Testing times

It’s hard to get your head round what is happening globally isn’t it? Within less than a week I’ve gone from relatively normal movements to doing most work remotely and no social contact. My world has shrunk to C, work, walking the dogs and riding though that may get banned soon as too dangerous. I’ll see my mum but not too often due to the risk. They are in lockdown pretty much where she lives. I don’t know when I’ll next see my girls. I’ve decided that I need to stop smoking and attempted this yesterday. It didn’t go well not surprisingly. Giving up the main way you manage your anxiety at the most globally anxious time of your life was never going to be easy. I’m caught between the anxiety of Corona and the knowledge my years of smoking make me higher risk and being stuck in the house with little distraction. What I normally do in this situation is smoke, play games on my iPad, read, etc. I’m not very good at doing nothing when I’m not stoned. My depression meant I’ve done that more in recent months and now I want to connect! I’m out of synch with the world.

If I had any doubt this is an addiction searching for the bits of hash left in the box last night dispelled those thoughts. I’m not sure if it’s the hash the tobacco or both? When away from home I don’t smoke hash and it’s fine but I do have cigarettes. When I’ve not had cigarettes (a 6 month spell a long time ago) I found I didn’t want hash so it was definitely tobacco to start with. I need and want to stop both. When I smoke a cigarette I’m thinking ‘why am I doing this?’ but I keep doing it. I think back to giving up alcohol which was so much harder as the rest of the world thinks alcohol is great. I had been battling with myself a long time and was truly fed up with it. I don’t feel like that about smoking which I know is pretty stupid.

Yesterday the wine witches friend, smoky devil was out in force. She started gently ‘try to notice when and why you smoke today in preparation for stopping’, she said as I had breakfast even though this was stop day and I’ve done that many times before. ‘You’ve got a full pack – stop after those are gone’ etc etc. When I stopped drinking I had a house full of booze and didn’t even throw it all out so whether I have cigs in is irrelevant – there’s a shop over the road. I managed to externalise this internal battle by shouting at C over some minor issue causing him to shout back which he rarely does. I went in a shop and got really anxious as was close to people. By the evening I was feeling miserable and saying things like ‘if I’m going to die then I may as well get pissed and have some fun first’ – ‘hello wine witch not seen you in a while! Come out to party with your friend?’ The addiction playing out in my thoughts and dragging me down once again to the fuck it mode which usually is followed by shame and self loathing.

So this morning instead of reading the Corona news (and ramping up my anxiety) I’m writing this. I’m not going to beat myself up or shame myself for smoking yesterday as that will push me towards doing it again. Instead I’ll try to check in here as often as I can; I will do my meditation this morning so I am grounded for the day ahead rather than late in the day in a vain attempt to calm down and I will prepare by writing down the reasons I want to stop and look at it every time I think of smoking. Take care everyone – sending love to you all and hope for a better world when this is hopefully over.

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  1. I always love your posts (can I ever stop saying that?). I wanted to comment on your last one, saying that you’d inspired me so much with your resolve to quit smoking mary jane, so that you’d feel truly sober at the one-year mark, but I got scared of making any public commitment of my own. But I have been struggling big time with a specific non-substance addiction that is very hard for me to blog about, but it essentially amounts to self-exposure to digital content that feels like regular targeted praise, alternating with deeply disturbing psychological abuse.

    Anyway, your honesty combined with your desired stated goal got me thinking that if I could also remain sober from that, up to my one year mark, I’d feel so proud of myself for it, since it would be a truly self-loving act and a kind of reward to myself. I’m still just taking it “one day at a time.” But you’ve truly inspired me. I’m at day 3 and a half, and I have cravings but I’ve struggled through them and even seen glimpses of the old pink cloud feeling of spiritual connection and freedom returning.

    I was very, very grumpy person when I first quit smoking cigarettes. Quitting smoking is a true challenge because we associate it with so many pleasures. For me the primary pleasure was connecting with nature while I smoked.

    Last night I went outside though, and after walking around for a full ten minutes or so just weeping (due to world issues) and praying (or meditating, whatever you want to call it) I suddenly realized this amazing thing – I had not once thought of lighting. Not once. And that happens regularly now.

    In the beginning, I used to put my fingers to my lips, “air-smoking,” I inhaled deeply and exhaled it, and felt that connection I craved… to air.

    Sometimes, if I’m really having a hard time, I still do that now. And the beauty of it is, I can do it in the house, harmless to anything or anyone. ;))

    Much love to you for all you do, xoxoxoxo nadine/stl

    Liked by 1 person

      1. ❤️❤️❤️Thank you for this super kind reply to my novel! 😂😂😂There’s something about you that just makes me pour my heart out. #BlamingItOnYou 😉😜😂 Hugs xoxoxo


  2. yes, no beating up or shame !!! this is HARD! I smoked on and off since Mexico in February, hid it from my partner for over a month (horrible double-living), then came clean, then started again in secret 2 days later… now I’ve “come to my senses” again and it’s been 4 days with no smoking. Like you, I feel the irony of quitting during a globally-anxious and anxiety inducing time. Then I tell myself, this is perhaps the best time ! : at least any irritability/anxiety that comes up can blend in with the general ambiance lol 🙂 xxx Hang in there !!! ❤ Anne

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Sending love and positive vibes to you. You are giving it a go and that bloody smokey devil and wine witch just need to bugger off and party elsewhere!!! It’s so tricky at the moment. I’ve had a few ‘oh fuck it, I’ll just have a drink’ moments. I have this terrible habit of soaking up the news obsessively until my anxiety hits peak! Ridiculous really. Keep going. We are all with you! You got this

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks Claire and everyone for commenting. I nearly cracked when I got in from work but went and sat in a different room and read all your comments instead – then had dinner and managed not to and have left all smoke stuff downstairs and I’m over it now for the night – phew! You’ve helped me through Day 1! 😃- massive massive thank you and love 💖 you’re all amazing! Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. These are testing times for sure. A hard time to give things up, but you’ll be all the stronger for it. Have you read Alan Carr’s books? He has one about quitting drinking and one about quitting smoking. He actually wrote the smoking one first and people swear by it… just a thought. Hang in there and be kind to yourself. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I agree he’s not a writer… but the important part is the thought processes. Sending strength and wellness 💕

        Liked by 1 person

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