Happy New Year everyone! You don’t hear much from me for a while then 2 posts in less than 24 hours! If I reflect on why I’ve not been writing much I could make lots of ‘busy’ excuses but really the reason is simple – smoking. I’m still smoking so I’m avoiding things that increase my cognitive dissonance- (the technical term for the argument in my head between the smoke devil and what I hope is my authentic self) and sobriety blogs clearly do that. ‘Well read them more’ I hear you all shout through my ipad! I have written lots of posts in my head about how I’m going to stop; 30 days of yoga, write every day etc etc but not surprisingly they’ve not made it to the page. C and I are away in a cottage for New Year on what has become an illegal holiday; and I had planned to stop whilst here, and do lots of writing, reading and yoga. We have vapes for both substances but when I opened the nicotine one (I’ve had it for months) I didn’t have a cartridge. Also just considering stopping put me in an argumentative discontent that isn’t conducive to having a nice time. Historically I’ve often tried to stop smoking on holiday and it has never gone well! So we’ve smoked but quite a bit less than we do usually and probably with less pleasure. The dissonance is getting louder and I’m getting sick of it now. I remember how much head space the wine witch took up and what a relief it was when that stopped.
I forgot to bring what I needed to work on a post for my other blog and I’ve only done 15 minutes of yoga. When I abandoned the yoga it occurred to me that in my head I was going to come away for a few days and basically become the person I wanted to be – overnight, no effort and no process. Suddenly I would be a prolific writer who did yoga every day, didn’t smoke and probably didn’t even eat chocolate or ever get angry! I wanted to get there without doing the work. I suspect this is a common way of thinking in addicts. Wanting the quick, easy fix to make it all better, change the mood, relieve the pain. Enduring growth and change comes much more slowly with many twists and turns along the way. I can’t force it but I do have to keep trying. The changes that have come since I stopped drinking have evolved slowly over these last 3 years and some of them came from the first attempt even though I drank again for a while.
So my word for this year is ‘persevere’. I am going to persevere with attempts to stop smoking. I won’t add a load of other aspirations to that as they will come in their own time. If I cave then I will try again the next day – no waiting for a full moon, the next holiday or next new year. It’s a process not an event and it will take time, energy and commitment. I just have to keep trying.