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May 25 12 7:22 PM
Even though I’ve had some wonderful days of relief and joy over kicking smoking out of my life, I realize I have to stay on my guard against the very real danger of a moment of weakness upsetting all my dreams.
Yesterday I had the first strong craves for a long time. The little devils in my brain promptly started dancing around to the tune of: “A cigarette will make all this feel better!” It’s very weird indeed to hear this coming out of the blue, after I have so resolved that I will NOT smoke anymore, no matter what. And it wasn’t even a decent crisis, just a few “ah, shucks!” that brought me a bit of stress.
What started it was a meeting at work, after hours. We have them about every 3 months, why?--I don’t know, they are a waste of time. Everyone who had to work all day was tired and anxious to go home. Everyone (like me) who had the day off was feeling resentful for having to drive to work during rush hour on our day off. So we have to sit on a metal folding chair for two hours and eat cold pizza while the manager squeezes her lemons and makes lemonade. The topic of the meeting, as foretold in memos posted on the bulletin board for the last 2 weeks was: What I would change about my job. Heh. The first thing I would change is to eliminate these useless meetings! But the rules of the meeting are: the manager needs to vent, so smile, nod and eat the pizza.
So when the meeting was over, I got a tremendous urge to smoke a cigarette, as usually I did after meetings when I was a smoker. Now I had nothing to help me get back to “normal.” To make matters worse, a bad rainstorm had come around, and I got all drenched running to my car, and was worried the streets would be flooded. My brakes aren’t all that great, I’ve been meaning to take my car in for servicing. My windshield washers don’t work that well, either. It’s dangerous driving in the hard rain, but I made it home alright. I pulled into the garage. There was a big puddle of water under the window. Well, that’s been on my TO DO list for a long time—the window is broken. This was the first bad rainstorm since I bought the house and the rain gets in, I see, just as I suspected it would. Bummer. I’m not keeping up with house repairs because since I quit smoking, I’ve had little interest in doing menial tasks like repairing windows. Things are falling apart, my car, my house, my yard…how will I manage since I can’t smoke anymore to gather my strength to take care of things? I should really have bought a condo. I’m all alone now to cope with Overwhelming Reality!! Who knows what might happen next? And even though I was safely in the garage, I couldn’t figure out how to get from the garage to the house without getting wet again, and I felt like a perfect fool since I didn’t have the proper keys to open the doors that lead from the garage to the screened porch to the house. So I had to run to the front door and got soaking wet all over again. Like I said, no real crisis, just a series of “aw, shucks!”
When I got in the house, I felt like crying, although nothing was really wrong. It was a bad emotional confusion. But the worst thing was that I suddenly had a very strong image in my head. The image was a half-smoked cigarette.
This cigarette was located right outside the garage on the side of the house, deep in the bottom of a big black trashcan, inside a small plastic bag. I knew this because I had put it there myself, and it was still there. I knew I could retrieve it if I wanted to, and I could smoke it. I was half in shock that this thought could even take up parking space in my brain, and yet there it was, under consideration.
This half-smoked cigarette was in my trash can because while reading someone’s journal a few days ago, I had realized that I never cleaned out the ashtray in my car. I had gone to get the ashtray, and sure enough, there were several squashed-out butts and one really good one only half-smoked. I kinda marvelled at that one, because it was rare that I ever “wasted” a cigarette by only smoking half of it like that. It wasn't even squished or black, it looked perfectly good still. It had been sitting in the bottom of my car ashtray for a few months. Imagine! All the while I was desperate for a cigarette during the first few days of my quit, there it was all along! I didn’t want to touch it, so after I cleaned out the kitty litter boxes, I emptied the ashtray in the same plastic bag, and carried the bag to the trash bin by the garage. Close call.
But now there I was crying over a few minor things that happened, and it actually popped into my head which I entertained as a REASONABLE POSSIBILITY to actually go digging through the city trash bin in the pouring rain to find the plastic bag full of kitty poop to get that half-smoked cigarette, after it sat in my ashtray for months, now well-marinated in cat pee for 2 days, and put it my mouth, light it up and suck it into my lungs, with the expectation that this WOULD HELP ME FEEL BETTER!!!!!!!!
No, I didn’t do it. But in an earlier quit I might well have. But this leaves me a bit sobered.
May 25 12 11:01 PM
May 26 12 5:40 AM
May 29 12 6:14 AM
May 29 12 2:03 PM
Every nicotine addict has asked it....
"Now that I have learned so much about my addiction and understand that I should never take another puff....how long will it take to feel comfortable where I am not constantly thinking about smoking?"
Moving through the twists and turns of daily life are the stepping stones to comfort and freedom.
Experience is the essence!
May 29 12 2:24 PM
May 30 12 10:50 AM
I AM THRILLED TO BE SMOKE FREE for 52 days!! I have saved $176.87 by not smoking 786 cigarettes. I have saved 2D 17h 30m of my life.
A big THANK YOU to all who wrote in my journal in support. It’s been a big help to have others rooting for Team Minky in my battle against smoking. I’ve read all the links you all sent, and it really amazes me there are still things I haven’t read yet—it seems like I’ve spent so many hours already reading here, but this site just keeps on giving.
I’m happy to say things have improved a lot concerning my biggest—well, CONCERN! This was the apathy I’ve felt since quitting about doing any kind of work around the house such as cooking, repairs or gardening. I’ve been surprised on this quit to find that the smoking craves didn’t last long past the first week or two, but this other problem was enough to get me down. I just didn’t feel like doing ANYTHING!! I was beginning to think I would have to spend the rest of my life as a lazy slug just as a price for giving up cigarettes.
However, I didn’t feel especially tired physically, and I was sleeping much better than before, so I didn’t think it could be a medical problem. I felt more energetic at work, for example (a place where I had never smoked), and I was taking long brisk walks all over town without getting the least bit tired. But once I got home to my former Smoking Haven, it was Vegge Out Time in Horizontal Attitude.
Well, a few days ago, I finally decided to force myself to do a little cooking again. I picked my old standby, Hangover Chili, which is really easy to make and doesn’t take a lot of planning. In fact, it’s mostly just a matter of opening cans and heating a skillet. I got out all the cans and ingredients to make it, plus can opener, skillet, utensils…what was missing?
I guess I don’t have to tell this crowd what the “magic ingredient” that was missing was. Heh. I had to consciously take myself in hand and tell myself: “Self, you are perfectly capable of cooking without a cigarette. I know you’re used to having one before cooking, (and after cooking, and at all intervals in between the two) but I’m afraid it’s not on the menu today, so let’s get on with it, shall we?”
I put on some favorite cds that I love to sing along with. I picked up the can opener. And voila—before long, it was Chili Time! Not only that, all the dishes were washed up as well, and I was none the worse for the experience. Not only that, but after lunch, I decided to whip up a batch of Artichoke Tabuli Salad, too!
This morning I’m getting out the lawnmower, and we’ll see about that little problem doing yard work
So this is a real victory for me—there really is LIFE AFTER SMOKING!!! YEAAAAAA!!!!
May 30 12 11:06 AM
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May 31 12 5:22 PM
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