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Monday, April 13, 2009

Addiction

I have debated, for the last couple of days, of whether I should write about this or not because I know in doing so, I risk being judged or people not understanding. Since this is my place to write about things in my life and I really need to get this out, I am going for it. I need to vomit this from my soul before it drives me bat shit crazy. Confession is good for the soul, right?

The honest to God truth is, I love smoking. I have had a love affair with smoking for a long time. I started smoking when I was very young and even though I have quit at various times since then, it is the one thing I continuously find myself going back to. I am not proud of this fact.

I could give you a hundred reasons why I love smoking but I’ll just name a few…I enjoy it. It‘s how I deal with stress. It calms me. It’s been my one constant friend. It’s how I celebrated. It’s how I rewarded myself.
It's my escape...my one indulgence that I don't have to share. I could also say it's because it's so part of my nature to like/love those things that are so bad for me.


Smoking has been my vice…my “one” thing that I do. I am not a big drinker, even though I will on occasion, enjoy a few too many. I’ve never like candy all that much. Food has never been my thing(actually been my enemy)…don’t get that much pleasure out of it, even though I do enjoy favorites. I am not a shopper. I don’t care if I buy new things. I don’t get my hair or my nails done. I am not into gambling. I’m not into video games. I’ve not ever had a hobby because of lack of time or desire to find something that interests me. After writing all this, I realize how boring I must sound.

Last September, I shared that I had cut down on smoking and was going to quit. I didn’t. Not only did I not quit, I started smoking even more. Yes, I was disappointed in myself and beat myself up good for it. Regardless, I still enjoyed my love affair with cigarettes. The bottom line is, until 8 days ago, I was smoking and smoking a lot…and I didn’t care.

Last Sunday, I had my last cigarette. At the end of today, I will have gone 8 days without smoking. I quit. I quit because I have had enough. I quit because of the cost…I really cannot afford them. I quit because of how bad they are for my health. I quit because of the example I set for my children and grandchildren and I know how much it bothers them that I smoked. I quit because smoking does not match up with my other life style choices of eating healthy and exercising. It makes me a hypocrite. I quit because my love for “it” has been greater than all these things I listed here and that is just wrong. I quit because not all love affairs are good...they even have an ugly side to them. I quit because it is time.

I have quit before and I don't remember it being this hard. I am determined to beat this addiction because I am tired of it beating me. I would have to say that quitting cigarettes is about as hard as beating my addiction to drugs. My love affair with drugs almost took my life and I cannot stand idly by and let cigarettes do that to me. Cigarettes have controlled my life, much the same way drugs did. I hate admitting this. I hate that I am so weak as to succumb to something that is so bad for me. I hate that I love something that is so bad for me. I hate this.

I am taking one day at a time. I sit here typing and my body hurts from the cravings. My chest hurts worse then it did when I was still smoking. I am so irritable and agitated at times, that it feels like I could come out of my skin. My nervous energy keeps taking away my ability to concentrate and I swear to God, half the time I have diarrhea of the mouth…help, I am talking and I can’t shut up!

I haven’t been able to sleep very well and if I do sleep, I have nightmares. I feel like I have lost my best friend. I feel so sad…I am near tears constantly.

I miss it. I know all of these things are a normal part of withdrawal. I know these things will eventually pass. I know it will get better. But, right now, in this moment, I feel flipping crazy. There is such insanity in addiction. Here I am, flipping nuts over a shit sandwich of my own making and now I have to somehow vomit this completely from my life.

Please don’t judge me. Please don’t lecture me on the harm of smoking. I am well educated on these facts. Please don’t tell me how stupid it is because I am first in line to call it what it is. Please don’t preach at me…in the past, I have preached at myself enough for a hundred preachers. Right now, I am trying to be really good to myself, in spite of how much I might deserve a slap across the head.

My motive in writing this, is to not only vomit this out of myself but to make myself accountable to all of you. I also wrote this in hopes that someone out here in the blogasphere, that has walked in my shoes, would be willing to share with me any tips or advice to help me beat this. I am open to hearing anything you have to say except for lectures or preaching. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing the fact that you are a former smoker in my comments, I understand. Would you please e-mail me instead?

If your someone that prays, I would appreciate your prayers. I believe in the power of prayer and I know it was my faith that saved me in my drug addiction and many other things. Everything that is in me is crying out(I should say screaming out)to be released from this thing that I hate, yet have loved so much. I must kiss this love affair goodbye, once and for all.

30 comments:

Sandi said...

Is it possible to love you even more? If it is, than I do. I am so proud of you for being honest with us and with yourself. You are a strong woman. I know a lot of shit you have had to deal with in life. This isn't tougher than you my dear. You are an amazing chick! I am cheering for you! You can do it. Kick this things ASS!

I love you

LPC said...

Only maybe that if you think of doing it for the little guys, maybe that will help. Good luck. Sending support via bandwidth.

The Incredible Woody said...

I am so proud of you! I will be sending prayers for comfort from the cravings and strength to endure them. I wish I had some piece of wisdom to help you along your path but there is power is prayer!

PS - I have heard that Chantix really, really helps.

queenofphrump said...

I'm with Sandy, I didn't think it possible to love you more but I do because of this post. I offer no advice but I will offer up prayers while I am standing northward toward Minnesota! Love!!!!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Ah Lori, so sorry it is so hard. I smoked when I was younger and truth be told, I loved it. I started late, in college. It was either smoke or eat my way through studying. I cocktailed my way through college and after the club closed, my waitress friends and I would go to a club that stayed open even later and sit upstairs, watch the dancing through the windows, and have a smoke.

I quit when I was pregnant with my daughter and when I stopped breast feeding I decided to light one up and lo and behold, I had lost the taste for it. I hope that happens for you.

If I get to be an old old woman, I plan on smoking ,drinking, and eating all I want.

SSG said...

Good luck with your giving up. have you read "http://www.afreeman.org/2009/03/06/i-have-a-habit-i-have-been-trying-to-lose/" ?

Being able to blog about your addiction is a good sign I think. I did use to smoke, but never full on, and after throwing away packets with only one or two smoked for a few weeks I gave up. Though I still have a few now and again, I do love it, but I know it's bad, and I hate the next-day guilt.

Once I had not smoked for a while, I started sleeping properly again. I didn't realise how much late-night smoking had been affecting my health.

My auntie gave up smoking after many years, at the age of 65, and it gave her a new lease of life.

Good luck my friend, you can do it!

Beth said...

You can do it! Beginning the process of kicking the habit is half the battle. Find some other vice to replace it with (something healthy, something legal). We are pulling for you!

Busy Bee Suz said...

This is one of the hardest things to quit. I have been there.
I quit for good about 10 years ago. I just made the decision and changed my behaviors. It was hard to break the "habit" of smoking. I had to replace/change my entire daily schedule...It took some getting used to, but I really felt better within a few weeks.
Since then, I have a new addiction: GUM. Seriously, I may spend as much on gum than those cigs. :(
Maybe that will work for you....also, pat yourself on the back for making it through each day. It is a real struggle.If you mess up, start over again. You can do it.
My Mom quit after smoking for about 40 years. SHe used the Chantix, but had some crazy side effects...vivid dreams, loss of sleep.
Take care-Suz

SciFi Dad said...

You will hear neither judgment nor preaching from me.

I would guess that this time is harder because it's the first time you mean it; in the past you probably quit with a little voice in your head that you weren't quitting so much as "trying to quit". But that's just a guess.

I quit nearly nine years ago, because I had met a non-smoker and after dating her for a month I knew I didn't want my smoking to come between us. (I married her three years later.) Today, so many years later, I can still nod my head to your statements about smoking be a relaxation and reward, and I still have to resist the urge to go buy a pack of smokes... I don't know if that feeling ever goes away.

Jan said...

Dear, no sermons or judgments from me, even if I hadn't smoked for 31 years.

I don't know what advice to give you - I am extremely lucky because it wasn't hard for me to quit. I wanted to. I no longer enjoyed it - in fact, I downright loathed it. I haven't had a cigarette in 16 months and I don't miss it at ALL.

I can tell you that Beloved is still struggling with this problem. If he figures out how to quit without killing someone - because he still loves it too - I'll let you know.

In the meantime, if you need a shoulder to cry on or a sympathetic ear, I'm always here.

Debbie said...

I am a praying person and you can count on my prayers. How wonderful that you have taken this step, although I am sure it is so hard. We will be here to support you along the way.
And to believe in you.

Bina said...

Almost everything you said, is me, exactly! I don't like to shop. Smoking calms me, gives me a few minutes to be alone (I never EVER smoke inside) and I don't want to quit. I don't know why.

I did quite six months before I got pregnant with my last baby. It just seemed so easy then. I KNEW I wanted to get pregnant and I KNEW I had to quit smoking six months before I got pregnant. I tried the patch at first but those gave me bad dreams. REALLY bad, so I quit using them.

I started smoking shortly after my baby was born. Honey, I had dreams (while I was pregnant) that I was hiding under the back deck, under a blue tarp, just to smoke. Once I had that baby, it was all over. I HAD to smoke!

I wish I could give you advice, but I'll just wish you all the luck and good energy I can muster.

I'm very proud of you for wanting to quit.

Tricia said...

Lori, I have no sage advice but I wish you all the strength and fortitude in the world to not beat yourself up over this, and to kick the addiction in it's big, ugly butt.

A friend of mine who quit smoking several years ago continues to tell herself it's not forever. If she makes it to 70, she's determined to start smoking again. She figures if she makes it to "old age" she can light up and not feel so guilty. Addictions are a mind game we play with ourselves and our bodies. You're a strong warrior!

morethananelectrician said...

Things like this are a personal challenge. Don't be TOO hard on yourself. For me, whatever I am doing, I just come to the resolve that failure ISN'T one of my options. It might not work for you.

You picked a tough one to "lick"...those people that I know who have quit, say that they still want one every day. I do not imagine this being an easy thing.

I think you have a lot of power over yourself and have become an incredibly strong person for a lot of OTHER people...I think that you have it in you to tackle this one for you.

Jeannie said...

My husband hasn't smoked now for maybe 15 years - he had to quit for his heart and it was so very difficult for him - he still wishes smoking was good for him instead. I smoked too - years ago but I never loved it - it was still hard enough to quit.

Can you change your routine in any way to avoid those times when you'd automatically reach for a smoke? Or take up knitting or crochet or some other such thing to keep your hands busy - maybe just crosswords or sudoku would work - something to do while you take your break.

You might find that you do enjoy food more when the cigarette smell is out of your system...get some healthy munchies ready.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"

Smart Mouth Broad said...

I can't say I know how you feel. My only smoking was recreational and as a teen (to be cool). I know you can do this. I know you have it in you. I know this because you've already been thru so much. If you want it. It's yours. That doesn't mean it will be easy. My mother always said she quit when cigarettes went to 28cents per pack. She said she was too cheap to pay that much. She carried a carton under her carseat for a year but never touched them.

My office paid for one of the staff to have laser treatment done. It worked immediately for her. She had no more desire. It was relatively inexpensive too. $175 I think.

I don't know if any of the above helps but I know I will pray for you. P.U.S.H. Pray until something happens. :-)

HeatherPride said...

Good luck in your quest to kick the habit! You can do it!!

Laura said...

Life, I call thee challenge. My thoughts (I hope they are as powerful as prayers) are with you as you overcome this. You are strength and love, always.

Kathryn Magendie said...

My brother smoked for over 30 years - when he had his heart attack, he had to quit - even after that it was SO hard on him - still is several years later...it's a hard thing, yes.....he tried the patches and the gum...and a lot of just sheer willpower - and still some days he wishes he could have one (and he may have on occasion...bless his heart)....

You do not owe anyone any explanation and if you feel shame you should not....I wish I had good words to give you and good advice - I know for my brother I just listen and I don't judge....

(hug)

LiLu said...

Oh, hon. This is so brave. Most people aren't strong enough to admit their weaknesses, never mind that they acknowledge everything wrong with it and would like to be held accountable. You're amazing! And GOOD LUCK!!! You can do it!

midlifeslices said...

I have no doubts that you are strong enough to beat this addiction. I'm praying for an easier journey down this road to freedom and better health. It's a good thing you are doing for your family and i admire you even more.

I've never been a smoker but my oldest son is and is trying to quit. I know it's tough, but you're tougher!

Tricia said...

Just checking back in to see how day number 10 is going, and sending good vibes and strength to you through the Internet. Click here to download a hug :o)

KayFour said...

How about this for a strategy? (I used it when I quit smoking) I normally bought cigarettes at a particular store so when I decided to quit, I never went into that store again. The temptation to buy them was still there, but changing one simple habit helped a little.

Also, I hung out with my Mom more often because she loved to preach at me about the evils of smoking (and drinking and sex and not cleaning the house and letting the laundry pile up and not doing the dishes and not visiting your mother. Need I go on?)

Sprite's Keeper said...

I respect the hell out of you. I quit myself and learned it was a moment by moment thing for me.
It takes time to get over it and it takes time to get over the side effects of it, but the rewards are so much greater. And the rewards hug you back.

Life with Kaishon said...

I am praying right now!

♥ Braja said...

Dammit, i love you :) All power to you...
xxx

♥ Braja said...

Dammit, i love you :) All power to you...
xxx

Jacquelyn said...

You are obviously one courageous lady. With everything else it seems you have going on in your life, you are taking on one more huge challenge. I will pray for you!

Kikit said...

I'm not into smoking but I totally understand blogging as a kind of therapy. It's good that you've expressed everything here. Hope you felt better after writing this post. :)

Jason, as himself said...

I have never smoked but I've witnessed the struggle. Okay, I tried smoking once when I was 29 and I was too chicken to inhale.

You are winning. I can tell. All of these withdrawl symptoms only happen as you win.

Good for you! I really admire you for facing this.