*WARNING- I did read the post regarding pasting from Word, but I believe this post may still end up a little screwy. I apologize in advance to anyone having difficulty deciphering my hyroglyphics.*
Although I have read quite a bit around here regarding the concept of "social" smoking (i.e.: Are there "social smokers?" and social smokers? are they real? ), I don't think I fully understood the term "social smoker" until now. You see, my boyfriend, a self-proclaimed "social smoker" who decided to quit as of 1/1/03, has since relapsed (C'mon...are you really surprised?).
RELAPSE SCENARIO: After two whole weeks of following my lead and maintaining a successful "never take another puff" quit, he was out one weekend with his smoking friends and had his first alcohol since he quit. Because he had still not accepted the fact that he is a nicotine addict (I'm an ADDICT! HooRAY!), he decided that he HAD to smoke while drinking. His junkie excuse?: "I can't do one without the other, because I never have". ANYWAY, He "triumphantly" announced that he planned to remain "quit" during the week, and that he had the "willpower" to allow himself ONLY to puff while drinking/on the weekends. I reminded him that soon after that first puff he would be back to full-fledged smoking, but he remained confident that he was different and that he could keep his smoking only to the weekends/while drinking. The crazy thing is that, even though I knew from my FREEDOM education that this was impossible, my inner-junkie and my personal belief in my boyfriend's "will-power" led me to actually secretly entertain the thought that, for him (a "social smoker") perhaps this was INDEED possible. HAH!
ANYWAY, as I said, he has been adamant about the fact that he is a "social" smoker, and that he only "needed" to smoke on the weekends when he was drinking alcohol. As I said, I knew in my heart that he is an ADDICT (just like me) and that just one puff would soon bring him back to his normal level of consumption (about a half a pack a day)...and then, this weekend...SWEET (although somewhat sour) VALIDATION!
Allow me to "break it down": Our Valentines' Day started off a bit rocky. (To make a long story a little bit shorter - we didn't end up getting our food and sitting down to eat until 11PM!) Throughout the entire, frustrating, evening (in traffic, in line, etc.) my boyfriend was EXTREMELY grumpy and miserable and although I was trying my best to look at the bright side of things (and be thankful that this year I actually HAVE a Valentine), he was doing everything he could to look at the gray cloud rather than the silver lining. I didn't understand what the heck was wrong with him, UNTIL, when we finally got out of the restaurant, he immediately rushed us to the store to pick up a pack of smokes! A-HA! FINALLY his grump all made sense! He was in severe nicotine withdrawal!
You see, for the last month or so, in order to prove to me that he is indeed a "social smoker", he had conditioned his inner-addict to wait until the weekend (apparently Friday night immediately following work) for a sickarette...And when he didn't get it he became VERY irritable! When I pointed out that he nearly ruined our Valentine's Day due to his nicotine withdrawal, he begrudgingly admitted, "his anti-depressants had run-out, and he felt he needed to 'self-medicate' with a cigarette" (well, at least he listens a BIT when I talk ). I reminded him that REAL reason he wanted ("needed") a cigarette was because his new weekend smoking routine has kept him actively addicted to nicotine.
THE LESSON: Although he still has not verbally admitted that he is an addict, I think that it has become abundantly clear to him that he is not/cannot be a "social smoker". This morning I watched him as he went outside with his morning coffee (in two feet of snow mind you) to have a cigarette. I smiled and thought, "gee it's Tuesday morning, and he isn't drinking alcohol…"social smoker" my foot!
Not one single stinkin puff for 4 Months 3 Weeks 4 Days 13 Hours 27 Minutes 30 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 4426. Money saved: $1,106.71.