Quitting Smoking

Currently, I am on day three of trying to quit smoking. I haven’t killed anyone yet, and I don’t think I’ve been any meaner than usual. Admittedly, I’ve had a few cigs in the mornings before I’ve put on my nicotine patch, but trying to get through the day without any. Two things are standing out to me during this journey. People don’t understand how hard it is, and the reasons why I am choosing to do this.

As for the latter, I am choosing to stop for a few reasons, but the main reason isn’t the obvious health benefits. Not directly anyway. I’m choosing to stop mostly because of dating. So many people these days are non-smokers. It just isn’t as “cool” as it was in the nineties. Now that back in the dating game, it has been astounding how many people list NO SMOKING as requirement in a dating profile. I see their point,as I too have lines in the sand that I don’t cross either, and as these non-smokers wouldn’t want to smell it or kiss someone that smells/tastes like a cigarette. I can respect that. Plus, when dating a non-smoker, it is difficult to satisfy your desires while still being present during a date.

You cannot smoke in a public place (at least in Ohio), so say you go to dinner, then you want that after dinner cig….you have to go stand outside for a few minutes while your date either has to hang back alone or stand there with you. Just seems like a waste of precious minutes you could be getting to know said date better. Not to mention, that afterwards you now smell like smoke. I’m not rude enough to smoke in another person’s vehicle that doesn’t smoke, nor does it make me seem any more appealing displaying the fact I have an addiction to any potential mate. If the date is going well and you end up at either of your homes, it is rude to smoke outside of someone’s house. Where to stand? What do you do with the butts and ashes? It is presumptuous to assume that someone wants to deal with your bad habits. If we end up at my place, it’s rude to invite a non-smoker into your home that smells of cigarettes (even though I don’t notice it, I’m sure it does), or to smoke in front of them, even though you are in your own home. 

As a recovering drug addict, I wouldn’t date someone who still does drugs, or anyone still on their sobriety journey. It would be to difficult for me to have to feel like I was going through that experience again. Therefore I wouldn’t put anyone else in the position to deal with my addiction issues. If they have no addiction experience of their own, they are not understanding of the struggle. 

There are other benefits to my decision, but more health related. As I love to hike and stay active, being able to breathe better will definitely help. I’d like to start running as a part of my workouts, the added lung capacity would be beneficial. I currently power walk, but I couldn’t run if I were being chased. By this time next year, I’d like to do marathons and things of that nature. Fitness is going to be the goal as I head towards 40. 

The other point I’ve noticed is that people just don’t understand how hard quitting is for a smoker…or an addict of any kind really. Smoking is legal, but is definitely an addiction. In my opinion, a harder one to kick than illegal drugs. 

There are two camps when dealing with others during this journey, those who have never smoked and those who have quit smoking themselves. Both are becoming annoying to me, but for different reasons. 

People who have never smoked, think you can just quit. That it isn’t hard. That you can just stop doing it without any desire to continue. It may seem they are being supportive, but all their encouragement has that sound of condescension. Every “you can do it” has that underlying “just stop, dumbass” behind it. 

People that used to smoke are even worse. They’ve stopped, but as like everything in life, everyone is different. Just because something worked for you, doesn’t mean it will work for everyone. In the past few days, I’ve heard several things that others have done to quit. Eating mints, chewing gum, chewing on straws, suckers, etc. While I appreciate the advice, they seem angered that I don’t take their advice. Everyone deals with things differently. 

I’ve quit smoking before, obviously not permanently. I know what works for me. I’m wearing nicotine patches daily, I eat peppermints, I try to stay busy so I don’t think about it, and in my down time, I keep my hands busy writing, playing a game, or knitting. This far on my third day, I have a pretty decent start on a scarf. Yes, I’ve had a few cigarettes, but that’s how I can quit. I only have one as a reward to myself. Go all day without one, have one before my morning shower during patch change time. I will keep some in my apartment for months, just in case. I may light one occasionally, or they may sit in a drawer. It is a comfort knowing they are there. I am an extremely competitive person, I’ve been dated not to smoke, sorbet that I can’t quit. Things like that work for me. My need to win and prove someone wrong fuels me. 

I will quit, but it will be on my terms. 

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