A little over a week has passed since I decided to quit smoking, and, well, things aren’t going quite as planned. On day 5 I totally wimped out and bought a pack of cigarettes. I was able to ration that particular pack over 4 days. Someone had told me weaning myself off of nicotine would be more conducive to success than quitting cold turkey, so I went with that approach. The next pack only lasted 3 days, and I’m currently on my 3rd pack. I guess three packs of cigarettes in a week is much better than smoking a pack a day, but I can feel myself slipping back into old habits.
As long as I’m not around other smokers I do okay, and as long as I stay busy and don’t spend time talking about smoking I don’t really crave a cig. The night is the absolute worst. I’ve usually completed all my work for the day by six in the evening. I try to avoid thinking about having a smoke, but it’s the habit of watching TV or talking on the phone while smoking which traps me every time.
One important thing I have learned is talking about quitting is just stroking my addiction. I’m keeping in touch with my addiction rather than pushing it away every time I have a conversation about quitting. It’s like being on a diet and peeking into a candy store window. Right now, I just want to cram my mouth full and forget about my “diet”. Which brings me to my next obstacle; when I don’t smoke, I eat.
I often jest about my “inner anorexic”, but I’m far from anorexic. This girl has hips to feed! I love food. Problem is, I have food guilt. I know I’m overweight. To be honest, I really hate my body. Once upon a time I was size zero. I say “once upon a time” because that was so long ago I can barely remember it. How I’d love to be that small again. When I eat, I feel like I’m losing a battle with fat cells, even when I eat healthy. However, a friend told me to snack on crunchy food to help curb my psychological craving for smoking. That tactic works somewhat, but I can’t just munch on chips and nuts all day; I’d outgrow every piece of clothing I own. What’s a girl to do?
At this point, I am very dedicated to quitting. I’m still not giving up on the idea, so don’t count me out just yet. But this is terribly difficult. Upon researching, I found quitting smoking can be as difficult as stopping cocaine or heroin. Great! Now I feel like I need to be on Intervention. Mine would be a quite boring episode, but I could go for one of the snazzy beachfront rehab centers. Wink. Wink.
Addiction is so hard to deal with no matter what the addiction is. My best advice to everyone is to never start an unhealthy addiction to begin with. And hey, don’t judge addicts. We’re all addicted to something or another. Some people are addicted to tobacco, food, porn, alcohol, or crack. Yet others might find they are addicted to exercise, cleaning, or reading. I’d bet there is no one in the world who isn’t addicted to something. Healthy addiction can be good. Obviously unhealthy addiction isn’t. But don’t turn up your nose to addicts. Trust me on this. Most of us addicted types really do want to quit. It just takes a lot of work and time.
If anyone out there has battled addiction of any kind I want to know. I want to hear your stories of winning against addiction. Let’s be strong together and win the fight. I’ll help you, you help me. I will pledge to continue to battle my tobacco addiction with anyone who would like to join forces. Let’s do this thing. We can win!
Tammie Niewedde shares her life with 24, 21, and 16 year old sons. She also has a 2 year old grandson whose energy level reminds her exactly how old she is (40, and she owns that proudly!). In her home, you will find a 120 pound fur factory named Dexter and a few cats whom have decided that she is merely their staff. The root of her love for books, writing, and animals comes from being a child whose only siblings were books and her animals. She is a full-time student, mother, coordinator of all that is chaos, and a hopeless list maker. Most of her writing is creative non-fiction that describes her real life adventures. Her acerbic, biting sense of humor may capture your heart, or it may induce rage. Nonetheless what she writes is true to life. You can often find her hanging out with the kiddos, studying, reading, writing, and making lists…of everything! You can find her on Facebook!