approached quitting drinking.

Except this will be harder.  With drinking, I became convinced that alcohol was literally poison.  Even one sip would change my brain chemicals and alter my mood.  One day, out of the blue, I just quit.  I didn’t have a serious problem, or even a mild problem, so maybe that is why it was so easy.  After some thought, and thinking of alcohol then (and now), as poison (literally poison to my neurochemically addled brain), I have been completely alcohol-free for almost two years.  And it wasn’t that hard.

Smoking is so much harder.  Smoking was my “thing.”  I did it to celebrate everything, when I was sad, when I was manic, after I ate, in the car, during half-time at sporting events, to wake myself up in the morning, after sex, all.the.time.  Maybe that’s why it is so hard, because it is tied to so many things.

I think what makes it a million times harder is that DSB smokes, and he won’t go outside.  He talks about putting his cigarettes away, so I won’t be able to get to them, and then he doesn’t.  Half the time he won’t crack a window open.  I have to get up and do it myself.

DSB is a great guy and very supportive in many ways, but he is definitely “bad boyfriend” on this front.  He is so completely  unsupportive of me quitting smoking, it’s laughable.  He says he thinks I can quit, but then he inadvertently throws smoking right back in my face.  He thinks I should be able to just not grab a pack of cigarettes, or a cigarette if they’re sitting out somewhere.  Maybe he’s right, but I know I can’t, and I’ve told him that to no avail.  I think he hopes I won’t really quit.  That is all I can learn from this behavior.

And I’m not blaming this all on DSB.  I am simply saying that quitting a habit is very hard to do when your significant other participates fully in that habit.  And 66% of my support system are smokers.  These are the people I see on a day to day basis.  This is a part of why smoking is constantly on my mind.  There is always a cigarette burning, and, well, it smells good and is just so tempting.

Ah fuck it.  I don’t know what else to say about this that doesn’t make me sound like a whiny loser that desperately wants a cigarette.  I am determined to turn this around.  I just really feel like the odds are stacked against me.

Less Pressure, But Still Obsessed

Wellpers, as  you all know, NaBloPoMo is over.  When I first started, I kinda thought, after the dust had cleared, that I’d take a long blogging break.  What I didn’t realize is how ADDICTIVE writing and reading other posts and making new bloggie friends would be.  Putting my thoughts on paper every day gives me a great way to track how I’m doing and to see where I need to modify my behavior, for better or worse, to come out smellin’ like roses.

Thanksgiving week was pure hell (and it’s not over, because I don’t count Sunday as the first day of the week), and I think most of that had to do with DSB’s refusal (up to the bitter end) of Thanksgiving festivities, and the fact that I had just quit smoking.  And I have learned a lot about both of those things here within the past week.

What I have learned about DSB’s refusal of Thanksgiving is that he genuinely doesn’t like attending.  He doesn’t like all the people and he doesn’t like the family dynamic.  Even my fairly “normal” family (as in, we generally get along) bothered him, although it is altogether possible that some people were being bigger assholes than usual.  It’s the hormones, the lack of nicotine, the protectiveness…it’s all of that and it’s ugly when you throw it in the mixing bowl and stir.

I’m not sure if DSB will “do” Christmas yet or not.  I hope he does, because it means a lot to me, and selfishly so, I hope he would just sacrifice and go anyway.  Good gawd that sounds terrible, but it’s what I wish for and no one said what I wish for had to be nice.  What I truly wish is that DSB could get caught up in the beauty of the season and forget all that little petty BS.

Now let’s take the quitting smoking.  It has been rough and bumpy, but is overall going quite well.  Yes, I have slipped a few times and had a cigarette, so my quit hasn’t been perfect, but I still think that’s pretty good.  I’ve gone from smoking three packs a day down to maybe 1.25 cigarettes a day, and some days none.  I think I have to give myself props for that even though there are a lot of naysayers out there.

And to them, I really just want to say, “Eff you.”  Because seriously, you have no idea how  hard this is.  You have no idea what I am going through right now and I hope you never have to wean yourself off what is perhaps the most powerfully addictive substance on the planet.  Studies indicate nicotine is more powerful than heroin, crack, and meth.  And how many people succeed in getting off those things?  Not tons, folks.

So, what I ask of those people, is to cut me a little slack.  Be extra kind to me.  Go out of your way to avoid me if you can’t say something nice and encouraging.  Even the most well-meaning people can be complete dicks when it comes to something like this.  Don’t tell me I’m not doing this right when you can’t even manage to quit your Oreo cookie habit.  Don’t tell me I’m not doing this right when you can’t even manage to go a day without drinking.  And don’t tell me I’m not doing this right if you haven’t done it before.

Well, now that I’m all wound up, I think I’ll go throw some dishes around and hope they shatter on the floor.  Now THAT would be good stress relief (if only DSB would clean up the mess).  😀