I’m not very well at the moment – chesty cough, fever and sinusitis. I managed work last week very grumpily (I tend to psychologise when I’m ill so rather than marked physical symptoms I get stressed and miserable) but had to cancel most of my weekend plans as got ill properly and took to my bed Saturday. I don’t get ill very often but when I do it usually starts me off thinking about giving up smoking. This has been on my mind quite a lot anyway. I wrote about stopping ‘soon’ 3 months ago! Since then I planned to do Stoptober but the death of a patient a few days before meant I felt too stressed; and I’ve set a few dates that have come and gone. Last night I decided I would go for a 28 day break starting today. Smoke free so no spliffs or cigs but if I’m missing it I can start again before Xmas. As I typed that I realised the complete madness of that statement. If I can go 28 days without smoking why would I want to start again? Last night the idea that I could have it back for Christmas seemed important. I don’t want the cigs back so the issue is spliff. In the past when I’ve stopped smoking tobacco completely I’ve not wanted to get stoned. When I’ve had a spliff with tobacco it’s got me back smoking cigs. Clearly the nicotine is the main addiction here but psychologically it’s the cannabis that I want to hang on to. This connundrum has kept me a smoker of something or other for many years and I want to stop. (I wrote need to stop first but then thought that needing and wanting are different things; and what I need is to own this and really want to!)
So I’ve written myself 2 lists like I did when I quit drinking (1st task of Kate Bee’s Sober School) and here they are:
Things I hate about smoking:
Coughing and shortness of breath, being unfit, smelly clothes and hair, stained teeth, anxiety about health, demotivates me and steals time that I could be blogging, doing yoga, walking dogs, riding. Internal conflict makes me grumpy, makes it hard to get up in the morning, expensive.
What I’m looking forward to:
Feeling free, writing more, less health anxiety, doing more yoga and meditation, more money, more self respect, embracing full sobriety.
4 hours later:
I was supposed to go to my book group this evening but it was cancelled as too many of us can’t make it. So I had a spliff instead – wtf is that about? How can I so easily let my good intentions be laid to waste? Feeling sorry for myself and it’s still my no 1 self soothe? Fear of embracing sobriety? Fear of being alone with my unaltered consciousness? Fear of just being when not doing? Pure nicotine craving? Old habits refusing to die? Probably all of those things and more.
When I was drinking I constantly set myself rules; starting on a Monday about when and how much I would drink that week. I inevitably broke them which meant I would wait until the next Monday to try again. Quite a few years passed before I finally admitted this approach was not getting me anywhere and the constant internal dialogue about it was driving me mad. So I’m not going to fall into the same trap again. It’s easier to say now than it’s going to be to do but I’m going to commit to stopping again tomorrow, and then the next day, one day at a time.