“Hey wanna buy a cancer stick?”
“You don’t want to sell me a cancer stick”
“Uh, I don’t want to sell you a cancer stick”
“You want to go home and rethink your life.”
“uh, I want to go home and rethink my life”
First of all, I WAS going to upload a picture, but if you can’t name the scene or the movie GTFO right now. This blog has nothing to do with the movie, but I found it fitting for the topic so I included it.
I started reading the book “The Easy Way to Quit Smoking” because, well, I really want to quit smoking. For a multitude of reasons.
#1. It’s disgusting
#2. It’s costly
#3. I want to be healthier
#4. It’s disgusting
#5. I don’t want my kids to pick up the habit
#6. It’s disgusting.
I began thinking about this topic last week. I went 16 hours without a cigarette, and only had a craving for one once, which I chalked up to habit because it was after a meal. I felt great by the time I got off work. I didn’t buy a pack of cigarettes on the way home either. I came home, and the hubby looks at me and says “Hey lets go smoke!” I cringed a little. I told him I didn’t have any. He said “Here have one of mine.” I made an uncomfortable noise, and reluctantly agreed to it. I had one. It was nasty. It made me dizzy. I didn’t enjoy it, but look at me now. Smoking and writing a blog. I did this a second time. Went a full day’s work without a cigarette, and then broke it when I came home.
One of the arguments the author of this book makes is “If we know it’s bad for us, and we know that it’s eating our money, why do we still do it?” That’s a damn good question, sir. It’s made me rethink the whole aspect of smoking. Why did I start? When did I start? What were the circumstances?
When I was in middle school and up until about half way through high school, I vowed to myself I would NEVER smoke. This is a bad case of “never say never.” I went to a party, like most teens, before the “Above the Influence” ads came out, and drank. One night one of my friends said “Oh I want a cigarette.” Me, being drunk and impressionable, said “oh get me one too!” And voila! I started smoking. For 2 years it was difficult to come across the little cancer sticks since I was only 16, but I managed. I befriended those that were 18 and could get them for me. I didn’t smoke much since I was a closeted smoker. About the summer of 2007, the cat was out of the bag and I didn’t try to hide it anymore. I still didn’t smoke much. It was at most 5 cigarettes a day.
Somewhere along the line I went from 5 cigarettes a day to 15. I’m utterly disgusted by that. My car smells like smoke. Our patio reeks of cigarette butts. My teeth are not as white as they used to be. I get headaches all the time. I have a slight cough. I notice that I’m hoarse. Just talking about smoking has made me light up another one. It’s instinctual. I’ll watch a movie, the main character will light up a cigarette, and I’ll think “oooooh I want one too.”
I came to the conclusion last week after talking to one of my coworkers and the hubster, that I’m not even sure if at this point it’s even an addiction anymore. The hubby has no problem calling his an addiction, but it made me think about the power of suggestion. It litters our daily lives. The media goes two ways with smoking. They either make it look glamorous, or they show us graphic images and commercials describing the health risks. We’re told that it’s addictive, so we let ourselves think it is. We do it even thought we know it’s bad because we think we’re invincible and we want to be rebellious. I’m not sure that it contains enough nicotine to even be addictive. People have just outright quit cold turkey for years and never looked back. If it was that addictive, say as addictive as heroin, it wouldn’t be that easy to quit. If it was truly that addictive, we wouldn’t be able to replace it with a more productive or healthier habit. The key word here is “habit.” However, I’m not knocking the possibility that it is truly, in fact, addictive. I just wonder if this is peer pressure at it’s finest, like the rebellious child I’ve talked about before. As human beings we crave to do things we know are dangerous no matter what risks lie before us. Like me saying I was totally fine for 16 full hours without a cigarette until the husband mentioned something. I don’t really think that says anything about me having no will power since I passed four gas stations on my way home and didn’t buy a pack. Its the fact that he waved it in my face. I caved. I admit defeat. It does make me wonder though why I chose to say yes. If after a full day I felt good. My heart wasn’t racing, I didn’t have a headache, I wasn’t wheezing, and I ruined it all with just one puff.
My grandmother told me that on her way to the hospital when my grandfather was sick years ago, she bought a pack of cigarettes, smoked one out of the pack, and vowed it was her last one. To this day it was. I want that to be me. I want to be able to just say “no, I’m done. For reals this time” and know that I actually mean it. It’s difficult to go about doing this when my husband wants to continue smoking. He told me he thinks the moment he will end up quitting, is when I find out I’m pregnant. I’d like for it to be before then. I’d like to go home in October for our wedding, not have any cigarettes in hand, and be okay with that.
Every time I light up, I get halfway through the cigarette and think “I really didn’t want that” and the realization of how awful it tastes and smells catches up with me. I genuinely think it’s the power of suggestion. It’s the temptation of a break. It’s knowing I can sit down for 8 minutes without a single interruption and just be. At the same time, I know that every puff I take, I’m risking my life. I know that being on birth control and smoking holds it’s own risk of blood clots, yet I continue to do it.
I sincerely hope this book works for me, and maybe it will. Maybe I’m making every point he is trying to and not even aware of it. It just seems to me that if I could hold off for sixteen hours with out a single one, but one simple bug in my ear brought me back, I’m not TRULY addicted to smoking. I feel like now, I’m doing it more out of habit than anything. They say it takes a week to make a habit and a month to break it, with the first two weeks being the hardest to break said habit.
I believe the key is replacing it with something to preoccupy your time. I have gone on for hours crocheting and didn’t even think about having one until a character on TV lit one up. Then I had to pause what I was doing, and go outside. I’ve subjected myself to blistering heat, raging winds, and freezing temperatures for the sake of a cigarette. I’ve burned holes in clothes and seats in cars. I may as well be rolling cigarettes using dollar bills. It just all seem ridiculous and petty. I’m not getting to any sort of conclusion here. I’m not working towards a grand finale, unless that grand finale is tar filled lungs.
I’m done. I want to be done. I think I just partly need to find the courage to tell my husband so that I can have a buddy in this. It’s like working out in pairs. It’s easier to do it when you’re doing it with someone, and I’m sure that encouraging myself to be done would be a whole hell of a lot easier if the apple of my eye weren’t tempting me at every turn. As it so happens, I will probably have to take this journey on my own.