So I haven’t been posting because I relapsed. I have been smoking like “normal” for over a month and feeling horribly guilty about it the whole time. I didn’t want to be a smoker again, but it just happened and I couldn’t stop. I was constantly saying to myself “I can quit, I did it before….. maybe I’ll start tmrw.” But then tomorrow would come and I would have another pack of cigarettes in front of me.
Two days ago I smoked my last cigarette while sitting on a park bench and I made the decision to make it my last. I walked directly into a convenience store and bought nicotine gum.
Quitting feels harder this time around. I had the day off from work yesterday, so I locked myself in my apartment in order to protect myself from temptation and to protect others from my tobacco-deprivation rage. The first 24 hours are the worst. You constantly think about smoking and the anxiety about not smoking is super intense. There was a point last night when I was pacing around my apartment convinced that there was a cigarette somewhere that I had forgotten to smoke. I probably looked like a crazy person tearing through all my belongings, desperately trying to find that elusive cigarette. (I never found it… I think I made up the whole idea in my head). I painted my nails 3 times in order to keep myself busy. I tried to watch movies, but kept catching ones with people smoking in them (the worst!! Why is it so hard to watch people smoking in movies??). I went to bed at 10:30pm just to shut my brain off from thinking about smoking.
After experiencing a quit (and a good one! 4.5 months is nothing to ignore!) and then a relapse, I have made some realizations…
1. Stress and anxiety are the main excuses smokers use when explaining why they smoke. This is pure bullshit. Cigarette smoking actually causes stress and anxiety. Ever smoked the last cig in your pack and then immediately start planning when and where you can buy another one? Makes you anxious, right? Having a rough day at work and trying to figure out when you can sneak out for a smoke? Stressful!!
2. ANGER! Ok, I will admit that I have a temper (comes with the red hair). But my temper is a million times worse when I am a smoker. I snap at people constantly. During my 4.5 months of not smoking, I was WAY less angry. Why would I want to be angry all the time?!
3. Cigarette hangovers. I feel like a lot of smokers don’t even realize that this happens because it becomes a “normal” feeling. But going from not smoking to smoking again made it a lot more noticeable for me. Smoking makes me groggy in the mornings. I’m constantly tired and low on energy. And if I have an alcohol-induced hangover, smoking makes it worse! This is not a normal way to feel!!
4. Peace. When I was not smoking, I felt entirely more at peace with myself and everyone else around me. Now maybe this had to do with all the running, yoga, and woo-woo hippie meditation nonsense I was doing. But maybe not. I feel like it’s easier to see the world in a peaceful, happy way when you aren’t looking at it through cigarette smoke.
So after thinking about and realizing all these things, I am back on the quit. I am well into my second day without cigarettes and I am proud of myself. (And also extremely agitated. But chewing nicotine gum constantly is helping with that a little.)
Next step, restart the exercise and woo-woo hippie lifestyle I had a few months ago (and which I honestly loved!)
Smokers out there…. Anyone want to be my quitting buddy? Drop me a line!