I remember about two and a half years ago in the midst of not yet being diagnosed, being hospitalized for months on end me getting the “you need to quit smoking” lecture. Well really Einstein I am WELL aware that I NEED to quit smoking – seriously I have a reasonable I.Q. I’m well versed on the dangers etc. ~ but it’s not just “oh so easy”. I remember looking at him and saying well lets see doc, I have never done drugs or been a drinker, so I don’t have that; I cant work or eat anymore due to this crappy freaking illness – LITERALLY – smoking is all I have left I can’t even have food anymore – yeah no I’m not ready to give it up!
I in fact was not ready and I refused to even try then because I knew that it would be a failed attempt to say the least. I actually smoked more than ever during my sickest times because that was all I could do. I would literally vomit for hours (I’m talking 12-24 hours straight) with nothing punctuating my time except for the occasional cigarette during the quite times between bouts of actual forceful vomiting. Well now it’s some two years later and though I’m still sick, I don’t vomit as often as I used to, I CERTAINLY am not hospitalized as much as I used to be andddddd I do “eat again”. Granted some days it’s baby food and cottage cheese, but when you’ve gone ten months without a morsel of food passing your lips that all counts as eating!
So over this past month or so there’s been a great deal of “chest stuff” going on, smokers cough and that kind of thing and I’ve decided it’s time to try. I “tried” a few weeks ago – and THAT did not go well – I guess I was not mentally there yet and OMG was I ugly. It was a Friday morning and by 10 a.m. I hated my own self so much I was headed out to get a pack. Oh lord that was awful to be that nasty, I just literally couldn’t even stand myself. Yesterday I decided it’s time to try again, I was in the hospital this week and have 2 (maybe 3) procedures scheduled for this coming Friday and I know 100% that it’s not helpful to ANYTHING about my health. My nerves maybe, but not my health.
So I decided to try again and had my last cigarette at about ten-thirty last night, which at the writing of this blog is 14 hours ago (yes I write ahead lol – I have to). I’m happy to say that although I have WANTED a cigarette more than once so far, I’m in fact NOT ready to rip someones head off over it. I’m not feeling super bitchy and miserable, just a little lost without them. It’s funny I do realize that nicotine IS a proven PHYSICAL addiction, but I’ve always felt the mental part was really more my problem. I was (am) one of those smokers who can go for 10-12 hours in a circumstance where smoking really isn’t appropriate (function, meeting, work, hosptial whatever) and it does not bother me in the LEAST. I’ve no need to “sneak away”, rush outside, nothing – there is no stress to me at all. I’ve eaten dinner with smokers who can’t even wait for other people to finish eating but they have to rush outside and light up, that’s never been me.
Honestly even today my first day, I don’t ‘want’ to smoke, I literally smelled my ashtray from last night and was like URGH ICK, but smoking punctuates my freaking life. So I did a few things, I emptied the dishwasher, cleaned the cat box, fed the cat and then my next thing would be to vacuum. My NORMAL is to then sit and have a cigarette and then vacuum, because from a physical standpoint I do have to rest between “physical tasks” in a MAJOR way now. So it gave me something to do while “resting”, okay I’ll have this cigarette and then I’ll do x y or z. Without the cigarette to give me that semi-colon in my activity I feel so UNDEFINED. What DO people do when they need a break, a rest, need to take a minute? Do they just sit down and stare at the wall? I’ve never been good at that. When I sit down to “rest” and the only thing I’m dong is “resting” I feel like it’s such a waste of time. Now I understand how ignorant that sounds and I do on an intellectual level completely understand that smoking that cigarette did not in fact add ANY value to that time that i was sitting there, I honestly do understand that. However it has been a defining feature in MY life for the better part of: WOW, 31 years – I started smoking when I was 13 – OUCH. So I guess it’s going to take more than 14 hours to develop a whole new approach to things, and in the meantime I’ll try not to allow the discomfort of not knowing what to do with myself cause me to cave and do what’s familiar. On the upside I don’t feel any jones for the actual cigarette, like to taste the smoke or get the nicotine ~ don’t even want to smell it honestly; just need a new hobby – :0)