Reverting back does not prevail

Yesterday was a rough one for me. I hadn’t slept well the night prior and my mood was beyond foul. My depression had returned with a vengeance. On top of that, work was full of annoying, trivial issues that wouldn’t have gotten to me on a normal day but I was experiencing unnecessary anger. I tried to keep myself focused on positive thoughts to ease the irritation that continued to build.

As the day carried on I was craving a cigarette badly. I couldn’t stand that familiar feeling of hovering gloom; my skin felt like it was crawling. The desperation for relief was real and I was determined to get that cigarette to help calm me down.

I felt the same the rest of the day until I made my way home.

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Credit: Ehimetalor Unuabona

I made a mental note as I drove by the bodega near my house that I could buy a loosey, since I only wanted one cigarette versus a pack. The downside was the price went up from $.50 to $1, per loosey. I was genuinely contemplating it.

Once I made it home and thought it over, I told myself to wait before walking to the bodega. I had cooking and cleaning to do, so with my mind made up, I opted to do those things before heading out. I was determined to get everything done in order to leave. That was the deal I made with myself.

After completing my tasks I immediately jumped into my workouts.

By the time I finished, I made my honey lavender tea and felt a hell of a lot better. It was the best I felt that entire day.

After taking my shower, I settled in and got into bed. It was then that I realized I never went out to get my cigarette. Instead of reverting back to my old habits of smoking to escape, I went along with my new, healthier methods and they prevailed.

I need to remember for future matters that just because I was feeling desperate to ease the frustration doesn’t mean I have to throw myself back into old practices. I am moving forward with healthier approaches that are clearly proving to be helpful. Why subject myself to going backward? That’s pretty thoughtless.

Today I can say I am almost two weeks cigarette free.

Oh, and I didn’t waste a dollar!

 

Almost a Week

It has been almost a week since I’ve had a cigarette and I haven’t thought much about it. I haven’t had any cravings or withdrawals, I haven’t experienced any restlessness or mood swings (no more than usual), it has been pretty simple.

What’s been different this time around is I have been keeping myself distracted. Whether it’s doing additional cleaning, keeping my focus on writing/reading, or getting lost in the many ‘worlds’ of Instagram, the distractions have been an immense help. Another difference is I really wanted to stop this time. Before, I knew I had to let go, but I wasn’t ready to give it up, emotionally.

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Credit: Sara Kurfeß

In the past, I would tell myself I needed to stop smoking due to my declining health, to avoid the strong, lingering smell of tobacco on my hands or clothes, and the countless stories (and statistics) of the lives lost to this awful addiction. All of that should have been enough to get me to kick the habit, but it wasn’t.  Now that I’m in a better place and getting the critical help I need, I don’t have desires to use cigarettes as a crutch.

Is this me saying I have quit forever? I’m not sure. I can’t see into the future so I can’t say if I will or won’t relapse again (damn addictions), but I have a handle on it right now and all I can do is live in the present.

 

 

(PLUS, THEY ARE EXPENSIVE AF)

 

Cutting Corners Doesn’t Work

Not only did I cave with smoking cigarettes to the point I was on the verge of buying two packs a week, but my drinking had increased significantly, too. It’s annoying as hell because I know for a fact that a cigarette and a drink are just a quick fix to bigger issues and there are healthier ways to manage stress/depression/anxiety, so why do I continue to go back to the things that only hurt me in the long run?

I could dive in to the innumerable amount of information around the web, or in the books, and post a research paper on why, but I am going to keep this blunt: I am either too lazy or too mentally weak to continue in the effort to push through to do things in a healthier manner.

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Source: Jordan Whitfield

It gets to a point where I am sick and tired of all the work and I want my results when I want them with no more waiting. Truth of the matter is things don’t work that way. I know that from my own experiences and witnessing it happen with other people that I know.

I cannot continue to make these shameful excuses to help me sleep at night while I’m cutting corners. That being said, I haven’t had a cigarette in almost 48 hours, same with booze. I’m not perfect but as long as I make the effort I should be fine.

If you want something done correctly it takes time to do it right. It doesn’t matter if you’re building a house, becoming a doctor, working on your mental health, trying to lose weight or build muscle; things take time if you want it done correctly.

I need to learn more patience because all this haste is setting me back. Starting all over again, time after time, is worse than making gradual improvements, but that’s just me and those are my thoughts.

 

Day 4: Cigarette Free

It has been four days since I’ve had a cigarette. The rougher parts are passing, hopefully. As expected, I’m still craving them and I’m more irritable than usual. I’m feeling myself becoming more secluded so I can avoid releasing all this aggression onto someone who doesn’t deserve it. Just because I’m not letting the chemical doused tobacco destroy my lungs anymore doesn’t give me the right to be an asshole. I will say this; I forgot how much of a challenge it is not having the crutch of a cigarette when things are difficult to deal with.

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Credit: Luther Bottrill

I have to stick to the positives. My breathing feels a hell of a lot better. I don’t feel like I have additional weight on my chest and I haven’t been randomly coughing. No longer having the disgusting cigarette smell on my fingers and clothes are a huge bonus.

I really can’t pick this habit back up, again. I say it every few years, but I need to make the effort to stick to it this time around. The statistics are there, the horror stories are there, the death count is there, the personal problems I’ve encountered from smoking were clearly there to sway me from ever picking one up again.

…stupid addictions…

Smoking, again. I hate it.

This morning I stared at my cigarette in disgust. I could already smell the scent that was going to be stained on my fingers. Barely half of it was gone before I tossed it away. I stopped to ask myself why I was smoking, again. I guess my brain just wanted to play stupid.

It was around thirteen that I had my first cigarette. It was gross, yet still I continued. After finishing the first one I had no intention of doing it again. Then a few weeks passed. It was a rough week and when I smoked that gross chemical stick I noticed that it had made me feel better.

I smoked on and off throughout high school and college. I would stop for a few years in between because it gets expensive and the smell becomes a problem.

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Credit: Patrick Brinksma

Lately things have been rough again and I found myself back at it. Buying packs and feeling like a fiend for another. People say, “go workout” or “find something else to do”. I have, and yet it still doesn’t feel like it helps that much.

Now it’s not just something to do when things are rough, it’s also a fucking addiction. I find myself smoking when I don’t even want one.

Truthfully, I have no idea on how I should end this post. All I want to say is that I feel like such an asshole for even picking the habit back up and now I’m kicking myself because I regret it. I’ll stop again, eventually. But how long until I go back? A year? Three? Five? Fuck.