Time to stop smoking??

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.

Photo by Max Nikhil Thimmayya on Pexels.com

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15 Comments

  1. I hear this, doc. Smoking’s been a lifelong battle for me. There have been free years and slave years. It is a proper addiction. The last year or so I got on the vape and soon had myself down to 0% nicotine, too. However, I am lately back on the baccy! I went to Berlin for a few days and was wooed back because all the little dive bars and cafés allowed cigarettes. Of course, by the time I left there I had purchased a pouch and… this is the classic smoker’s excuse … ‘well, it’d be a waste to just throw this tobacco away. I’ll quit when it’s all gone.’ But, of course, when it was gone I was hooked again. The battle continues and I have a mighty cough and yellowing fingers again. Mmm, attractive! Best of luck and hope you’re feeling better. Nick.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I assumed do quit but it is ambiguous! I’ve smoked every last bit of tobacco I can find when I’ve given up before, only to buy another pack the very next day! I started smoking when I was 11 – gave up at 12 and started again at 14 so I do think nicotine is hardwired into my brain – thanks for your encouragement – each day I try I’ll have smoked less than I would have and hopefully none!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Dr
    I don’t know much about kicking the spliff habit I’m afraid .. it’s never something that I particularly enjoyed or felt at ease with. I was, however, a big cigarette smoker for around 14 years. I gave up when I met my husband but it was a very very long time before I called myself a ‘non smoker’. I honestly could not imagine not smoking fags. I fell off the ‘wagon’ more times than I care to remember in the first couple of years but eventually I stopped, with the help of pregnancy!! It’s a tough thing, especially if you are cutting out booze too. But look for support, tell us how you are getting on and post on your blog BEFORE you reach for the splif. Even if no one replies, it might just stop you in your tracks and let you take the breath you need.

    Then what do I know, I’ve not been at this sober game for 9 days and I’m bloody desperate for a glass of wine tonight. 🙄

    You’ll do it!
    Claire x

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Don’t know anything about stopping smoking. But the fact that you keep trying to give up is the main thing. If you don’t buy it when you run out it should make it more of an effort to go out and buy it especially in winter.
    What else can you do with your hands to distract yourself from the habit of holding something?
    Eat everything with chopsticks? That’s something I do with potato chips so I don’t get crumbs all over the keyboard sometimes.
    I only ever smoked as a teenager, a social smoker. Didn’t like the smell on my clothes the next day.
    Good luck. Know I’m not much help.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. i quit drinking for 10 months before even attempting to quit smoking, but by tapering off for about 3 weeks(till i got down to 2 a day) and using patches and gum, i was able to throw out all my cigs , and related items this week and i am now 36 hrs smoke free. Even in spite of just buying a house and ending a relationship.It can be done..Fingers crossed!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s impressive! I think like anything ‘waiting’ for the right time is an addiction trick. I didn’t have a cigarette yesterday and not much spliff so I think I’m on a taper too and hopefully I’ll get to smoke free! Good luck to both of us! X

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I used to smoke and that was easy to give up compared to booze. At least with booze I got a change in mood and feeling, with smoking, nothing, just the addition. Ever tried cannabis on pizza, nice herb, no smoke !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Never been a fan of eating it Jim as cant control how stoned you get or when! Has resulted in some strange nights in the past! I agree cigs don’t do anything compared to booze so should be easier to stop – it’s not even sociable these days! 😃

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love your lists, I love your honesty, I love your blog posts. More blog posts, less smoking. ;))) Claire had a brilliant idea up there, to blog before you spliff!

    When I quit cigarettes, I airsmoked a lot. That was my self-invented method of fulfilling a yearning that I couldn’t seem to satisfy any other way than going outside by myself, hand to mouth, staring up at the tree, alone with my thoughts. Or wherever/whenever else the urge overtook. Also, I had to give up the mental “look.” I realized that I used smokes to feel less alone, to seem part of a “cool” crowd, a rebel, ridiculous as that sounds.

    I flipped the switch by realizing in my mind that all the truly cool people in my life, though they may have smoked at some point, had all eventually quit. (It helped too, to note that they were still alive. And most of them healthy and looking well., ;))

    xoxoxo nadine

    Liked by 1 person

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