People call it a journey. I guess if the definition of Journey were; an act of traveling from one place to another and second guessing every step and then going back to the start and making it harder than it has to be every step of the way. Ya, then we could call it a journey.
Smoking is hard to quit even when you are motivated and want to do it. I can’t imagine quitting for a medical reason or any other life changing reason if you still enjoy it. IT’S AN ADDICTION. Until you see yourself with the same eyes as we see the “meth heads” or addicts on the news, you really don’t stand a chance of quitting and staying quit. No one wants to put themselves into that category though. You know. . . “Cuz it’s not the same” . . . “Smoking is legal”. . . “I don’t steal to do it”. . . “I don’t hide to do it”.
I believe there are people that have glorious bodies that process these chemicals in ways that somehow let them be less addicted. I have friends that only smoke when they drink, and one that used to only smoke in the summer. She no longer smokes at all. I also know that some people’s personalities add to them being more addicted to everything they do. Anything to do with dopamine gets them going. I think I fall somewhere in the middle and I’m so glad I don’t need to bungee jump to get a hit. I can easily get lost in a wonderful moment or social media. But I can also pull away when I need to.
As far as nicotine goes I don’t think there’s another drug out there, other than sugar, that has built as much of a market around quitting; medications, patches, lozenges, gum, hypnosis, self help books, and alternative smoking methods (vaping), and quit smoking retreats. Social media has hundreds of support groups. There’s quitting smoking, Quit smoking with vaping, quit vaping (the quit after the quit), people who use a banana for size reference quit group. They all promise love and understanding, but don’t mention vapes in a quit smoking only group or you’ll be told to go to a vape group. There are groups that consider any method that you physically put down cigarettes a quit, but the hard core groups are for zero nicotine. Either way there’s a group out there for everyone.
I love food! I love to smell food, see food, and eat food. When you quit, unfortunately, one of the side effects is gaining weight. Some people won’t attempt to quit smoking because of this reality. If they could give you a drug like Chantix and combine it with something that would actually make you lose weight, I can guarantee you that smoking would be a thing of the past. Unfortunately anything that would make you lose weight is probably bad for your heart. Because I’m an addict, I have to replace smoking with another habit of excess. I gave myself permission to eat through my quit. I’m 49 so I had to weigh it out, bigger pants or die? I can lose weight but I can’t un-die. Doing this during a pandemic can be challenging. I’m going to need a bigger car to do the “once every two week” shopping trip and shopping for bigger clothes online is hard. I think I’ve eaten fifty pounds of sunflower seeds at my desk. Pretty sure I ate most of a chocolate cake. I gave my family a couple of pieces so I could say I didn’t eat the whole thing.
Enter physical fitness (heavy sigh, I hate exercise). I live in a good place to kill myself with exercise, lots of hills and lots of space. Good fortune brought a new dog into my life this summer so I have a walking partner. But if for some reason we can’t walk he stares at me like I just flipped the world upside down. How dare I not walk today! I don’t know what he’s going to do this winter, because the walk we do won’t be accessible through most of the winter. We made trails through the woods and walk the tree lines. It’s a difficult walk because of the hills but it’s only a mile, so I’m doing 2 or 3 miles on the treadmill in the evening as well. I’m still not losing weight though and I’m up about fifteen pounds. So I guess I’ll have to address the real problem… Nutrition. I’m a child of the 70’s and 80’s that has totally ignored every nutrition fad there has ever been. I have to figure out what eating healthy looks like for me and how it’s going to taste. “I’m not eating that” is something I say pretty often when I’m not in my comfort zone. I have never really liked raw vegetables and I don’t eat a lot of fruit. This is going to mean big changes for me. Eating less is going to be key as well. Honestly… that would probably be enough but like a good addict I’m overdoing it on the exercise as well so I can’t quit that. I have to have one thing that gives me dopamine on demand.
My social life like many of you has been put on hold. I’m struggling very hard to keep depression in the back seat through all of this. I’ve also been struggling to sit down and write. I’m a tad ADHD and I’m finding that nicotine did a lot to focus my thoughts. I’m slowly working through it. Mostly I can’t sit for very long because I get bored or just distracted and end up not writing at all. I’m starting some supplements to see if it helps. Keeping my fingers crossed.
I’ll be doing updates on the quit from time to time but I’m also working on some other writing projects… Our third children’s book will be coming out soon as well. It’s going to be called “I know what you did last recess.” It won’t be long now.
I’m going to be inviting some of my friends to take a stab at writing some short stories to publish here on the blog. And I’m working on some other short stories of my own.
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