Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I'm (Not) A Slave 4 U

Oh, man. Have I had a good laugh. I posted that sentence in a rushed moment, never thinking about how it would sound to someone who didn't know what was going on.

Hi, my name is Jules and I am a non-smoker.

That line you read yesterday has become my mantra. I've repeated it no less than five million times, and it works. How could I possibly desire/want/crave a cigarette if the poisonous fumes do not taste good and will kill me? Facing the three truths in that statement makes it virtually impossible for me to actually want one, so the only other reason in the world that I should find a cigarette in my mouth is if it's beyond my control. And guess what? It's not beyond my control because I am not a slave. I was a slave to a terrible addiction until I realized that the only person/thing keeping me a prisoner was myself. And I refuse to willingly BE that person. I have more self-respect than that. And I truly feel that I can control it.

Of course there are "cravings". But, honestly, when I think about it and realise that by "satisfying" that craving I am only facilitating more cravings, it makes no sense to give in. Especially when "giving in" means that I'm inhaling poisonous fumes that do not taste good and will kill me.

Day Two has been easier so far than Day One. Yesterday was miserable. I cried a lot and had massive mood swings. I was scared that I couldn't do it, scared that I could. It was like finally ending an abusive relationship. You know it's the right thing to do, but it's still sad because you have so many memories wrapped up together. Jeez. I am comparing cigarettes to an actual relationship. Hmmm. But, hey. We were together for over 13 years, we had a very tight relationship. There wasn't a time when I wasn't thinking about the next cigarette. Everything that happened in a day was broken into different parts, the separators being the "smoke breaks".

Really, the only real problem that I've had is dealing with my boredom. Before, I would just smoke if I couldn't think of anything else to do. It was a way to pass time. It was something I could do no matter what. Happy, sad, angry, glad, tired, alert, busy, bored, morning, noon and night, all of these would apply for an excuse to smoke one more. Then I realised just how entwined cigarettes were with my life. That's also when I realised that all that other stuff is just life, and I don't need a cigarette to celebrate it or validate it or justify it. And when I'm bored, besides smoking, I was also thinking, usually. Or walking outside. Or something. It wasn't just about the cigarettes. So, now when I get bored, I can still walk outside, or think, or do something.

It's been hard. And it's only Day Two. But, at the same time, it's only as hard as I make it. If I immediately remind myself that the poisonous fumes do not taste good and they will kill me, then I feel better. I know that being a non-smoker is better than being a slave.


AnonymousCoworker said...

Congrats. It's hard, but totally worth it.

My mantra: "Smoking doesn't do anything but ruin your lungs."

Amy said...

Oh this is exactly how I feel about food. I'm so glad you're doing this and with such a great attitude! I am so excited for you!! In bad moments, think of all the money you'll save, how happy the people around you will be, how fresh your clothes will smell...ahhhh....

(I keep trying to think 'thin' thoughts myself. - Honest to God, I wish I could just completely go cold turkey on eating. Doesn't quite work that way as it turns out.)


Reality said...

Well I'm very very proud of you and glad that you can face it with such an aggressive stance. You know that I love you and I believe you can do it. Keep up the great work :)

Jules said...

Day Four and I'm still a non-smoker, yippee!

Of course, I never doubted myself.

Katrina said...

Hurray, Jules! I'm so proud of you for making the effort to quit. I know it's hard; I watched my brother try for years, but now he's a non-smoker, too. :D

This is a great post, and I'm sure I'm not the only one behind you 100%!

Jennifer said...

I'm jealous. I want to quit, and think I'm ready, but it is so daggone hard.

My husband has been accusing me of having an affair for years. The supposed beau's name? Phil.

As in Phillip Morris.

Yeah, it's bad.