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.